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Emmeline Pankhurst was a British political activist and leader of the British suffragette movement who helped women win the right to vote. In 1999 Time named Pankhurst as one of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century, stating "she shaped an idea of women for our time; she shook society into a new pattern from which there could be no going back". She was widely criticized for her militant tactics, and historians disagree about their effectiveness, but her work is recognized as a crucial element in achieving women's suffrage in Britain. The suffragettes were known for their hunger strikes in prison, which resulted in violent force-feeding; Pankhurst herself was subjected to this while in prison on hunger strike. Upon the outbreak of the First World War, Pankhurst and the suffragettes actively supported the war effort in factories and encouraging enlistment, which resulted in enfranchisement of women over thirty in 1918. This was not on par with men, and Pankhurst continued the struggle for the female voting age to be reduced to 21. Pankhurst, who had devoted her life to the cause of female equality, died soon before this was achieved in 1928.
“The condition of our sex is so deplorable that it is our duty to break the law in order to call attention to the reasons why we do”