Charlotte Newson – Artist
I grew up with a feminist grandmother – that’s where it all started.
I lived in the wilds of Suffolk – no roads – no street lights near our house & went to school locally where I learnt about feminists Elizabeth Garrett Anderson & her sister Millicent Garrett Fawcett who lived in Aldeburgh – where my primary school was – so my first contact with the suffragette movement was at Primary School!
Elizabeth’s father was a Newson – my family name – so a part of the family history and the fact that she was the first woman to qualify as a doctor and physician in Briton, and the first female Mayor and magistrate of Aldeburgh my local seaside town impressed me hugely. She is also buried there.
Whilst still in my teens a programme/serial came on TV called ‘Shoulder to Shoulder’ depicting the suffragettes. My grandmother and mother were keen for my sister and me to watch it so that we understood the political history of women in this country and our local connection to women’s suffrage. We watched every single episode and I can still recall my horror at the force feeding scenes.
The fact I became a feminist seems obvious to me now as a mature woman – but in the 1970’s there was wasn’t much on offer locally to women who wanted to live an independent life – I moved to London and by the 1990’s I was in Manchester – the rest in history as they say!
Kate Green – Member of Parliament for Stretford & Urmston.
Josie Teubler – Project Manager: Campaign Women Like You, Councillor for Didsbury West Ward Manchester & Lead member for Women
I’ve always been interested in women’s issues – growing up I often wondered where the women were? Where were the artists, authors, politicians, shaker and movers ….Did they exist? Where were women’s voices? Were their stories merely hidden or undocumented maybe forgotten?
Today I now know it’s a mixture of all three…women’s stories were often taking place out of sight and behind closed doors. Throughout history women have had to fight and struggle to be heard, and although today many would have us believe the fight for equality has been won, the truth is far from that.
Globally around 70% of the worlds poor are women, 10% of directors on corporate boards are women, in the UK alone 2 women per week are killed by their partners, 22% of MPs are women, women are more likely to have invasive cosmetic surgery, suffer an eating and earn less then men for doing the same job. All of which I find pretty depressing stuff.
Emmeline Pankhurst started the journey to change this – she helped make women visible – she led them onto the streets, into the debating chambers and maybe most importantly of all to Westminster.
This is why this campaign is so important to me. Until at the very seat of our democracy we recognise and celebrate one of the founders of women’s politics, it is no wonder than women, all too often, feel sidelined and ignored by our political system and choose not to enter public office.
I studied social sciences at University, and worked in TV production before having my family 2 sons and one daughter. Now I am a councillor for Didsbury West Ward, Manchester, and lead member for Women equalities, as well as on the health scrutiny committee and Transport for Greater Manchester Board.
Emily Rowes – Councillor for Moss Side Manchester