Monday January 29 2018
2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the Representation of the People Act, which allowed (some) women the right to vote from 6 February 1918. The Act had come about after several years of sustained campaigning by the Suffragette and Suffragist movement, and many individuals and organisations across the country are marking this anniversary with events, talks, publications, and other commemorative moments.
The Britten-Pears Foundation is holding a discussion afternoon – Aldeburgh, Women and Vote – on Saturday 10 February, four days after the anniversary of the Act, to consider its significance at the time, in the years immediately following, and what it means to us today. We will also delve into the notable local connections to the Suffrage movement: Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, a medic and the first female mayor of Aldeburgh; her daughter Louisa, also a medic; and her fellow campaigner, Millicent Fawcett was born in the town.
We are delighted that Dr Vivien Newman, author of the forthcoming Suffragism and the Great War, will be our guest speaker. She will be introducing us to the formidable women of the pre-war Suffrage (as well as anti-Suffrage) movements, and outlining the huge impact women all over the country had on the war effort, and on the campaign for peace.
Feminist campaigner Polly Trenow will be hosting the afternoon. It is an interesting time to be discussing women’s rights, as many traditional power structures based along gender lines are being challenged and in some cases toppled. Polly will be discussing the progress of women’s rights since 1918, and chairing a panel discussion with Dr Newman and Dr Lucy Walker of the Britten-Pears Foundation later in the afternoon to discuss these and no doubt many other related matters.
Bring your thoughts and questions about any of these issues – it will be a fascinating afternoon!