At the beginning of the 1900s, women in the UK started to peacefully campaign for equality, freedom and their right to vote like men. Sadly, their arguments were ignored. In response, Emmeline Pankhurst, the leader of the suffragette movement, called for a national campaign of civil disobedience. The Suffragette movie introduces us to one group of hardworking women who joined the fight and participated in a lot of non-violent demonstrations and protests to get their voice heard. The film also shows women’s suffrage through this hard time, and how bad they were treated by men, politicians, the police, and the government in England. Maud Watts was an actual British suffragette who was jailed several times for her protests. During a hearing, Watts told the government that she had worked in a laundry fabric since she was 13 and never been able to continue her schooling. Furthermore, she said she only earned 13 shilling a week, compared to men who got 19 shilling and worked many hours less. She explained her feelings of unfair treatment, and that she wanted women to get voting rights, just like men. However, Watts said she didn’t know what to expect or wish for, since women never have had the chance to vote anyhow.
The second time Watts was caught by the police for protesting, her husband Sonny kicked her out of the house. He was filled with so much anger and embarrassment towards her, that he left her on the streets, even though he actually should be very proud of her standing up to women’s fight to achieve freedom equal to men. Watts was then left from his son George, which was extremely sad for her. When she came back to give him a gift and visit him on his birthday, George was being adopted to another family. It is just a very touching movie, that everyone should watch, to get the actual perspective of what it was like for women during that time. At the end of the movie, we see miss Emily Davison, a militant suffragist, who threw herself in front of the King’s horse at Epsom Derby to protest women’s suffrage. Four days later, she died from her injuries after the horse crashed into her. She died on the 8th of June in 1913. This death drew global attention to the fight for women’s rights. In 1918, the vote was given to certain women aged over 30. In 1925 the law recognized a mother’s rights over her children, and in 1928 women finally achieved the same voting rights as men.
In the United States, there was a movement called “the woman suffrage movement” who began in 1848, when a women’s rights convention was held in Seneca Falls, New York. The Seneca Falls meeting was not the first in support of women’s rights, but suffragists later viewed it as the meeting that launched the suffrage movement. Under the leadership of Elizabeth Stanton, Susan Anthony and other women’s rights pioneers, suffragists circulated petitions and lobbied Congress to pass a constitutional amendment to enfranchise women. Over time, women began to realize that in order to achieve reform, they needed to win the right to vote. Because of that, at the turn of the century, the woman suffrage movement became a mass movement. The 19th amendment was ratified on August 18, 1920 and granted all American women the right to vote 😊