Women's Party (UK)

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The Women's Party was a minor political party in the United Kingdom. It was founded by Christabel and Emmeline Pankhurst when they dissolved the Women's Social and Political Union in November 1917.

The party proclaimed the need for more stringent measures in support of Britain in World War I.[1] Indeed, it gave out white feathers to all conscientious objectors. It changed the name of its paper from "Votes For Women" to "Britannia": a paper which concentrated on enlisting women for the war effort. It claimed that this was far more important than the fight for women's suffrage, although it also had policies on equality for women and the abolition of trade unions.[1]

At the 1918 general election, following the passing of the Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act 1918, the party stood Christabel as a candidate in the Smethwick constituency in Staffordshire. She won 47.8% of the vote, losing by only 778 votes to her only opponent, the Labour Party's John Davison.[2]

In 1919, Christabel was chosen as the Coalition's Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Westminster Abbey, but in the event no by-election was held until 1921, when the Conservative Party chose their own candidate to represent the Coalition.[3] The Women's Party wound itself up in June 1919.[1]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Mary Davis, Sylvia Pankhurst (Pluto Press, 1999) ISBN 0-7453-1518-6
  2. ^ * Craig, F. W. S. (1983) [1969]. British parliamentary election results 1918-1949 (3rd edition ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. ISBN 0-900178-06-X. 
  3. ^ Britain Unlimited: Dame Christabel Pankhurst

References[edit]