On this day 1918: Britain grants women the vote

The 1909 Suffragettes march down Princes Street. Picture: TSPL
The 1909 Suffragettes march down Princes Street. Picture: TSPL
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On this day, the 6th of February in 1918, the hard struggle of the suffragette movement was finally over in Britain, as women over 30 were given the vote.

The Representation of the People Act was passed in 1918, enfranchising women over the age of 30 who met minimum property qualifications.

About 8.4 million women gained the vote, however this only represented 40 per cent of the total population of women in the UK.

This was a victory not only for women but also for British troops who were returning from the Great War, who did not qualify to vote under the previous act, which stated that only men who had been resident in the country for 12 months prior to a general election were entitled to vote.

It would not be until 1928 and the Equal Franchise Act, that women over 21 were given the vote and finally the female population gained voting parity with the men. This second act raised the number of women allowed to vote to 15 million.

Fields of battle: The Suffragettes’ fight for the vote


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