Emmeline Pankhurst (born Goulden; 15 July 1858 – 14 June 1928) 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."
The earliest calls for women to be given the vote in the United Kingdom began in the nineteenth century, with local women’s groups organising petitions and distributing propaganda. This coin – a perfectly ordinary penny minted in 1903 – was part of this civil disobedience. Stamped with the suffragette slogan “votes for women”, it circulated as small change, and spread the message of the campaigners.