The legacy of the suffrage movement in Ulster was voting rights for women over 30 in 1918 and women aged 21 winning the right to vote ten years later. In 1922 women in Ireland gained the vote in the newly created Republic. By 1923 the Matrimonial Causes Act gave women the same rights as men regarding grounds for divorce and fifteen years later grounds other than adultery were accepted, for example, cruelty, insanity, or three years desertion. During world war two women were drawn into the workforce in large numbers with nearly half of all women in the military services or working. Women began to work in traditionally male preserves such as shipbuilding and munitions. By the 1960s women were striking for equal pay and the 1975 Sex Discrimination Act made it illegal for employers to discriminate against a worker on the basis of sex or marital status. At the same time the Equal Opportunities Commission was set up to deal with sex discrimination and gender equality, becoming the Equality and Human Rights Commission in 2007. It wasn't until 1981 however that women were able to obtain credit without their husband's signatures and women could still be refused service in a pub because of her gender.
Throughout Europe and USA the suffragettes' activism had a lasting impact on both men and women. The following are just some of the women whose success was born out of the suffrage movement.
Mary Macarthur from Scotland became the secretary of the Women's Trade Union League where she fought for all women, rich and poor. A strong opponent of the First World War she was elected to Parliament in 1914.
Marie Curie, the scientific pioneer, was the first woman to hold a Professorship in General Physics at the Sorbonne in Paris. She won the Nobel Prize several times and is acknowledges as one of the greatest scientists of all time.
Valentina Tereshkova the Russian born scientist became the first woman in space in 1963 when she was on board the Vostok 6 that made 38 orbits of the earth. She later received the United Nations Gold Medal of Peace.
Rosa Parks helped detonate the civil rights in America when she refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a bus in Alabama in 1955. Her action led to a boycott that brought Martin Luther King to world prominence and changed the lives of many Americans, including Barack Obama.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the United Nations in 1947, actively promoted by Eleanor Roosevelt, the wife of the then American President, Franklin Roosevelt.
Indira Gandhi became the first female Prime Minster in one of the largest countries in the world. In 1938 she joined the National Congress party and was active in gaining India's independence from Britain. She was first elected in 1966 and served four terms.
Bernadette Devlin McAliskey took a central role in the Civil Rights Movement in Northern Ireland. In 1969 she became the youngest member of the House of Commons. Always a controversial figure she survived an assassination attempt in 1981.
Shirin Ebadi an Iranian human rights activist was the first Muslim woman to be awarded the Nobel prize. She became a judge in Iran in 1968 but lost her job after the 1979 Iranian revolution but succeeded in setting up her own legal practice after years of protests.
Aung San Suu Kyi has become one of the most famous women activists in recent years. A democracy campaigner in Burma for many years she won the Nobel peace prize in 1991 and spent many years cut off from the outside world as she lived under house arrest.
Naomi Klein the writer and activist was recently ranked 11th among the top global intellectuals and her most famous book, No Logo, the text of the anti globalisation movement has been published in 28 languages.