The issue of votes for women was part of a wider struggle for rights. This struggle was not only for women's suffrage but also for equal rights in many other aspects of life and it was part of the long campaign to gain and protect human rights - of men as well as women, of a never-ending struggle to counter discrimination against particular sections of society.
Although there has been massive progress in advancing human rights during the last two centuries, the story has never been one of unbroken success. Powerful forces have prevented or restricted the advance of human rights; sometimes even putting that advance into reverse and taking away hard-won rights.
Slavery was abolished in the British Empire in 1833 and in the United States in 1865 - but slavery still exists in many parts of the world in the 21st century. Similarly, torture has been banned by international conventions but still takes place. The battle for equal rights still goes on: for racial equality, religious toleration, gay rights and freedom of expression. In the modern day there are many echoes of the struggles of the 19th century campaigners for women's suffrage; and many debates about the methods and tactics employed by those who campaign and those who seek to block them.