When it comes to anniversaries worth celebrating, get your banners and marching shoes out because 2018 is a big-deal year for feminism. To understand why, we’re throwing it back 100 years, to a time when life felt very different for women in the UK.
The fight for rights
Pre 1918, the rights of women in this country were pretty much non-existent. Once married, all that a woman owned belonged to her husband and it was believed only privileged men should be involved in politics; women simply weren’t allowed a say on who was in Parliament, or have any opinions about who ran the country.
However in 1918, things changed forever. A law called The Representation of the People Act was passed in parliament, meaning that…drum roll…women over the age of 30 were allowed to vote, providing though they were occupiers of property or married to occupiers.
This entitled 8.5 million women to voting rights, and despite that only representing 40 per cent of the total population of women in the country, it was still a monumental success for women's suffrage. The legislation was the first of the major milestones fighting for democratic equality and it paved the way for women finally achieving all the same voting rights as men. This happened ten years later with the Equal Franchise Act of 1928.
So, we’re not prepared to let the centenary of the first vote pass without a party – it’s important to remember how far we’ve come and pay tribute to the women before us who’ve made our freedom and choices possible. PROCESSIONS 2018 is just one of the celebratory events held this year in London, Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh to mark this historic moment.
On Sunday 10th June, we can pay tribute to the suffragettes whose actions and campaigns drove political change by joining the PROCESSIONS walks – in this mass participation artwork we'll proudly march the streets in green, white or violet, the colours of the suffragette movement.
What to join in too? It's super-easy and free to sign up and you can create your own banner to salute the suffragettes who fought so hard for the rights we have today. You can take your inspo from the one hundred women artists commissioned to work with communities across the UK to create centenary banners for PROCESSIONS.
Also, keep your eye out for June’s limited edition Pink Parcel, which is totally PROCESSIONS inspired! The parcel, worth over £40, features products we love from female-founded brands that are here to make you feel empowered, too. From self-esteem boosting skincare to look-at-me lip shades, you can feel confident to tackle whatever stands in your way, just like our sisters before us.