Emmeline Pankhurst is one of the most famous of the British Suffragette movement and considered a leader of the Women's rights.

She was born Emmeline Goulden, in Manchester in 1851 and married Richard Pankhurst. He was already a firm believer in the social and political emancipation of women and together, in 1889, he and Emmeline founded the Women's Franchise League with the aim of achieving suffrage for women and the motto "Deeds not words".

Her husband died in 1898 and together with her daughter, Christabel, she dropped the now out-of-touch WFL and formed the much more militant Women's Social and Political Union.

The WSPU used more direct action than other suffragist movements, including rushing the house of commons and a series of arson attacks and assaults on those opposed to the female vote.

Along with other WSPU members, Mrs Pankhurst was frequently arrested and sent to jail. Then followed the 'Cat and Mouse Act'; members in jail would go on hunger strike until they were released. Once they were freed and regained health they would be arrested again. In 1912, her arrest and rearrest was a monthly occurrence.

This action could not continue, however, as World War I broke out, and Mrs Pankhurst turned her attentions to supporting the war effort. As it turns out, the increasingly important role played by women during the war years contributed more than anything to the cause of women's suffrage, and in 1928 the Voting Rights for Men and Women Act was finally passed just weeks before Emmeline Pankhurst died.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.