Women were not treated as equals with men before the second half of the eighteenth century. They had to marry, obey their husbands and have children, only receiving little education. In the eyes of the law they had little power and men were their superiors. For example, once they were married, everything they owned belonged to their husband, this meant that if they separated the women would be left with nothing, not even her children, as they too, belonged solely to the husband.
Around 1850, the rights of women started to change, as laws were made to improve women's education and rights in marriage. However women were still not allowed to vote in the general elections. Many women considered this as a huge prejudice, and that they would have to carry on being second-class citizens until they received the right to vote because a lot of women thought that having a say in general elections would give them more opportunities and rights.
Before 1918, only men had the vote, even though they had to qualify by meeting the property qualification (which was someone who earned 40 shillings a year and was a freeholder). Therefore, not all men did qualify, but many women did qualify, and as a result could vote in local elections.
As I mentioned above, people had to meet the property qualification in order to vote. Many women did own property of the right value, and so were entitled to the vote. The Married Women's Property Act made even more women qualify, as they could keep their earnings.
Women had to endure the same laws as men and also had to pay taxes, like men. So, the women only saw it fair to be able to vote, which gave women a say in what the laws and taxes were.
One of the arguments used against women's suffrage was that they were considered physically and mentally too weak. Women's argument towards that was that women had become successful monarchs of this country, for example, Queen Elizabeth I and the present Queen of the time, Queen Victoria. If women were...