Votes for women
Stanhoe and Barwick WI members were in for a treat at their February meeting when Hazel Gillingham, dressed as a suffragette, complete with sash in the suffragette colours of green, white and violet (“Give Women Votes”), spoke about Millicent Garrett Fawcett “the quiet suffragette”.
Born in 1847 into a large and wealthy Suffolk family, Millicent was always interested in women’s rights and education. She worked tirelessly as a suffragist (a non-militant suffragette) throughout her life, forming the National Union of Womens Suffrage Societies who succeeded in getting some women the vote in 1918, and all women the vote in 1928. She was made a Dame in recognition of her work in 1924.
photo: Rosemary Brown
In promoting education for women she co-founded Newnham College, Cambridge, for women only, in an era of male academic dominance.
The Fawcett Library, founded in 1926 and now holding all the paperwork regarding the fight for the rights of women, and the Fawcett Society still campaigning for the same, are her legacy, as well as the books which she wrote herself.
Our speaker supplemented her talk with photographs of Millicent Garrett Fawcett, a copy of the newspaper “Votes for Women” dated 1918, and 3 intrigueing colour postcards with different illustrations and wording, each with a suffrage message and probably intended for publicity for the movement. It was all so interesting.
To round off the afternoon members put their names forward for several events organised for our centenary year, including an upcoming members centenary lunch, and the planting of a tree and installation of a seat on the playing field next to the Village Hall. Everyone in the village is invited to attend the tree planting ceremony at 3pm on 11 March.