Royal Mail Stamps 2018: Votes for Women, 15 February 2018

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15 February 2018
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vf1-19942.jpg £1.40 - Leigh and New Released from Prison, 1908
100 years ago this month the Representation of the People Act gave the vote to women for the first time, after decades of campaigning. Royal Mail marks this historic landmark with its Votes for Women Special Stamps and accompanying products.

100 years ago this month the Representation of the People Act gave the vote to women for the first time, after decades of campaigning. Royal Mail marks this historic landmark with its Votes for Women Special Stamps and accompanying products.

The date 6 February 1918 is a true landmark moment in British history, when after more than eighty years of campaigning, the vote was granted to some women through the passing of the Representation of the People Act.

Archive photographs

Royal Mail has used a selection of historic archive photographs of the Votes for Women campaign, which had its roots in the early Chartism campaigns that resulted in the Great Reform Act of 1832,under which one in seven men became able to vote. This success set in momentum a campaign to fight for the right of both men and women to vote – and this culminated in the campaign of the suffragists (non-militant) and suffragettes (militant) who lobbied parliament, raised public awareness and carried out a succession of campaigns to gain support from ordinary men and women.

The eight se-tenant stamps feature activities from the votes for women campaign, including poster parades, political marches and also the efforts of individuals, who are pictured as a lone campaigner in Whitehall and as a seller of The Suffragette newspaper. The campaigners not only had to raise public awareness but were contending with either apathy or hostility from certain sectors of society, with their opponents attempting to either ridicule or downplay their efforts in order to discredit the campaign and what it stood for.

Despite the success of the high-profile votes for women campaigning, this was not the end of the fight. It would be another ten years before all women gained the vote when in 1928, universal suffrage became enshrined in law. 

Votes for Women

 

Stamp details

 

Issue date: 15 February 2018

Design: Supple Studios

Stamp size: 41mm x 30mm

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Printer: International Security Printers

Print process: Lithography

Perforations: 14.5 x 14

Phosphor: Bars as appropriate

Gum: PVA

1st - Suffragette Leaders at Earl’s Court, 1908

1st - Women’s Freedom League Poster Parade, c.1907

2nd - Lone Suffragette in Whitehall, c.1908

2nd - The Great Pilgrimage of Suffragists, 1913

£1.40 - Welsh Suffragettes, Coronation Procession, 1911

£1.40 - Leigh and New Released from Prison, 1908

£1.57 - Sophia Duleep Singh sells The Suffragette, 1913

£1.57 - Suffragette Prisoners’ Pageant, 1911