What is the legacy?


The issue of women's right to vote is a subject that needs to be kept alive at all times. In several parts of the world women do not enjoy the same rights as men. In some countries where progress has been made and victory apparently won, there has been a regression back towards discrimination. Even in those countries were women have full political rights they are still a minority of elected representatives, despite the fact that they make up half the population. It is important to understand that to gain the rights that we take for granted today it has often required struggle and sacrifice, sometimes with blood, sweat and tears.


The legacy of the struggle for women's suffrage can be seen in many later developments. Many memorials, school textbooks and aspects of popular culture commemorate the early pioneers. There is a continuing debate about the tactics they used - was direct action, even violence a necessary and effective way to win the vote? Many campaigners for other aspects of the struggle for the rights of women, for education, legal rights and free expression, have taken the memory of the suffragists and suffragettes as an inspiration.