The history of female protest and suffrage in the UK
Popular protests can be about all sorts of issues, from opposition to a war, to action on world poverty, to protest against damage to the environment. But perhaps the ultimate form of popular protest is that against exclusion from democratic rights. Campaigns to secure the vote are based on the understanding that ‘the people should be allowed to protest, and to do so by voting to choose who governs them’. This free course, The history of female protest and suffrage in the UK, focuses on one example of democratic protest – the campaign to extend the vote to women in the UK.
In the course, you will be introduced to Ada Nield Chew (1870–1945), who began by protesting against the working and living conditions suffered by working-class women, but eventually joined the campaign for women’s suffrage. You will also spend some time with the prominent suffragette May Billinghurst, as well as looking at the ways in which the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (NUWSS) and the First World War shaped and affected the battle for the vote.
This OpenLearn course is an adapted extract from the Open University course.