100 years ago today, a momentous event took place in British history.
8 million women were given the right to vote.
The year was 1918. It was the 20th Century.
Today, we celebrate that turning point but, even after 100 years, women the world over are STILL fighting. For their voices to be heard. For equal pay in the workplace. For freedom from sexual harassment. To live in a society that treats us as equals, where we can walk the streets at night, confident in our safety from predators. To not hear demeaning and degrading comments from colleagues or the ordinary Joe on the street.
I am lucky in many respects. Being British, I have grown up in a country where child marriage is outlawed, girls have the same access to education as the boys, where women can dress how they want, go to work (or not) raise a family, get married, stay single, have a career, teach, read, write. The list is endless. But, we still have many industries and sections of society in the UK that continue to view women as second-rate citizens. Nothing more than tits on legs, there for fun or ridicule.
I still cannot fathom some of these outdated attitudes.
Are the men perpetrating these ideas of women’s lesser place really so afraid of us that the only way to battle that fear is to behave in the most cowardly way possible? Through bullying and repression?
Fear breeds hate; those who hate create a far more dangerous world than those who embrace change and see us as equals. Let’s be thankful for the men who HAVE stood by us, supported us and championed us!
There are so many countries where girls and women are subjugated and oppressed their entire lives. From cradle to grave. Child marriage. Honour killing. Rape as punishment. FGM. Sexual trafficking. Prevention of education. The list is not exhaustive.
In Hollywood, the #MeToo movement has empowered hundreds of women to come forward, and shed light on the predatory practises of heavy weights in the multi-billion dollar movie industry. Women who are at the top of their game and who should be celebrated for their achievements routinely humiliated and abused behind closed doors. But, time is almost up for this most ferocious behemoth.
So, the fight goes on. A lot has changed in 100 years but there is a long way to go. For millions of women the world over, the fight goes on.
P.S. Anyone who says that the Suffragettes fought for us to also have the right to abstain from voting, sorry, you are wrong. Those women fought, bled and died for you to have a voice so bloody well use it.