Helen Pankhurst, the great granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst who was in the forefront of, and led, the women’s rights movement, was one among many women who participated in a march to celebrate the International Women’s Day today on Sunday. She was of the view that more and more women should join politics. The march was organized across the U.K. to mark the day.
Nicky Morgan, the education secretary, also spoke on the occasion, and supported Pankhurst when she said that more females should contest elections and become Members of Parliament. Pankhurst joined hundreds of marchers including politicians, celebrities, and other women activists in London from City Hall to the Royal Festival Hall. Women marchers were carrying banners, and were dressed as suffragettes.BBC Radio 1 DJ, Gemma Cairney, singers Paloma Faith and Annie Lennox, and actress Gemma Arterton also participated in the march organized by Charity Care International to express solidarity with the women’s quest for equality all round the world. Dr. Pankhurst’s daughter Laura also participated in the march.
Pankhurst told on the occasion that continuity with traditions and pasts was essential, but women needed to change a great deal. He opined that much remained to be done in the case of women, locally and internationally. She added that there had been successes in the field of women’s education, but a lot was to be done for their participation in politics. She also stressed the need for support for women in child rearing, child care, and in fighting violence against women. With an obvious reference to her great grandmother, she said that old suffragettes would have been appalled to witness the present state of affairs of women and girls worldwide. Dr. Pankhurst, in an interview to BBC, told that she was passionate about various issues afflicting women especially in developing countries where they spent several hours to collect water. Lennox, on the other hand, told that vast inequalities existed between men and women particularly in underdeveloped and developing countries in terms of medical access, education, sexual and reproductive healthcare, and several other issues.
Nicky Morgan praised the British Prime Minister, David Cameron by describing him as a feminist, and a person who was on the side of women. She added that the PM had made concerted efforts to see more and more women in the politics and the Parliament. She further added that both the Prime Minister and Chancellor wanted more women politicians in the country.