100 Years of Suffrage

The act not only allowed a limited number of women to vote, but also many men could vote for the first time as the age restriction was lowered to 21.
 
In today’s terms, it is perhaps difficult to put into context the sheer sacrifice and commitment to their cause that these women gave. Many of the rights that women take for granted now have a direct lineage to the brave women fighting despotism of government and a social construct that left women as less than second class citizens.
 
I feel fortunate that when I became elected as MP for Leigh in June 2017, I was amongst, for the first time, over 208 other women to do the same. I often wonder whether those brave women in 1918 would be proud of such an achievement or if they would have been disappointed that it took 100 years to achieve.
 
We should rightly celebrate the significance of the 1918 Act and its influence on equalities and justice, but we should also be vigilant that these rights are not eroded or compromised, but pursued with passion and resolve.
 
We still face struggles to combat pay discrimination and sexual harassment at work. We still face underrepresentation in many areas of everyday life.
 
In Leigh we still have a real issue with domestic violence making up the majority of calls to Police and putting women in real danger. We still have a long way to go as a society and even further, it would seem as women.
 
I come from a family of strong women with historical links to the suffragette movement. My Nan – a true matriarch of the family, who endured poverty as a child and young woman and lead in the fight for fair pay and working conditions in the textile industry in the 70’s and 80’s. A baton passed down to my mum and onto me and my sisters, and is why I now find myself in politics – Standing up for social justice and for all to have access to opportunity.
 
As a suffragette champion, I am passionate to protect the historic victories that those women gained for us, I am thankful to them and the women and men that have fought for equality and justice since. But I am absolutely committed to ensure that our children now, have every opportunity to succeed and grow regardless of their gender, race, age or sexuality.”
JimfromOldham
Always a great meeting of the Parliamentary Cooperative group of MPs with discussion on post offices, retailing and… twitter.com/i/web/status/9…

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JoPlattMP
Well said @LauraSmithMP - Keep the pressure on. #VotesAt16 twitter.com/laurasmithmp/s…

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DianaJohnsonMP
My question to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care during his Ministerial Statement on the Medicines… twitter.com/i/web/status/9…

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