Emmeline Pankhurst was a British political activist. She is best remembered for organizing the UK suffragette movement and helping women win the right to vote. In 1999, Time named her as one of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century, stating that "she shaped an idea of women for our time" and "shook society into a new pattern from which there could be no going back". She was widely criticised for her militant tactics, and historians disagree about their effectiveness, but her work is recognised as a crucial element in achieving women's suffrage in the United Kingdom.
Born in the Moss Side district of Manchester to politically active parents, Pankhurst was introduced at the age of 14 to the women's suffrage movement. She founded and became involved with the Women's Franchise League, which advocated suffrage for both married and unmarried women. When that organisation broke apart, she tried to join the left-leaning Independent Labour Party through her friendship with socialist Keir Hardie but was initially refused membership by the local branch on account of her sex.