The suffragette movement is one of the most prolific in women’s rights history. The suffragettes were a group of revolutionary women banded together by Emily Pankhurst in 1903.
The name suffragette comes from the word ‘suffer’ being amalgamated with the French feminine suffix -ette, which together create the word for women’s suffrage. Although usually referred to as suffragette’s these powerful women were also sometimes known as WSPU (The Women’s Social and Political Union).
The suffragette’s believed in the one thing unequivocally, that is was time women got the vote, and worked tirelessly to achieve this goal through any means necessary, often using violence and disruption unprecedented for a women of the very early 1900s.
Famously Christabel Pankhurst, Emily’s daughter, spoke of bombs being used in war and how if the throwing of a bomb that destroys other people is then described as a glorious and heroic deed. Why should a woman not make use of the same weapons as men.” Suffragettes were not afraid of getting their hands dirty for their noble cause and some demonstrations included: beating Churchill with a riding crop at Bristol railway station, throwing acid over a member of parliament and attacking the Prime Ministers car with missiles and a catapult. Needless to say these women were no shrinking violets, but powerful women whose bravery has afforded women the right to vote today.
The suffragettes became known for their distinctive colours: green, white and violet, each colour carrying a powerful meaning.
Green – for hope
White – for purity
Violet – for loyalty and dignity
The colours themselves from the acronym “Give Women the Vote”. In the USA suffrage movement green was replaced for gold, which harked back to the 1867 suffrage movement, whose symbol was a sunflower.
The colours of the suffragette movement were a powerful symbol in themselves and soon women across the country were pledging their allegiance in colours of green, white and violet. Some poorer women would tie ribbons to their dresses or don a simple scarf, but women of the upper classes turned to fine items of jewellery to show their support.
Today Suffragette jewellery is incredibly collectible, fine examples are sought after from collectors across the globe as their chance to hold a small part of extraordinary history. As a women run business, we love the power of these pieces and are incredibly lucky to have had some exceptional items come through our store.