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Definition: suffragette from Collins English Dictionary


1 a female advocate of the extension of the franchise to women, esp a militant one, as in Britain at the beginning of the 20th century

[C20: from suffrag(e) + -ette]

› ˌsuffraˈgettism n

Summary Article: suffragette
from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Woman fighting for the right to vote. In the UK, the repeated defeat in Parliament of women's suffrage bills, introduced by supporters of the women's movement between 1886 and 1911, led to the launch of a militant campaign in 1906 by Emmeline Pankhurst and her daughters, founders of the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU). In 1918 women were granted limited franchise; in 1928 it was extended to all women over 21.

Suffragettes (the term was coined by a Daily Mail reporter) chained themselves to railings, heckled political meetings, refused to pay taxes, and in 1913 bombed the home of Lloyd George, then chancellor of the Exchequer. One woman, Emily Davison, threw herself under the king's horse at the Derby horse race in 1913 and was killed. Many suffragettes were imprisoned and were force-fed when they went on hunger strike; under the notorious ‘Cat and Mouse Act’ of 1913 they could be repeatedly released to regain their health and then rearrested. The struggle was called off on the outbreak of World War I.


Anthony, Susan B: Are Women Persons?

Catt, Carrie Chapman: Address to the United States Congress

Du Bois, W E B: Address to the Convention of the National Women's Suffrage Association

Pearson, Allan C: Emmeline Pankhurst's imprisonment


Claim of Englishwomen to the Suffrage Constitutionally Considered (1867)

Gender Matters in Victorian Times

Political Rights of Women

Votes for Women: Suffrage Pictures, 1850–1920

Women Win the Vote


Pankhurst, Emmeline


suffragette postcard

suffragette protest

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