One hundred years ago the Representation of the People Act 1918 was past. This act gave voting rights to all men over the age of 21 and women over the age of 30 provided they owned property in their own right.
Even though women did not gain full voting rights until 1928. 1918 was a turning point in British political history and something women and men had tirelessly campaigned for.
Long ago these campaigners saw the potential in women, believed in what they could achieve given the opportunity to be fully functioning members of society with the rights and freedoms afforded to men.
These people put their lives and freedom on the line for all women and I didn’t want this milestone to pass without saying a posthumous ‘Thank you’. The future that young women in the UK can now dream of is vastly different from that of a 100 years ago.
At our health and wellbeing event we had over 200 teenage girls pass through our doors. One of the stands asked them to write down what they wanted to do in the future. Here are some of the responses:
Nail Technician, Teacher, Photographer, Tattoo Artist, Art Teacher, Soldier, Work with Children, Show Jumper, Hairdresser, Artist, Surgeon, Athlete, Primary Teacher, Engineer, Dancer, Support Worker, Music Producer, Police Officer, Run own Business, Happy, Hydro Therapist, Pediatric Nurse, Singer, Social Worker, Navy Officer, Actress, Architect, Interpreter, Chiropractor, Doctor, Personal Trainer, Musician, Runner, Solicitor, Footballer, Neuro Scientist, Author, Vet, Midwife, Tennis Coach, Nurse
These girls dream big, they have passion for life and it does not cross their mind that they cannot be anything they want to be based on their gender.
2018 is not perfect. Today we see Carrie Gracie, a BBC international editor writing an open letter explaining how she cannot collude with unlawful pay discrimination after finding out that she has been paid 50% less than her male counterparts.
We see the sexual harassment charges being brought to light in Hollywood. There is still work to be done to ensure our young women are treated fairly and equally.
I encourage you to take a minute and quietly acknowledge the people that believed in, fought for and saw potential in the women of the UK before they were even born.
Pick up their baton and ensure that the in 100 years time history will also look upon us kindly as inspirations, justice seekers and truth tellers