Sacrifice and success: The journey of The Suffragettes continues

Once they are aroused, once they are determined, nothing on earth and nothing in heaven will make women give way; it is impossible. - Emmeline Pankhurst

On the day of the #WomensMarches, which united women from all cultural, social and economic backgrounds from around the world, I felt pride. I looked at the videos and photos of all those strong women and I felt blessed.

However, I heard one passing comment about that day that has stuck with me: 'What is the point in people protesting in the UK about an issue in America?'

I want to make something very clear - women's rights is a global issue. It has always been a global issue, and it continues to be a global issue. On 13th November, 1913, Emmeline Pankhurst, political activist and leader of the British Suffragette movement who helped women win the right to vote, travelled to Hartford, Connecticut in the United States.

There, she spoke about how women's rights in Britain was no longer a dream, but an issue of practical politics. She travelled all the way to the US to spread the message, and to empower as many women as possible. We have now come full circle, and it's just as important now, as it was then, to empower women.

You can read her full speech from that visit to Hartford in this pocket-sized book 'The Suffragettes', which is part of the Penguin Little Black Classics edition series. It contains article clippings, posters, speeches and other written content from the 'Votes for Women' period in Britain.

This period is not fixed, and will vary depending on who you are speaking to, but this particular book focuses mainly between 1912-1918. When some women were granted the right to vote. It's important to understand however that only women who were householders, and over 30-years-old, were granted the vote in 1918. It wasn't until 1928 that women between 21-29 were allowed to vote; another decade of campaigning.

I know this is now sounding like a history lesson - but when I hear comments like the above, I can't help but feel like a history lesson is exactly what people need.

Women empower women. No matter where you live, how much you earn, the colour of your skin or your religious beliefs - we are all women. We have all suffered the same prejudices, and it's important that we all fight for the same liberties.

Look to the woman next to you. Now, unite.

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