The Struggle for Suffrage

From the middle of the 19th century women across the country began engaging in a determined struggle for their right to vote. Explore the histories and places that tell the story of women's suffrage and gender equality.
  • Black and white photo of 'C' wing of Holloway Prison from the north.

    The Long Road to Women's Suffrage

    The struggle for women's suffrage was a campaign which began in the drawing rooms of London and Manchester in the mid 19th century.

  • Statue of Millicent Fawcett holding a banner that displays text:
"Courage calls to courage everywhere"

    Birth of a Movement

    The suffrage movement grew out of a growing sense of injustice in the second half of the 19th century that women were denied the vote.

  • Band playing drums, saxaphone and banjos sitting on a platform with the conductor holding a violin and using the bow as a baton

    Taking Tea and Talking Politics

    The sedate Edwardian tearoom facilitated women's bold fight for freedom.

  • Photograph of ‘Rokeby Venus’, c1647–51, by Diego Velázquez

    The Creativity of Protest

    Suffragettes were astute and inventive, creating new forms of protest to keep their campaign in the public eye.

  • General view of front elevation of Free Trade Hall, Manchester, viewed from north west.

    Campaigning Outside

    It's surprising how much activists of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) used outdoor spaces for public meetings.

  • Photograph of Emmeline Pankhurst at the Clement’s Inn offices

    WSPU Branches and Shops

    The new forms of direct action used by suffragettes caught the public imagination.

  • Interior of Anglican Cathedral, Liverpool.

    ‘Prayers for Prisoners’

    New types of peaceful protest were constantly developed, even as violent militancy escalated.

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