Emmeline Pankhurst

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We are here, not because we are law-breakers; we are here in our efforts to become law-makers.

Emmeline Pankhurst (née Goulden; 15 July 1858 – 14 June 1928) was a British political activist and leader of the British suffragette movement who helped women win the right to vote.


  • The first time I went into the place I was horrified to see little girls seven and eight years old on their knees scrubbing the cold stones of the long corridors ... bronchitis was epidemic among them most of the time ... I found that there were pregnant women in that workhouse, scrubbing floors, doing the hardest kind of work, almost until their babies came into the world ... Of course the babies are very badly protected ... These poor, unprotected mothers and their babies I am sure were potent factors in my education as a militant.
    • My Own Story (1914), pp. 25–28.
  • We are here, not because we are law-breakers; we are here in our efforts to become law-makers.

Quotes about Pankhurst[edit]

  • There has been no other woman like Emmeline Pankhurst. She was beautiful; her pale face, with its delicate square jaw and rounded temples, recalled the pansy by its shape and a kind of velvety bloom on the expression. She dressed her taut little body with a cross between the elegance of a Frenchwoman and the neatness of a nun. She was courageous; small and fragile and no longer young, she put herself in the way of horses' hooves, she stood up on platforms under a rain of missiles, she sat in the darkness of underground jails and hunger-struck, and when they let her out because she had starved herself within touching distance of death, she rested only for a day or two and then clambered back on to the platforms, she staggered back under the horses' hooves.
    • Rebecca West, 'A Reed of Steel', The Post-Victorians (1933), p. 479

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