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Gender Equality Debate

“The use of violent methods are justified when it comes to gaining gender equality” Do you agree?

This term the Year 8 students have been learning about WWI, as part of the unit we have looked at the role of women during the Great War. Students were taught a lesson on the women’s suffrage movement and were asked to complete an extended writing piece answering the question above. These are some answers from the Year 8 History classes.

“I disagree that violent methods are justified when it comes to gaining gender equality because violence portrays the group in a bad light and people may not listen to them. I know this because the methods used by Suffragists were peaceful than the suffragettes, and they still gained the same amount of attention in the media and parliament. Also, in the end, women did gain the right to vote. In 1929 all women over the age of 21 received the right to vote and were able to participate in the general election. Therefore, using violence only made the suffragettes look like a threat, whilst the non-violent actions eventually got them heard by the public and the media.”

Student 8H5

“I agree that violent methods are justified because the methods used by the suffragettes such as chaining themselves to railings and burning churches were effective because they had a big impact on society. People were starting to worry about the women and wanted them to get the right to vote in England. Therefore, Suffragettes methods were better because they caught the attention of politicians to pass the voting laws for women and make actual progress as the Suffragists have been protesting and struggling for years and were ignored. Overall, I think that violent methods were helpful for the Suffragettes to gain the rights to vote because it allowed them to be heard by the public and parliament.”

Resul Bebatouci Year 8

“The use of violent methods by the Suffragettes were helpful; to the cause of women gaining the right to vote as the suffragette motto was “deeds not words”. This suggests that women used violence to make a difference as they were able to get the right to vote through using violent methods. This meant that they were heard by parliament as the actions that they took made a difference in comparison to the peaceful protests that took place by the Suffragists.”

Pascal Ankumah 8H5

“I disagree that violent methods are justified because Suffragists used peaceful protests and they were still heard. I know this because the methods used by Suffragists were distributing leaflets and posters, these were not seen as a threat in society. Therefore, peaceful protests work better, and society is more peaceful, this means that the public would listen to make a change.”

Aneesa Naeem 8H5

“I agree that violent methods are justified in gaining gender equality. I know this because the methods used by the Suffragists did not work, for example, they marched the streets, handed out leaflets and asked people to sign petition. This did not work because even though they were heard it made little change within parliament. Suffragette got their points across better through the use of violence such as hunger strikes and breaking windows. Therefore, violent methods are justified when gaining equal rights for men and women.

Student 8F4

“ I agree in one way that violent methods are justified. I know this because the methods used by the suffragettes caught more attention of Parliament and society. Although creating a bad image of themselves, however, this meant that Parliament took some notice and to action to stop the suffragettes from causing problems in public. For example, when the suffragettes went on hunger strikes, burned churches and attacked politician, it showed Parliament that they needed to do something otherwise the violent actions would increase. Therefore, I think that the violent methods used by suffragettes were justified and helped women get the rights to vote.”

Jareefah Islam 8H5

“On one hand I agree with this statement. The methods the suffragettes used helped them gain attention from the media, public and government. Therefore, this led to women gaining the right to vote. Women had been protesting for years to no avail, and the violent tactics used by the suffragettes let people know that they wanted a change in society and would stop at nothing until this was achieved. This is further proven by the fact that the suffragists, who were peaceful campaigned, received little coverage in the media. Although the suffragists gained a lot of support from parliament all the private member bills failed in parliament. Therefore, the use of violence in justified as women were able to finally get the vote through the actions of the suffragettes.”

Anya Kramer 8F4

“I disagree with the statement “the use of violent methods are justified when it comes to gaining gender equality”. This is because I believe the WSPU (suffragettes) were not the reason why women gained the right to vote. I would consider this view because their tactics were not efficient as Parliament did not consider the views of the Suffragettes. For example, the cat act mouse act where women would go on hunger strikes and go to prison to be forced fed to prevent the women dying of starvation. This had little impact on parliament as women did not die of hunger, therefore, the methods were not good enough for women to gain the vote. In addition, the media and public were shocked by how women were behaving that they did not want to give women the right to vote, which made it harder to achieve gender equality. “

Vithsuika Sivagajam 8H5

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