Women's Social and Political Union

British women's organization for suffragism

The Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) was a political movement for women. They campaigned for women's suffrage in the United Kingdom (allowing women to vote) from 1903 to 1918.[1] They are sometimes called suffragettes.

Women's Social and Political Union
Annie Kenney (left) and Christabel Pankhurst, c. 1908
Formation10 October 1903
FoundersEmmeline Pankhurst
Christabel Pankhurst
Founded at62 Nelson Street, Manchester, England
TypeWomen-only political movement
PurposeVotes for women
Motto"Deeds, not words"
MethodsDemonstrations, marches, direct action, hunger strikes
The WSPU in Kingsway, circa 1911

The Women's Social and Political Union were known for civil disobedience. They held marches, set fire to post boxes, smashed windows and broke the law to get into prison. When they were in prison, they would go on hunger strikes, meaning they would refuse to eat. The government would force-feed prisoners who went on hunger strikes. The government created the Prisoners (Temporary Discharge for Ill Health) Act 1913, or the Cat and Mouse Act, so suffragettes who were close to starving to death could be released.[2]

Notable members change

References change

  1. "Start of the suffragette movement". UK Parliament. Retrieved 2020-06-01.
  2. Mary Davis, Sylvia Pankhurst (Pluto Press, 1999) ISBN 0-7453-1518-6