Women getting the vote

In 1918, the Representation of the People Act gave the vote to all men over the age of 21 and women over the age of 30 who were householders or married to a householder. In 1928, women over the age of 21 were given the same voting rights as men.

Women taking on many roles during the war: Working in munitions factories, as nurses and in supporting military roles.

Historians suggest the following reasons for this:

  • During the war, the NUWSS continued to write to Members of Parliament (MP), asking for votes for women.
  • During the war, women worked as coal miners and road-layers. They worked in munitions factories. They served in France as nurses. Many MPs said that they had shown themselves equal to men and were 'worthy' of the vote.
  • Millions of working class men – including soldiers fighting in France – still did not have the vote. The government wanted to give them the vote, but they could not give men the vote and not women.
  • In 1918, many of the 'old guard' MPs who had opposed votes for women had been replaced by younger men who supported it.