Clarifying Women Winning the Right to Vote and the Upcoming Centenary...
2018 marks the centenary of women who met strict rules stipulating women had to be over the age of 30 and a homeowner winning the right to vote in 1918 with the Representation of the People Act....Not all women got the vote at this time, indeed only 40% of the female population did. The vast majority who did win the right were middle and upper class, the vast majority 60% of those who could not vote were working class and of course younger than 30. It wasn’t until the Equal Franchise Act in 1928, 10 years later, that women’s voting rights matched men’s and all women over the age of 21 were allowed to vote.
The need for clarification arises because I keep reading posts which confuse the difference. 2018 does not mark the centenary of women winning the vote (but only some women), we will have to wait until 2028 for that celebration. 2018 marks the 90th anniversary of Universal Suffrage. That said this first group of women opened the door for the rest and although it took another ten years for Universal Suffrage to be realised it remains a significant landmark in the Votes for Women Journey.
Incidentally 2018 is also significant because of the associated anniversaries and let us not forget that all men were given the right to vote in that year.
February 2018 - 100th anniversary of the Representation of the People Act 1918, which enabled all men and some women over the age of 30 to vote for the first time;
April 2018 - 60th anniversary of the Life Peerages Act 1958, which allowed women to sit in the House of Lords;
July 2018 - 90th anniversary of the Equal Franchise Act 1928, which gave women the right to vote at age 21 on the same terms as men;
October 2018 - 60th anniversary of women sitting in the House of Lords for the first time;
November 2018 - 100th anniversary of the Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act 1918, allowing women to stand for election to the House of Commons;
December 2018 - 100th anniversary of all men and some women voting for the first time, in the general election of December 1918.