"Deeds not words" banners at Emily Wilding Davison Memorial, Westminster Hall, House of Parliament UK, 5th June 2013
100 yeas ago, suffragette Emily Wilding Davison ran in front of the King’s horse at the Epsom Derby and died 4 days later.
Davison went to jail 8 times to fight for women’s right to vote, and she is known as the (mad) woman that threw herself in front of the horse as a desperate act for her cause. After watching Clare Balding’s enthralling Channel 4 documentary to mark the centenary of the event, I’m quite convinced by the new evidence shown that Davison planned a spectacular protest to hang a campaigning scarf on the King’s horse but not suicide.
This inspiring centenary memorial paid tribute to the important work that was done by Davison and other suffragettes, but we were also reminded that the battle for gender equality is far from over. Apparently the number of women MPs in the UK since 1918 is 369. The number of men in this current Parliament alone is 503.
I got to meet one of the speakers, Dr Helen Pankhurst, great-granddaughter of Emmeline and Sylvia Pankhurst (leaders of the Suffragette movement), really amazing! I like this quote from her interview earlier this year on International Women’s Day:
You can be feminist in so many different ways. With your interests in music - from culture to sport. Within that it needn’t be a killjoy attitude. I think we need to reclaim it and diversify the image of what a feminist is.
We, everyone of all genders, can be feminists in our own ways in everyday life to help contribute to gender equality and other forms of social justice.