Churchill Archive for Schools - Themes_Key questions_secured the vote

How far did attitudes to women change after they secured the vote in 1918?

circa 1940: UK Women's Land Army recruitment poster showing a countryman gesturing with his pipe to young woman holding a working horse, captioned 'We could do with thousands more like you...' and subtitled 'Join the WOMEN's Land Army'.

The Representation of the People Act in 1918 gave some women over 30 the vote in British General Elections for the first time. Later in 1918, the Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act was passed and women were allowed to stand as Members of Parliament. This is often recognised as a crucial step towards bringing equality between the sexes in the United Kingdom, although women did not have the same voting rights as men until the Equal Franchise Act was passed in 1928. However, historians and political campaigners continue to argue over the nature and extent of change brought about by the Representation of the People Act in 1918 with some arguing that achieving the vote was simply part of a longer struggle for equality.

Your challenge

We have a box of sources from the Churchill Archive for you to investigate.

  • Your challenge is to study the sources in the Source Box and use them to decide the extent to which attitudes towards women changed after some got the vote in 1918.
  • Your teacher will be able to help you with a recording framework and suggestions on how to present your work.

 Background information

The sources

Notes for teachers