Review: The peaceful case for giving women the vote

‘The Suffragist Peace’ makes a persuasive, if not perfect, argument that democracies with female enfranchisement are less likely to go to war, writes Mona Siegel.

The World Today
3 minute READ

Mona Siegel

Professor of History, California State University, Sacramento

The Suffragist Peace: How Women Shape the Politics of War
Joslyn Barnhart and Robert Trager, Oxford University Press, £19.99

When the First World War broke out, Marguerite de Witt Schlumberger, president of the French Union for Women’s Suffrage, issued instructions to her female members: put aside your quest for political rights, serve your country and hasten your loved ones to the front. Schlumberger also embraced her patriotic duty, aiding soldiers and refugees and ushering her five sons off to war, but she never stopped dreaming of a return to peace and of the democratic world to follow.

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