It was a celebration of progress and a reminder that more must still be doneby Dawn Starin / June 13, 2018 / Leave a comment
Tens of thousands of women across the UK marched through the streets of London, Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh on 10th June to mark 100 years since the 1918 Representation of the People Act gave some women (those over 30 who were householders or married to householders, owners of property worth more than £5, or graduates voting in a university constituency) the vote. It would still be another 10 years until the act was amended and equal suffrage between men and women was established.
The marchers, some decked out in period dress from a century ago, donned the colours of the original suffragette movement—green, white and violet—chosen because their initials stand for the slogan “Give Women Votes.” Girls and women (and some men) of all religions, races, nationalities and ages, speaking a multitude of languages, took over the streets toting creative banners. Historic suffragette messages demanding equality were everywhere: “Courage calls to courage everywhere.” “Make more noise.” “Neither freaks nor frumps.” “Deeds not words.”
Like many of the early suffragettes’ demonstrations and celebrations, the London march started in Hyde Park near Marble Arch and Speakers’ Corner, symbols of change and free speech and emblems of victory and gathering. Leaving the park, the marchers strode past the Dorchester Hotel where, at the beginning of this year, leading businessmen were caught groping and exposing themselves to female hostesses at a men-only charity gala.