To commemorate 100 years since women gained the right to vote, venues around the country are putting on special exhibitions
The new statue of Millicent Garrett Fawcett, joining the likes of Winston Churchill in Parliament Square, is a first: the first statue of a woman and the first created by a woman (artist Gillian Wearing) to stand within the iconic heart-of-London location. Such a symbol may be long overdue, but 2018 is the perfect moment for its unveiling as celebrations begin around the country to mark the centenary of the Representation of the People Act in February 1918 that opened the gate to women to vote in parliamentary elections.
The statue of the suffragist leader, who spent a lifetime campaigning on behalf of women, holds a banner declaring, “Courage calls to courage everywhere”. Fawcett’s words resonated throughout the struggle for female suffrage, as ordinary women were inspired to do extraordinary deeds. In the February/March 2018 issue of Discover Britain, we explore the history of the suffragist movement in Britain. Here, we preview some of the events celebrating the centenary of votes for women in 2018.
Voice and Vote: Women’s Place in Parliament (summer, dates tbc) at London’s Westminster Hall is the culmination of four years of events. It looks at the campaign for votes and female representation.
Head to Manchester Central Library for Women’s Words (5 February to 29 April), a literary tribute curated by the city’s Pankhurst Centre.
The East End Women’s Museum charity will stage an exhibition of women’s-led activism at London’s Hackney Museum (6 February to 30 April).
Women on the Walk hosts lively theatrical walking tours, re-enacting (in)famous suffragette incidents at key London landmarks.
The People’s History Museum in Manchester marks International Women’s Day with Wonder Women (1-31 March), a month of talks, art and theatre. Represent! Voices 100 Years On (2 June to 3 February 2019) tackles the notion of representation via campaign memorabilia.