This was based on a number of arguments. The first was simply that women and men should qualify for the vote on the same terms. Many women's suffrage campaigners pointed out that wealthy, educated women were unable to vote while poor, uneducated workmen could vote. To them, this seemed to be unfair and unreasonable.
Other supporters of women's suffrage wanted the measure because they believed that all adults should have the vote. Groups like the Labour Party supported giving the vote to all men and women over 21 whether they owned property or not. This sometimes brought disagreements with some of the women's suffrage groups. Critics claimed they wanted 'Votes For Ladies' and not 'Votes For Women'.
There were many other arguments in favour of women's suffrage. One of the points made most often was that working conditions and laws in Britain discriminated against women. For example, women worked long hours in factories, especially in Northern England. By the early 1900s men could vote in order to change this, but women could not. In 1901 Selina Cooper, a Lancashire textile worker, led a delegation of women workers to Parliament with a huge petition demanding the vote. Another complaint was that government measures helped sick or unemployed working men, but left women and children without protection.
Female suffrage campaigners also pointed out that laws relating to marriage were often unfair to women. Many women suffered domestic violence but sentences for men were usually very light. When a marriage broke down, it was generally assumed that the woman was to blame. There were also many laws relating to child welfare that were unsatisfactory. For example, there was very little protection for young working class girls from sexual abuse or being forced into prostitution.
Women pointed out that men were supposed to look after them, but the laws in Britain proved that they had failed to do so. This meant that they should be given the vote so that they could get laws passed which would protect them properly.
Finally, by 1913 many states in the USA and countries in the British Empire had given the vote to women. This had not caused the disasters that had been predicted. In fact, most countries believed giving women the vote had helped them.