Portsmouth Guildhall to turn purple to support women pension inequality campaign

Solent Waspi members outside the Civic Offices in Guildhall Square. Credit: Sarah Standing
Solent Waspi members outside the Civic Offices in Guildhall Square. Credit: Sarah Standing
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ONE of the city’s most prominent landmarks is set to turn purple this weekend.

Portsmouth Guildhall will be illuminated on Saturday evening in a colourful show of support for the nationwide Women Against State Pension Inequality campaign.

Kick-started in 2015, the drive is aimed at securing fair transitional payments, or compensation, for women born in the 1950s hit by increases to the state pension age.

Shelagh Simmons and Carolyne Jacobs, who co-ordinate the Solent Waspi group, said: ‘We already have the backing of Portsmouth City Council so we are delighted that Portsmouth Cultural Trust will be lighting up one of our city’s most iconic buildings this Saturday.

‘It is a signal to the 10,000 women in Portsmouth, 10,000 on the Isle of Wight and the 3.8m women nationwide, that the campaign goes on to secure compensation for 1950s women who had their pension dates changed with very little

notice.

‘This left them with no time to make alternative arrangements and some are now in serious financial difficulties.

‘Having faced inequality in earning and pension opportunities all our working lives, it is reasonable to have proper transitional arrangements when the SPA is equalised.

‘After all, it is not being done from the position of a financial level playing field.’

With Portsmouth Guildhall set to light up at 6.30pm, Solent Waspi will also be joining city women for a women’s suffrage centenary march in Guildhall Square from 1pm.

The fixtures come during a week of local and national events marking International Women’s Day on Thursday, March 8.

To learn more about the Waspi campaign, visit waspi.co.uk.

READ MORE: Our list of 10 inspirational women from the Portsmouth area