Women Suffrage Essay

1048 Words Nov 22nd, 2010 5 Pages
The struggle to achieve equal rights for women is often thought to have begun, in the English-speaking world, with the publication of Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792). During the 19th century, as male suffrage was gradually extended in many countries, women became increasingly active in the quest for their own suffrage. Not until 1893, however, in New Zealand, did women achieve suffrage on the national level. Australia followed in 1902, but American, British, and Canadian women did not win the same rights until the end of World War I.
The demand for the enfranchisement of American women was first seriously formulated at the Seneca Falls Convention (1848). After the Civil War, agitation by women for the
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Perseverance on the part of both organizations eventually led to victory. On August 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment granted the ballot to American women.

In Great Britain the cause began to attract attention when the philosopher John Stuart Mill presented a petition in Parliament calling for inclusion of women's suffrage in the Reform Act of 1867. In the same year Lydia Becker (1827 –90) founded the first women's suffrage committee, in Manchester. Other committees were quickly formed, and in 1897 they united as the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies, with Millicent Garret Fawcett (1847 –1929) as president. Like their American counterparts, the British suffragists struggled to overcome traditional values and prejudices. Frustrated by the prevailing social and political stalemate, some women became more militant. Emmeline Pankhurst, assisted by her daughters Christabel and Sylvia, founded the Women's Social and Political Union in 1903. Her followers, called "suffragettes," heckled politicians, practiced civil disobedience, and were frequently arrested for inciting riots. When World War I started, the proponents of women's suffrage ceased their activities and supported the war effort. In February 1918 women over the age of 30 received the right to vote. Suffrage rights for men

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