12–18 November 2018

Emmeline Pankhurst

Emmeline Pankhurst [née Goulden] (1858–1928) was a suffragette leader.

Her interest in politics stemmed from an early age. She was interested in women’s rights, suffrage and equality which continued throughout her life. She was a charismatic speaker and had an important role in the non-militant side of the suffragettes but is best remembered for her militant campaign for women’s suffrage. She was imprisoned a number of times for her actions surrounding women’s suffrage. Militant campaigning was suspended during the First World War.

A first victory came in February 1918 when royal assent was given to the Representation of the People Act. This Act gave a limited number of women the vote, approximately 8.5 million. This was a gateway to universal suffrage.

Emmeline died on 14 June 1928 after septicemia due to influenza a month before the second Representation of the People Act gained royal assent on 2 July 1928. This Act gave women the same voting rights as men, over the age of 21.

She is buried in Brompton cemetery, London and a statue of her can be seen in Victoria Tower Gardens just behind the Houses of Parliament.

Source: Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and Who’s Who.