Professor Helen Pankhurst

Rayner Rees, SI Bridgend & District

DEEDS NOT WORDS!

The title of Professor Helen Pankhurst’s book writing about the story of women’s rights then and now. Professor Pankhurst took us on a 45 minute journey talking about how far we (as women) have come in the last 100 years and how far we still have to go.

As the great granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst she talked about how the women (collectively known as suffragettes) fought for women’s rights at a time when they did not have the vote and very few rights. This movement was a story of solidarity and togetherness with no barriers of age, colour, religion or income. It was not just about the vote, it was about encouraging women to develop a sense of self and realise their ambitions.

Professor Pankhurst talked about the Pankhurst legacy and that if those women made it possible then we can make it possible.

Yes we have come a long way since the suffragettes burnt down the cricket pavilion when they were told they could join the club if they made the tea, but there is still a long way to go. Violence affects women in the workplace, in their personal spaces, with FGM, honour killing and forced marriage to name but a few.

She asked us to think about what we are going to do over the next ten years and how are we going to nudge that needle of inequality. We have a vast montage of experiences across out Federation which we can use to continue the fight for equality.

We need to make an impact and be the best role models that we can for future generations….. DEEDS NOT WORDS!