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100 years of women’s voting

Women demonstrated in York today marking the first time women could vote in a General election.

Rachael Maskell York central’s first female MP is attending and taking part in the demonstration held my ‘York Women’s Forum’.

The group of women met today to demonstrate in remembrance of the first time women could vote in a general election 100 years ago WithWMs. Marskell giving a speech and brandishing the Suffragettes flag in Saint Helen’s square.

One Hundred years ago the’Representation of the People Act 1918′ that allowed women over the age of 30 to vote for the first time allowing 8.1 million women in the UK at the time the ability to vote which at the time was only 40% of the female population.

Ms. Maskell is part of the 50:50 Parliament Campaign which is a group putting pressure on the current Parliament to allow a more inclusive diverse representation for everyone in the country.

Statistics show that 51% of the UK population is female yet women are out numbered 2:1 in the House of Commons. This group has a slogan, ‘Women have the vote! Now we want equal seats equal say.’

The Suffragettes truly left their mark on the world with famous names like Emily Davison who died grabbing the reins of Arnmer, King George the V’s horse in the 1913 Derby as a demonstration of the power of women.

I spoke to one of the organizers of the event today, Penny Bainbridge and asked her what she thinks the next step in true equality for women.

 

“I suppose a big milestone will be equal pay, real equal pay because women don’t get paid equal to what men earn.”

 

The current wage gap in York stands at £117.30 which is even higher than what was found in 2001 when it was £53.90. 51.4% of York women fall into this wage gap and on top of that child costs and period products can cost women an  extra £235 a year. This wage gap is almost five times the average wage gap that has been recorded in the UK this year at 13.7%. Both of these percentages are shocking considering that this is almost fifty years after the Equal Pay Act went through in 1970.

Also, with today being a celebration of a huge step for women’s rights activists, I asked Penny who she thinks is a real icon for women

 

“I admire all the women I have worked with in the different groups I have been a part of.”

 

This date celebrates the day that the campaigning of the Suffragettes took a huge leap forward by allowing women to vote in the general election after their years of hard work.

Rachael Maskell who attended this demonstration today spoke to the public addressing her distress that even though women make up 51% of this countries population less than half of the seats in parliament are filled by women.

 

“When I look across the benches in Westminster, we only have 209 women in Parliament.”

 

She also spoke to the women of York, stating how just over 600 women have ever been In parliament and that there is more than enough space for more, all that we need is for more Women to throw their names into the hat.

 

“You speak up and you stand up, and I’ll tell you why, there are women who are waiting for your voice, there are women who are in  desperate need right here in York, they are desperate for you to step forward and take that step up.”

 

This marked 100 years since women took a huge step forward in regards to women’s rights and are still fighting today for equal pay and representation around the world.

 

 

 

 

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