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100 Years of the Vote

Posted by Catherine Antignani on

100 years ago on this day, the Representation of the People Act was passed through Parliament, extending the right to vote to British Women for the very first time. 

The Act also gave the vote to servicemen over the age of 19 and other men over 21 and is hailed as a landmark for democracy.

100 years of evolution

World War I not only shifted the political atmosphere across the world, but also caused an irreversible change of traditions within the UK.

Women were more involved in the workforce than ever before, proving their worth in industries such as transport and munitions.

While only a handful of women were granted the right to vote in the Representation of the People Act, it was a revolutionary act that gave women access to parliament and the ability to grant all women the vote ten years later.

The impact of the Act goes as far as the creation of the National Health Service and remains significant given that gender equality features so heavily in our news today.

Commemorated by The Royal Mint and Royal Mail

Proving the importance of this anniversary, The Royal Mint and Royal Mail have both chosen to mark the event on coins and stamps.

The Royal Mint 50p coin released last month is particularly poignant given that Suffragettes used to mark coins with ‘Votes for Women’ during their struggle.

The coin features five men and women in line to vote, with a woman triumphantly raising a voting card.

Royal Mail has released a set of eight stamps, each capturing an important moment in the suffragette movement.

Click here to find out more about the coins and stamps honouring this key anniversary >>

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