Vote for the women who still channel the Suffragette Spirit to make changes in Leeds

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More than eight million women were given the right to vote when the Representation of the People Act was passed in February 1918.

Before 1918 women had almost no role in British politics – they didn’t even have the right to vote.

A woman’s role was domestic, encompassing little outside having children and taking care of the home. The suffragettes changed this.

However the key part of the campaign was not voting in and of itself, but rather the focus it forced politicians to put on issues that affected women.

In the years that followed the act, legislation which affected women’s equality and rights went through Parliament touching on everything from maternal and infant health, to divorce reform and employment.

Political parties embraced women-friendly policies and male candidates changed their leaflets to address the larger electorate, appealing to women as voters rather than just voters’ wives.

The 1918 act gave permission to cast a ballot to women over 30 and with a property qualification - and men over the age of 21 - but it was also about evoking a change in politics which was underpinned by women’s broad interests.

The mark the centenary of the legislation being passed the Yorkshire Evening Post is joining forces with Amnesty International to celebrate extraordinary women in our communities.

We want to highlight the work of women who epitomise the spirit of the Suffragettes and give voices to others in our city.

They might have stood up to bullies, helped the homeless, aided refugees, campaigned for better access to healthcare. They could have challenged bad business practices, worked to protect the environment, prevented forced evictions, and much more.

The amazing achievements of these often-unsung heroes deserve to be celebrated, and Amnesty wants to feature them on its Suffragette Spirit Map of Britain.

The interactive map, which will launch on International Women’s day on 8 March, will be a symbol of the suffragettes’ legacy – proudly displaying how far we have come over the past century, but also highlighting how much life-changing work is still being carried out today in every corner of the country.

HOW TO NOMINATE:

To nominate an amazing woman your local area, please visit www.amnesty.org.uk/suffragettespirit.

All women must have carried out work to help others their local area within the last 10 years. All successful nominees will be contacted to give consent prior to being placed on the Suffragette Spirit Map of Britain.

This campaign has been funded by People’s Postcode Lottery.

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