Lonely Planet Writer

England is honouring the Suffragettes with a year-long celebration of women

Tuesday, 6 February, is the centenary anniversary of when some women in Britain won the right to vote for the first time. In celebration, seven cities across England with strong ties to the women’s suffrage movement will host events honouring incredible female historical figures.

A napkin from the July 1915 Women’s March. Photo by John Groom’s Crippleage And Flower Girl’s Mission. Image courtesy of People’s History Museum

The seven ‘centenary cities’ are London, Bristol, Nottingham, Bolton, Leeds, Manchester and Leicester but there will also be events all over the country throughout the year, with a special emphasis on International Women’s Day on 8 March.

Some highlights include the Museum of London hosting a year-long Suffragette exhibition honouring the centenary, showcasing historic items such as Emmeline Pankhurst’s hunger strike medal. Westminster Hall will host a free, interactive exhibition from 27 June and will also be unveiling Parliament Square’s first female statue.

Items from the People’s History Museum’s collection – various dates 1905-1912

Manchester also has a few year-long celebrations, including a collaborative exhibition called Women’s Words at the Manchester Central Library. The People’s History Museum will dedicate its 2018 programme to “delving into Manchester’s radical feminist past” and will combine an exhibition with a series of talks.

Bristol’s famous street art festival Upfest will be commissioning female artists to create pieces celebrating women of the past, present and future. Leicester will be unveiling a suffragette statue of its own on 4 February; that of local leader Alice Hawkins.

The Manchester suffragette banner in the Conservation Studio at People’s History Museum.

Throughout the country, there will also be Heritage Open Days dedicated to women, summer EqualiTeas events featuring debates and cake and a celebration of the country’s “greatest women-general”, the medieval queen Æthelflæd.