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madeline pankhurst

            There were many important and significant achievements gained during the women's movement. From the mid 1800's to the present day the fight for women's rights has been an enormous social issue. There have been significant gains for women in many areas including education, medicine, married women's property act, women's suffrage, etc. In looking at all of these gains for women and societal victories over the past 150 years I chose women's suffrage as the most important achievement for women.
             Suffrage is defined as the right to vote. This was a right women were deprived of for many years. I believe the women's suffrage movement was so pivotal to remove the ideas and practices that men are superior to women.
             The English suffrage movement was incredibly important because it provided the model for other European suffragist efforts. The first British suffrage committee was formed in 1865 in Manchester, England. Even before this committee was formed individuals in England championed and advocated women's suffrage, beginning as early as 1792.
             Women's suffrage within England began to make progress in the late 1800's at the local levels. Women became involved in local charities and their children's education. As a result, women started playing significant roles on school boards and served on council. By 1869 unmarried women householders could vote in municipal elections. Women's suffrage, on the local level, was far more acceptable than it was on the national level.
             The national movement became highly active in the early 1900's. Beginning in 1905 the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU), led by Emmeline Pankhurst, participated in mass political demonstrations and rallies, produced propaganda, engaged in hunger strikes while imprisoned, etc.
             Emmeline Pankhurst and her two daughters, Christabel and Sylvia, founded the WSPU in 1903. Another important women's organization in England, at this time, was the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies (NUWSS) led by Millicent Garrett Fawcett.

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