Home Secretary Amber Rudd tells Piers Morgan that pardoning suffragettes is "tricky"

Feb 07, 2018, 01:27

The Home Secretary has said she will "look at" calls to pardon suffragettes who were treated as criminals during their fight for the right to vote.

The jailed women also received a voice on their side from Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson who backed up a campaign that demands the overturn of their charges.

A century after women first won the right to vote in the United Kingdom, politicians, activists and social media users have paid tribute to the women who helped to force a change in the law.

From separation in 1922, the Irish Free State gave equal voting rights to men and women.

Arlene Foster, leader of the DUP, the largest party in the Northern Ireland Assembly, and Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP First Minister of Scotland, also paid tribute to Suffragist and Suffragette campaigners. Their real enemies lay in the public figures they had to convince, people who today we view through rose-tinted spectacles.

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"We're talking about a period where a significant number of women had taken over men's roles in the workplace after they had gone off to fight, and we're talking about a period where women for the first time had been involved with the armed forces, which was a great leap forward". At least two suffragettes are reported to have died. The women took part in violent protests and resisted the patriarchy until finally in 1928 women were granted the right to vote.

Rudd was appearing on GMB as she announced £2.5 million for schemes to commemorate suffragettes and increase women's participation in political and public life.

"Pardoning them now whitewashes their radicalism - and that is wrong", she wrote on Twitter.

The word feminism was the most looked up word on Merriam Webster in 2017, which shows just how far were coming as a society.

Even today, on this monumental occasion, I am still reading articles that are misinformed; women did not ALL receive the vote 100 years ago today, they only got it if they were married (therefore owners of property) and over 30.

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A set of special stamps is being issued to mark the centenary of the right of women to vote in parliamentary elections.

Leader of the movement Emmenline Pankhurst and her daughter Christabel are said to have had relationships and attractions to other women cataologued during the movement, as well as the likes of Chief Organisers Annie Kenney, Grace Roe and Olive Bartels; and leading militants Emily Wilding Davison, Mary Leigh and Lilian Lenton.

Pankhurst, who was arrested numerous times, led angry street demonstrations at which hundreds of suffragists were arrested.

But unlike her mother and sister, she maintained a political affiliation, which for many years was restricted by the WSPU. Lady Constance Lytton proved that class and image still meant something in this movement; during one spell in prison she cut her hair short, made herself admittedly "uglier" and changed her name to Jane Warton.

"The prominence of LGBT women in the suffragette movement has often been overlooked, particularly in periods when both society and the law discriminated heavily against LGBT people".

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