For the past month, Amnesty has worked with newspaper groups Archant, Newsquest, Trinity Mirror, Johnston Press as well as metro.co.uk, marieclaire.co.uk, stylist.co.uk and the People’s Postcode Lottery to scour the country for women who embody the continuing suffragette spirit – today’s women human rights defenders.
The huge number of nominations and the enormous range of issues being tackled by these often unsung heroes is unprecedented. Women around the country are setting up support groups to aid refugees, tackling the issues surrounding domestic abuse through theatre, setting up initiatives to tackle bullying in schools, establishing charities to tackle period and clothing poverty, standing up for pensioners’ rights, and campaigning for better facilities for disabled people.
Helen Pankhurst, great-granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst and granddaughter of Sylvia Pankhurst, who founded the Suffragette movement said:
“As we celebrate International Women’s Day, there is no better time to launch this map and push these incredible women into the spotlight to be praised and recognised for their work.
“I imagine if the suffrage campaigners of old, including my great-grandmother Emmeline and grandmother Sylvia, could see Amnesty’s map, they would be extraordinarily moved. Because while together they helped set a precedent for women taking action, I doubt they would have known what their irrepressible drive and attitude would resonate 100 years later – and give visibility to women who are standing up and promoting human rights in such a varied and all-encompassing way.”
The Suffragette Spirit Map of Britain can be viewed at www.amnesty.org.uk/suffragettespirit