Borough Insight

Vote 100

It is 100 years since (some) women got the vote.Vote 100

Before 1918 no women were allowed to vote in parliamentary elections.

In the early 20th century there were two main groups active in the campaign for women's suffrage (the right to vote); the 'suffragists' who campaigned using peaceful methods and the 'suffragettes' who were determined to win the right to vote for women by any means, including unlawful and violent acts.

The outbreak of the First World War led to a suspension of political campaigning, including women's suffrage.

In February 1918, a coalition government passed the Representation of the People Act. This extended the right to vote to women of a certain age and economic status. Ten months later, 8.5 million women voted for the first time in the General Election on the 14 December 1918.

Under the same act, all men over the age of 21 gained the right to vote. Women under 30, and who didn’t meet the economic criteria, had to wait another 10 years for the privilege.

In November 1918, the Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act 1918 was passed, allowing women to be elected into the House of Commons as Members of Parliament.

We’re marking the anniversary of these major steps in the fight for gaining women’s equality in society with a special exhibition at the Town Hall.

Running to coincide with the anniversary of the 1918 general election and December’s full borough council meeting, the exhibition includes details of women’s suffrage with particular emphasis within the borough of Epsom and Ewell, including details of local historical women of note.

Meanwhile, for the next generation, Bourne Hall Museum Kid's Club is holding an event where children can meet a suffragette and decide if they wish to join the fight to get the vote for women!

Saturday 8 December; 1pm - 2.30pm
Meet a suffragette and decide if you wish to join her fight to get the vote for women. Listen to her arguments and learn why some women at the beginning of the twentieth century were driven to drastic measures to get their voices heard by the Establishment. Understand the different methods used by these pioneering ladies, from peaceful protest to more militant tactics. Discover how the determination and bravery of the Suffragettes changed the way our country is today and learn how Epsom was thrust into the national headlines by the death of Emily Davison at the Derby. Cost: £5 per child (includes 1 accompanying adult). Please meet in the foyer of Bourne Hall. Places are limited, to reserve your space or for further information please contact David Brooks, Bourne Hall Museum, Spring Street, Ewell, Surrey, KT17 1UF. Tel: 020 8394 1734. Email: Visit What's On at:


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