Monday, 15 December 2008

Better late than never

The title of the blog refers both to the lateness of the blog (The anniversary that is the subject of this post being yesterday and all) and the anniversary which is to be celebrated.

The anniversary in question is 90 years since Decmber 14th 1918. What significance does this date hold? Well for that i'll hand you over to the Fawcett Society:

90th anniversary of the first UK election in which women could vote

14 December 2008 is the 90th anniversary of the election of the first woman to the British House of Commons, and the first election in which women (over 30 years) were able to stand as candidates and to vote, after Millicent Fawcett led the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies to win the vote for women in 1918.

Fawcett celebrated the 1918 Representation of the People Act, which gave all women over 30 and married women the right to vote, in February of this year with an event hosted by the Rt Hon Harriet Harman QC MP. The event featured a speech from Baroness Boothroyd, the first female Speaker of the House of Commons.

Fawcett Director Dr Katherine Rake's speech, a Vision for Gender Equality, can be read [Pdf file: here].

To celebrate the anniversary, the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography has produced a feature remembering pioneering political women of the time. The feature is available to view by following the link below, and includes biographies of 25 prominent women, including Millicent Fawcett, Emmeline Pankhurt, and Eleanor Rathbone.

Well here's to those Sufragettes who struggled so hard and for so long for the rights that we now enjoy. And here's also to those still struggling for equality both here in the UK, and in the rest of the world.

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