Today marks 100 years since some women were given the right to vote. Islington, with its strong radical history, is marking this centenary with a full programme of events happening over the next 12 months.
Our radical past
Islington has a strong connection to the fight for women’s right to vote. One of the earliest advocates of women’s rights was Newington Green resident, Mary Wollstonecraft, who established a school for girls in 1784. She became known across Europe for her radical views on gender equality after publishing ‘A Vindication of the Rights of Women’ in 1792.
By the 1900s, the Suffragette campaign became increasingly militant. Many of these women were jailed in Holloway Prison and the prison became the scene of the first Suffragette hunger strikes. Islington Museum has a number of artefacts from this time, including a brooch designed by Sylvia Pankhurst.
Today’s young women
Young women in Islington are still inspired by the movement. Honey Baker, 15, an Islington Youth Councillor, says: “The Suffragettes inspire me as they stood up for what they believed was right, with the right attitude.
“A woman today who really inspires me is Malala. She stood up for women’s right to education. She knew it was dangerous, but knew she had to speak her mind.”
There are loads of events happening in Islington over the next 12 months to mark the centenary.
Next month, all libraries will be celebrating International women’s day with a month long promotion of 365 books by women authors. Find out more.
A youth programme focussed on suffragettes is planned, including two story-telling events, artist-led days and a two-day visual arts project.
Plus there will be walks, led by Clerkenwell and Islington Guides (CIGA), following the story of women’s rights in Islington, and much more.