Suffragette Hunger Strikes and Their Legacies

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The militant suffragette campaign signalled the introduction of group hunger striking as a technique of political protest in prisons. It left an important historical legacy.3 Similarly, the introduction of force feeding in 1909 to tackle food refusal made an enduring impact on how prison staff managed hunger strikes. Indeed, the ethical questions on force feeding first invoked by militant suffragists and their sympathisers remain mostly unresolved. The distressing descriptions provided by twenty-first century Guantánamo Bay internees almost identically mirror historical renderings penned by militant suffragettes. In what ways, then, can responses to force feeding at Guantánamo be seen as an echo of similar protests voiced by English suffragettes a century ago? What legacies did imprisoned suffragettes create by demonstrating the efficacy of food refusal as protest? And can the prison experiences of Manchester’s suffragettes inform present-day ethical debates on hunger strike management?
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSuffragette Legacy: How Does the History of Feminism Inspire Current Thinking in Manchester
PublisherCambridge Scholars Publishing
ISBN (Print)978-1443880336
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Oct 2015


  • history of force-feeding
  • suffragette hunger strikes
  • Manchester suffragettes
  • Emmeline Pankhurst hunger strike
  • history of hunger strikes


Dive into the research topics of 'Suffragette Hunger Strikes and Their Legacies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this