More needs to be done to help underprivileged women, says ex-Portsmouth councillor

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BRITAIN still needs to do more to help underprivileged women to achieve their full potential, a former city councillor has claimed.

Terry Hall played a key part in the campaign to install a blue plaque honouring the achievements of renowned female scientist Hertha Ayrton – who was born and raised in Portsmouth.

She was among dozens of people to attend the unveiling of the plaque in Queen Street yesterday – on the 100th anniversary of women finally gaining the right to vote in Britain.

Speaking after the ceremony, she said: ‘We have come an incredibly long way in 100 years but there is still much to do.

‘Women are still being held back by a lack of privilege. That’s one of the things holding so many women back.

‘We have women in parliament but many are there because they have had privileged upbringings.

‘Despite the changes during the past century, I feel we still have a long way to go.’

She said the change in the city’s attitude over recent years towards inspirational women like Hertha had been fantastic to witness.

‘Ten years ago only a few people had heard of her yet now she is a name that a lot of people recognise,’ she said. ‘There’s a school named after her.

‘I’m really proud to have played a small part in telling her story.’

The courage of Hertha is something many young women should be able to draw strength from for generations to come, she said.

She added: ‘Someone like Hertha Ayrton is a great role model for young women.

‘She was born in one of the most deprived areas of Portsmouth to a Polish, Jewish immigrant family.

‘Yet despite this, she achieved incredible things. She became a wonderful role model to us all.’