23rd March 2017

International Women’s Day

8th March is International Women’s day: a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. One of the most significant events in women’s UK history is the fight of the Suffragettes and the struggle for women to get the vote. In 1928 all women over the age of 21 gained the right to vote in the UK, a basic human right that everyone deserves regardless of race, sexuality and gender.

Emily Davison became a martyr for the Women’s Rights campaign when she ran in front of the King’s horse on 4th June 1913. She had attempted to pin the suffragette flag on the animal, and unfortunately suffered injuries that led to her death four days later. This event led to The Suffragettes gaining a mass of publicity and media coverage, and played a huge part in women finally getting the vote.

Emily inspired a charity that promotes women’s rights, and teaches young girls that they are powerful and equal. The charity was set up to honour Emily and let her legacy and beliefs live on. On International Women’s Day a service was held by Emily Inspires at St Mary’s Church in Morpeth, which is where she is buried. The service was held to celebrate what women have accomplished and what there is left to achieve. It was a wonderful service, organised by women, and many inspirational and influential people shared their own experiences and achievements at the event.

I was asked to share my thoughts at the event, and it was a huge honour to stand among so many remarkable people. I talked about why I believed it is important for women to have equal rights, and what I am grateful for. The Bishop of Newcastle also spoke, and her speech was about her experience with equality and her views on the relationship between religion and equality. Videos made by young children in schools from all across the country were played, and included why these young people believed it was important for them to grow up in a society where everyone is equal.

Overall, the experience was extremely humbling and inspiring. It was an honour to contribute to such an important day, and to share my views with so many inspirational people. It was truly wonderful to see so many young people so passionate about this cause, and to meet so many influential people was remarkable. I believe it is extremely important to recognise how far women have come, and this was an incredible opportunity that allowed us to do that.

Tara Blyth – Year 11