Suffragetts- a film to watch

Last night I watched the Suffragettes. Amazing!

The heroin, was working at a laundry house all her life for next to nothing, sexually abused by the boss since adolescence. The husband kicked her out of the family home because she was a suffragette and prohibited her to see her son. He eventually gave their son for adoption and she could not do anything about it. But she carried on fighting for a better world and her right to have control over her life.

 

The best thing about this film is that the message is still relevant. Women have not yet achieved equality. Women still earn 20% less than men on average. Women are still the majority in occupying part time jobs.41% of women have part-time jobs compared with 12% of men. Child benefit and income support are a help to thousands of hard working women who struggle between Zero hour contracts and rising cost of living, low pay and rents that exceed a monthly salary. So the welfare bill clearly targets women and in particular the poorest.

Mrs Pankhurst said at the film “we don’t want to be lawbreakers; we want to be law makers”. 100 years later and although women account for not 50.5% of the British population we are still not represented equally in society and definitely we are not lawmakers.

  • In 2015 elections only 29% of MPs were women. Out of 650 MPs 191 are women. From those 50% (98) were Labour party MPs and 35% (68) were Conservative party MPs.
  • Hereditary women peers were finally allowed to sit in the House of Lords after the Peerage Act 1963. Today only 21% of the peers are female.
  • Only 14% of vice Chancellors are female in UK Universities
  • Only 1in five university professors are female
  • Only 1 woman in 24 research institutes that make up Manchester University
  • Only 13.2 women are Council Leaders
  • Only 36 out of 351 Local Government Authorities have women CEOs
  • 68% of Voluntary Sector workforce are women yet only 27% are CEOs
  • The picture is worse in the private sector. In the biggest UK corporations women make up 23% of boardroom members and only 3.5% of CEOs are female

Women’s Equality is not about getting drunk at the pub, using bad language and having one night stands. It is not about putting down and treating badly our sons, brothers, and partners and treating men as enemies. It is about asserting our rights to a fair society, taking action for a better world. It is politics It is about using your VOTE! Our grandmothers died for this right.

 

Note: Socrates spoke about gender equality 2500 years ago and Plato captured it in the “Republic”.

 

Anna Pett