"100 years later and there's so much more that needs to be done!"
Published on 6th February 2018
At midnight on the 6th February, Women’s Equality Party activists gathered in Westminster to mark 100 years since the passage of the 1918 Representation of the People Act, which gave some women the right to vote for the first time.
Although the centenary is an opportunity to celebrate the work of those who fought for women’s rights before us, it is also a reminder of how much further there is to go. The struggle for equality will not be won until Parliament sees and reflects women’s lives, until it is itself representative of the diversity in the country. That is why we projected onto Westminster three slogans: ‘This century is ours’, ‘Deeds not words’, and ‘We’ve been marching for 100 years, now’s the time to put our foot down’.
"My goodness, 100 years later and there's so much more that needs to be done!"
Commenting on the centenary, Sandi Toksvig and Catherine Mayer, the co-founders of the Women's Equality Party, said:
“One hundred years ago, Parliament granted some women the vote. A century later, we salute those who forced this landmark achievement on an unwilling establishment.
“But it was only one step on the march towards equality. Despite great progress, in 2018 women in the UK are still marginalised and poorly represented by a male-dominated political establishment.
“Everyone loses out when parliament and the government do not reflect the country at large. And everyone loses out when investment in childcare, social care and other social infrastructure is relegated below historically ‘male’ ways of stimulating economic growth like construction spending.
“Women must also fight for the protections and rights they have won over the last 100 years – particularly as Brexit brings more uncertainty.
“Since we founded the Women’s Equality Party in 2015, issues like the gender pay gap, sexual harassment and women’s under-representation in public life have come to the fore. The old political parties still do not recognise the need for change; indeed, they are often part of the problem. We’ve been marching for 100 years; now is the time to put your foot down.”