10 Things Which Happened Before Women (Over 30) Got The Vote – Gillian June

10 Things Which Happened Before Women (Over 30) Got The Vote


I know everyone has got in a tizz about the 100th anniversary of the Representation of the People Act, but as a 28 year old unmarried lady person, may I remind you that on 6th February 1918, only men over 21 and women over 30 who owned property (ha) or were married to a man who owned property (wives don't count) are given the vote. The rest of us would have had to wait until 1928.


Still, lucky us to be allowed at all. How progressive of the UK. After all Switzerland didn't get around to this until 1971 (1991 for some local elections!) and Saudi Arabia stood firm until 2015, a mere 109 years after Finland (1906) and 122 years after New Zealand (1893). 


And up until the war surely womenfolk stuck to embroidery and cooking and piano playing and stroking kittens right? 


1865: Catherine Booth founds the Christian Mission (which would later become The Salvation Army). She is one of the first women to preach, publishing a pamphlet entitled "Female Ministry: A Woman’s Right to Preach the Gospel"

But she isn't allowed a vote. 


1865: Elizabeth Garrett Anderson receives her medical licence, becoming the first person presenting as a women to do so. James Barry - born Margaret Bulkey - did so in 1812 but had to disguise herself as James in order to so. Barry's sex was not revelealed until after his death. Garrett Anderson opened the New Hospital for Women and Children in 1874 and in 1904 was elected mayor of Aldeburgh, the first female mayor in Aldeburgh.

Elected mayor, but not allowed to vote herself.


1872: Susan B Anthony is arrested for voting in the US Presidential election. After a widely publicised trial, she is found guilty and order to pay a fine of $100. She never pays it. Anthony would have to wait until nearly 50 years later (1920) for the 19th Amendment to the Constitution which formally gave all women the vote. 


1881: Clara Barton founds the American Branch of the Red Cross. "I shall never do a man's work for less than a man's pay".

39 more years before she is trusted to vote.


1837-1901: Queen Victoria reigns over the British Empire.

But women are still thought not to be able to cope with complicated global affairs. After all, I'm sure a man had to explain it all to Vic.


1902-1904: Ida Tarbell publishes "The History of the Standard Oil Company". A pioneer of investigative journalism as we now know it, Tarbell's report led to the dismantling of the Standard Oil Company under Antitrust Laws.

Still no voting for Tarbell.


1911: Marie Curie wins her SECOND Nobel Prize, becoming the first PERSON to win two.

But no votes for Marie until 1918 (if she is in Poland) and not until 1945 in France 


1912: Harriet Quimby becomes the first woman to fly across the English Channel, just 2 years after the first ever successful journey of this kind.

No vote for Quimby


1914: Nina Boyle and Margaret Dawson form the Women's Police Service. It was entirely made up of volunteers because no one wanted to pay a women's service. So they did it anyway.

So nice that women had a hobby to distract them from all that voting they weren't doing


1916: Jeannette Rankin is elected to the House of Representatives. 

But in many States women couldn't vote for another 4 years. Well Rankin did vote against USA joining the war so.....

Leave a comment

Name .
Message .

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published