The Life and Works of Emmeline Pankhurst

Essay by wellingtonbootsJunior High, 9th gradeA+, July 2004

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Emmeline Pankhurst was the daughter of Robert Goulden, born in 1858. Her family were very forward thinking and believed that all girls were as good as boys. So Emmeline attended school in her home city of Manchester and went to finishing school in Paris. Soon after her return to Manchester she meet the lawyer and the social reformist, Richard Pankhurst. He was a strong believer of women's rights and committed himself to helping the women's suffrage. Together he and Emmeline work very hard and finally brought about the right for women to vote.

Emmeline was born at a time of rapid social reform. Only 50 years ago women were considered the property of their husbands but since the women's suffrage was set up the government had started thinking about women as humans. Emmeline had been going along to the women's suffrage since she was very young. She also noticed how girls were treated differently and inferior to boys and it made her very angry.

As soon as she finished school she started to work for the community. In 1895 Emmeline became a Poor Law Guardian. This involved regular visits to the local workhouse and she was deeply shocked by the misery and suffering of the inmates. She became particularly concerned about the way women were treated and it reinforced her belief that women's suffrage was the only way these problems would be solved.

However getting equal rights for women was very hard for Emmeline and in 1898 her husband died. This made Emmeline's job even more difficult because in those days no one listened to women at all. They were expected to stay at home and look after children. However Emmeline didn't give up instead she founded the Women's Social and Political Union in 1903. This was aimed at getting...