We have recently had the centenary of the Representation of the People Act. It granted the vote to women over the age of 30 who met a property qualification, but what is perhaps less well known is that the same Act gave the vote to all men over the age of 21. It also tends to be forgotten that an Act best remembered for giving some (not all) women the vote was also the first time that universal male suffrage was introduced in the United Kingdom (women did not gain suffrage on the same terms as men until 1928), or the fact that these two developments were included in the same Act of Parliament was not a coincidence.

It is also significant that the statue recently unveiled in Parliament Square was of Millicent Fawcett, the renowned Suffragist campaigner, rather than the now better-known Suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst.

I will be speaking on ‘How ordinary democratic processes not violence got women the vote to the European Atlantic Group this Wednesday May 16, 6pm to 8pm in Committee Room 9, at the House of Commons.

If you would like to attend please reply by midnight on Monday May 14 to: events@eag.org.uk giving your name, contact telephone number, any relevant interests or affiliations if you are not already an EAG member, and those of any guests. If attending, allow up to 20 minutes to clear security at the Public Entrance to the House of Commons.

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