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Women don suffragette colours for centenary march


In the green, purple and white of the suffragette movement, thousands of people marched the streets of the UK’s capital cities to mark 100 years of votes for women.

Organised by 14-18 Now, the “processions” were designed to look like “a living portrait of women in the 21st century”.

The march in London started in Hyde Park, going through Piccadilly, Trafalgar Square and toward the River Thames.

A group of women with their homemade banner in Edinburgh
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A group of women with their homemade banner in Edinburgh
The march through Edinburgh
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The march through Edinburgh

Women carried homemade banners and wore period costumes including sashes styled on those the suffragettes wore during the fight to win the vote in the 1910s.

Helen Shah, 42, a mother who attended with her daughter, said: “We came because we wanted our children to understand what happened 100 years ago and that they can’t take for granted all the things they have now.

“My daughter, she loves science, she loves cricket – the things women fought for.”

A woman marches in Northern Ireland, with an abortion campaign banner
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A woman marches in Northern Ireland, with an abortion campaign banner
Marchers in Edinburgh carry Deeds Not Words signs
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Marchers in Edinburgh carry Deeds Not Words signs
 Jean, Cecilia and Sandy after taking part in the march through central London
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Jean, Cecilia and Sandy after taking part in the march through central London

She added: “You can read books but taking part in something like this is so much better.”

In Belfast, the march was dominated by a call for abortion law reform, after Ireland voted to relax its laws in a referendum.

Women carried banners reading “The North is next”, a reference to the campaign for Northern Ireland to have its own referendum on the issue.

Women’s march was a call to arms

By Katerina Vittozzi, Sky News reporter

Sunday’s march in London felt like both a celebration and call to arms.

Yes, there were plenty of banners to mark the 100 years since some women won the right to vote. But there were dozens that were calling for equal pay, 50/50 representation in parliament and one that simply read “Power to the Future”.

The march in London started in Hyde Park and went past Trafalgar Square
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The march in London started in Hyde Park and went past Trafalgar Square
Women hold a banner reading 'Women together will change the world' in London
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Women hold a banner reading ‘Women together will change the world’ in London

Women and girls from across the UK took part. There were separate marches in Cardiff, Belfast and Edinburgh but the biggest was in London.

I spoke with women and girls who had come from near and far to take part, like a GirlGuides Group from Coventry and a mum and daughter from Somerset. They told me they simply had to make the journey to be there – and the sun certainly shone for them.

Organisers told me they were expecting around 30,000 people to take part and it created a carnival atmosphere.

Soldiers joined the march in London on Sunday
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Soldiers joined the march in London on Sunday
Phoebe Bolton and Yasmin Ahmadzadeh, both 26, hold up their artwork banner
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Phoebe Bolton and Yasmin Ahmadzadeh, both 26, hold up their artwork banner

Decked out in the suffragette colours of green, white and violet, from the air the crowds looked like living, breathing artwork.

The procession weaved its noisy, colourful way through central London, ending up in parliament square. There, everyone who took part walked under an arch that said “Your vote really makes a difference”.

It felt like a fitting tribute of thanks to the women who campaigned for the first vote and a reminder of the collective power of women.



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