The Fight for Equal Rights: The Suffragettes

El movimiento sufragista consiguió el reconocimiento constitucional del derecho al voto de las mujeres. Conoce su historia a la vez que enriqueces tu vocabulario en inglés.

Andreea Pulpea

Bandera UK
Daniel Francis

Speaker (UK accent)

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Suffragettes Demonstration

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On the 4th of June 1913 a woman called Emily Davison went to a horse race, threw herself under the king’s horse and later died from her injuries. A note that read: “Votes for women” was found in her pocket. All her life Emily had been fighting for women’s rights. She was a ‘suffragette’, one of a group of women who started working together in 1903 to demand equal rights for women


When Emily was young, she and all the other women in the UK were not allowed to vote, go to university or work in the same jobs as men. In the event of a divorce, the husband took the children. In poor villages, wives were sometimes sold in the market. 


The suffragettes wanted to change all this. More than a thousand were arrested, but they did not give up. They went on hunger strike in prison and many were force-fed. In 1928, women in the UK finally got the right to vote, and then more and more women started to go to university and get jobs. In 1952, female teachers were given the right to earn the same money as male teachers.


Many things have improved since the suffragettes’ time, but many people still say that men and women do not receive equal treatment in society. For example, even now in the UK, men earn 20 per cent more than women for the same work. If you are a male manager, your chance of being promoted is 40 per cent higher than if you are a female manager. That’s why many people are still fighting for equal rights for women in the UK.

Suffragettes illustration

the 19th Amendment

On June 4, 1919 the US Congress passed this amendment and ratified it on August 18, 1920. A radical change in the Constitution, the 19th amendment granted women the right to vote. The amendment reads: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex." Tennessee was the 36th state to ratify the amendment on August 18, 1920, obtaining the agreement of three fourths of the states. This historic moment changed the American electorate forever. It was a long and difficult struggle, however: for decades women had to protest, march and practice civil disobedience.

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