It’s 100 years today since Emily Davison threw herself in front of the King’s horse and died. She was protesting against the fact that women were not, in 1913, treated as equal citizens. We didn’t have the vote, we didn’t have any rights. It was thanks to the protests (including hunger strikes) by Emily, Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst and the suffragettes, five years later British women were given the vote.
This is something we were taught at school, and as the daughter of a women’s libber, I was raised believing in equality for all. I am and always will be a feminist, because I believe that women should be treated the same as men in all walks of life, regardless of culture, religion, age or anything else, including where they live in the world.
Having access to proper healthcare and education, being able to walk down the street without fear of attack, having a voice, a career, being financially independent – these are basic rights all women should have.
It upsets me greatly then that we’re still living in a world where some women are not treated equally – in fact, they’re treated as third-class citizens; discriminated against, forced to endure FGM and other horrors, simply because they are women.
It upsets me also when I hear women say they can’t be bothered to vote, or they’re not interested in politics (which is something that affects all of us, whether we’re aware of it or not.)
The suffragettes went through hell to ensure that generations of women would gain equality in the home, in the workplace and in the world. The rest is up to us.