Estelle Sylvia Pankhurst (5 May 1882 – 27 September 1960) was an English campaigner for the suffragette movement in the United Kingdom. She was for a time a prominent left communist who then devoted herself to the cause of anti-fascism.
Estelle Sylvia Pankhurst (she would later drop the first forename) was born in Manchester, a daughter of Dr. Richard Pankhurst and Emmeline Pankhurst, members of the Independent Labour Party and (especially Emmeline) much concerned with women's rights. She and her sisters attended the Manchester High School for Girls. Her sisters, Christabel and Adela, were also suffragists. She trained as an artist at the Manchester School of Art, and, in 1900, won a scholarship to the Royal College of Art in South Kensington. In 1907, she toured the industrial towns of the North of England and in Scotland painting working class women in their work environment.
In 1906, Sylvia Pankhurst started to work full-time with the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) with her sister and her mother. In contrast to them she retained an affiliation with the labour movement, and, unlike them, she concentrated her activity on local campaigning with the East London Federation of the WSPU, rather than leading the national organisation. Sylvia Pankhurst contributed articles to the WSPU's newspaper, Votes for Women, and, in 1911, she published a propagandist history of the WSPU's campaign, The Suffragette: The History of the Women's Militant Suffrage Movement. By 1914 Sylvia had had many disagreements with the route the WSPU was taking: while the WSPU had become independent of any political party, she wanted an explicitly socialist organisation tackling wider issues than women's suffrage, aligned with the Independent Labour Party...
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