Six woman walking along a street with banners on as they march for suffrage.

Suffrage 18: a centenary exploration at LSE

"Justice and freedom for women are things worth securing [...] for civilisation itself." - Millicent Garrett Fawcett, 1928

In 1918 some women – 40% – got the vote in national elections in Britain. The organised campaign for women's suffrage started in 1866 with the first petition to Parliament. By the early 1900s there were many suffrage groups for (and against) votes for women. The main image used for Suffrage18 shows women still campaigning for the vote on equal terms with men in 1927. All women over 21 got the vote in 1928.

A timeline showing the march toward the act of suffrage in 1918Download our Suffrage Timeline graphic [PDF]

LSE Library's events programme draws on the rich material in The Women’s Library collection to commemorate the campaigns for women's suffrage and the innovative methods used to get the vote. We are drawing our commemoration programme to a close with a focus on current and future campaigning as well as a series of art events and events for young people

Podcasts of some of our past events are available. A powerpoint and teachers' notes based on the At Last! Votes for Women exhibition is free to download. 


Millicent Fawcett giving her Hyde Park address 1913
Millicent Fawcett giving her Hyde Park address, 1913.

Talks

Black British feminism: past, present and future 

16 October 6-8pm, Hong Kong Lecture Theatre, Clements House

Please join us for a roundtable discussion with academics, activists, writers, and politicians reflecting on Black British feminism in the past, present, and future.  Hosted with LSE EMBRACE. 

Gingerbread: 100 Years

25 October 1-2pm, Library Education Room 

Rosie Ferguson (CEO of Gingerbread) will focus on 100 years of Gingerbread; what progress has been made for single parent families; what the need is now and what more needs to be done.

Single parent march
Single parents' march

The story of the Scottish Women's Hospitals

9 November 1-2pm, Library Education Room 

Zvezdana Popovic introduces the all women hospitals that operated in France, Greece, Russia and Serbia during World War One. 

A Feminist Foreign Policy 

20 November 6.30-8pm, Old Theatre, Old Building, LSE 

With the rising tide of nationalism and the negative likely impacts of Brexit on women, Sophie will talk about the need for feminist foreign policies.  

 

Art events 

Art and Suffrage 

26 October 2-6pm, Library Education Room 

Join us for an afternoon of talks on the artists and art of the suffrage campaign. Speakers will be talking about items in the Women’s Library collection which will be on display. More information will be available here shortly. 

(In) Memoriam Display by Ignite

1 November – 5 November (weekdays 10-5pm, weekends 12-7pm), Library Education Room. 

The tourism arising from the Jack the Ripper murders of 1888 is the starting point for a series of art works that investigate the glamorisation and invisibility of violence against women. 

(In) Memoriam Walking Tour

3 November 11.30 – 1.30pm, Tower Hamlets 

(In) Memoriam's alternative commemorative walking tour, brings the histories of all women suffering violence into view by retrieving the identities of Annie Chapman, Catherine Eddowes, Elizabeth Stride, Mary Anne Nichols and Mary Jeanette Kelly.  

Book via Eventbrite

Make a Stand Display 

14 November – 14 December, Atrium Gallery, Old Building, LSE 

A display of life-sized images of the men and women who fought for female suffrage and are featured on the plinth of the statue of Millicent Garrett Fawcett in Parliament Square. Courtesy of the Mayor of London.

 

Schools / Young People 

Things a Bright Girl Can Do with author Sally Nicholls

Thursday 11 October 4.30-6pm (doors open 4pm)

Join Sally Nicholls on International Day of the Girl Child for a short reading from ‘Things a Bright Girl Can Do’ a story following three courageous young women Evelyn, May and Nell in the fight for the vote. Partly set in and around the Women’s Hall in London’s East End, Sally will be speaking in the recreated Women’s Hall. Free. Book via Eventbrite.

Takes place at Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives, 277 Bancroft Road, London, E1 4DQ

Suffrage 18 in children's books: LSE Parents Network Event

LSE Library Gallery, 11 October 11-12pm

On International Day of the Girl Child, explore some of the many children's books published recently to commemorate votes for women and highlight women's histories.

Just drop in to the Library Gallery for a mid-morning coffee or tea to find out more and have a look at titles such as Suffragette. The Battle for Equality or Her Story: 50 Great Women and Girls who Shook the World.

Women in Media Today: a masterclass with Samira Ahmed 

21 November 4-6pm, Library Education Room 

What are the issues facing women working in the media – broadcast, print, online – today? Acclaimed broadcaster and writer Samira Ahmed talks directly to 14-18 year olds. To book or for more information contact Debbie Challis on d.challis@lse.ac.uk.  

 

Comedy 

Stand Up for Suffrage

14 December 6.30-9pm, top floor George IV 

Celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first general election in which some women got to vote for the first time with a night of amusing stories around suffrage and this year’s centenary. Compered by suffrage historian and actress Naomi Paxton. 

£4 book via LSE Store available soon.

 

Some of our past events

 

Listen to Hearts and Minds: the suffragists' march on London event podcast 

 

Rise Up Women! the remarkable lives of the suffragettes

Rise Up Women! the remarkable lives of the suffragettes Rise Up Women! the remarkable lives of the suffragettes
Diane Atkinson talks about the campaign for the vote and new names that emerged from her research, which examines the contribution made by working-class women.

 

Who were the Suffrage Artists: lives revealed 

Who were the Suffrage Artists? Who were the Suffrage Artists?
Elizabeth Crawford examines the iconography behind the campaign for suffrage.

 

Indian Suffragettes: female identities and transnational networks

Sumita Mukherjee gives a talk about Indian Suffragettes, female identities and transnational networks Sumita Mukherjee gives a talk about Indian Suffragettes, female identities and transnational networks
Sumita Mukherjee gives a talk about Indian Suffragettes, female identities and transnational networks

 

External projects

We are supporting a number of projects, such as:

Online learning resources

Schools workshops are available throughout 2018. 

These notes and powerpoint presentation are based on LSE Library’s At Last! Votes for Women exhibition, which concentrates on the campaign for women to have the vote from 1908 to 1918. They can be adapted for the Votes for Women topic in Key Stage 3 History and the development of the political system of government in Key stage 3 Citizenship. They can also be used as part of the Equality and Rights module in GCSE History AQA & OCR. They contain primary sources from the Women’s Library Collection.

All of the educational resources produced are open access under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any non-commercial medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

 

LSE Women 1918 Banner

LSE’s Knitting Group were inspired to work together by our historic suffrage banners to create a new one commemorating all the women working at LSE when some women got the vote for the first time in 1918. The names of women at LSE in 1918 [DOC] have been compiled by LSE Archivist Sue Donnelly. The banner takes inspiration from the Old Building and the beaver incorporated into the banner was actually embroidered by Joan Lynas (Economic History) in the 1960s or 70s.

working on the banner
Some of the LSE Knitting Group members working on the banner.
standing with the banner 800x600
Some of the LSE Knitting Group with the completed banner. 

 

Collections

For more on our internationally significant collections relating to women’s suffrage go to our Women’s Suffrage webpage.

 

Contact

For any enquiries relating to Suffrage 18 – collections, teaching and research, exhibition, schools and events – please contact LSE Library:

For our opening times and visiting our archives please see our opening hours.

LSE Library, 10 Portugal Street, London WC2A 2HD. View LSE Library on Google Maps.