100 YEARS on women continue to strive for justice and equality – written by Davina Bolt.

Posted by on Aug 16, 2013 in August 13 | No Comments

Emily Davison02ON 4 JUNE, 1913 Emily Wilding Davison ran out in front of the king’s horse as it was taking part in the Epsom Derby.

Her purpose was unclear*, but she was trampled on, and died on 8th June from her injuries.

Emily was born in Blackheath on 11 October 1872. She studied at Royal Holloway College and at Oxford University, although women were not allowed to take degrees at that time.

Emily Davison

In 1906 she joined the Women’s Social and Political Union, founded by Emmeline Pankhurst, and some years later gave up her job as a teacher and worked full-time for the suffragette movement. She was frequently arrested for acts ranging from causing a public disturbance to burning post boxes and spent a number of short periods in Jail.

In 1909, she was sentenced to a month’s hard labour in Strangeways Prison in Manchesterafter throwing rocks at David Lloyd George. She attempted to starve herself and endured, on some 40 occasions, the humiliating and excruciatingly painful process of force-feeding.

(www.bbc.co.uk/history.davison).

(*In a recent Channel 4 documentary on Emily, by using advanced photographic technology, it would appear that her motive was not suicide, but simply to attach a “suffragette banner” to the king’s horse, but tragically she mis-judged the speed the horse was travelling, and was trampled.

Emily Davison

So where does the passion for women’s equality leave us today? Yes women have the vote and in most western cultures, women have their liberty and freedom. But in the home, many women continue to do the lion’s share of household chores and raising the children.

There are even greater inequalities in the work place for women at managerial/board level and in remuneration. Many women carrying out the same jobs as men are, on the whole, paid much less.

This quote, from a recent article in the Guardian sums up the status quo: “We are supposed to be entering a golden age for women in the workplace, an era where enlightened employers would finally appreciate the true qualities of the fairer sex, and where ‘mumtrepreneurs’ would set up successful businesses like never before.

“The latest investigation into the issue finds just the opposite: gender equality at work is going down-wards, says the accountancy and consultancy giant PwC.”

 

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"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever does." Margaret Mead - Anthropologist, (1901 - 1978)

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