Emily Pankhurst Biography mini-project 2

Emily Pankhurst was an integral part of the women’s movement in Britain towards the end of the 19th century and to the beginning of the 20th century. She was born on July 14th 1858 in Manchester, died in London on June 14th 1928. In Emily's early life, she grew up in a politically active family, especially of women's suffrage rights. She was 14 when she went to her first meeting about women's suffrage, but on the other hand her parents favored her brother's education over hers. She studied in Paris, France in 1873 and returned in 1879 to marry Richard Marsden Pankhurst, who was a lawyer and supported Emily’s activism in the women’s suffrage movement. Emily was also a British political activist and a main leader of the British suffrage movement which wished to get women the right to vote. Emily is still an inspiration to women’s rights activists to this day.
Emily supported the idea of women's suffrage and was deeply involved in achieving this goal. She made a group called the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU), which was solely focused on the goal of women's voting rights. Emily's daughter, Christabel was also deeply interested in the matter as well. Christabel and another member of the WSPU, then went to the liberal party to insist their support for the cause in 1905 and then got jailed for this. The attention and awareness brought to women's rights from this pursuit, brought Emily down a more violent path than other suffrage groups at the time. They continued protesting and by 1913, the protests included breaking windows, and public vandalizing. Christabel and Emily were jailed many times, and Emily went on hunger strikes when she was jailed. She did although put a pause on the suffrage movement because of WW1.
Emily presented her ideas to Great Britain by reason and then by force. She tried to make the liberal party take a side in the suffrage movement, but they jailed her in that endeavor. She then realized by violence, she could make this movement known to the public. She was jailed many times for breaking windows, arson and hunger strikes all in hopes of leading the suffragettes to victory. Her ideas were viewed in different ways depending on which class you were and your gender. For most middle class women, they agreed with Pankhurst, that they deserved the right to vote. Peasants were not really all that concerned with this cause because they were still very hungry and poor, which they focused on more. The upper class however had mixed feelings. Most of the male upper class thought that women’s suffrage rights were ridiculous and not very good. Some of the upper class women supported Emily and even were a part of the WSPU, so the viewing of Emily’s ideas really did differ for the most part.
Her ideas were important at the time because it was the beginning of a women’s suffrage movement and she would be able to help lead that. During her life, she was able to help considerably to the very important cause of women’s voting rights, which was a very relevant cause during that time. Also the way that she used physicality in her actions really allowed her to give an example that women can be strong as well as men. This also effects women’s rights now because while Emily worked on suffrage rights, now that she has accomplished that, it allows the current generation of women to ask for other things that women deserve such as equal pay rights. Therefore Emily Pankhurst is one of the most influential leaders of the suffrage movement and of women's rights today.


"BBC - History - Emmeline Pankhurst." BBC News. BBC, 2014. Web. 31 Jan. 2017.

"Emily Pankhurst Biography -." Biography Online. Biography Online, n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2017.

Kettler, Sara. "Emmeline Pankhurst." Biography.com. A&E Networks Television, 16 Feb. 2016. Web. 31 Jan. 2017.

John Simkin. "Spartacus Educational." Spartacus Educational. Spartacus Educational, n.d. Web. 31 Jan. 2017.

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