Suffragettes and suffragists: the campaign for women’s voting rights: Britain and the wider world

The introduction of women's suffrage came at different times in different places. The struggle to achieve votes for women began in the late 18th century but had little success until the early 20th century - even at the beginning of the 21st century there are still countries where votes for women are restricted or denied. One important episode in the campaign for women's suffrage was fought in Britain from about 1880 until 1918, when Parliament finally granted some women (but not all) the right to vote. The struggle of women in Britain was similar to that of women in other similar societies: the United States, New Zealand and countries in Northern Europe, such as Finland, Iceland and Norway. By the end of the Second World War, voting rights for women had been secured in most of the developed world but this did not mean the struggle for equality was over. There were still many countries where women did not have the vote; and even where women DID have voting rights many still faced other forms of discrimination and inequality. It is therefore interesting to take up the story of the campaign for votes for women in Britain to understand the driving forces that pushed them towards their goal and the deep-rooted obstacles that blocked their path.