Solent Waspi campaigners vow to keep up the pensions pressure on government for International Women’s Day

CAMPAIGNING women in the Solent dubbed 'modern-day suffragettes' will mark International Women's Day with a series of events.

Monday, 4th March 2019, 11:57 am
Updated Monday, 4th March 2019, 1:00 pm
Some of the Solent Waspi group

The Solent Women Against State Pension Inequality (Waspi) group hopes to further spread awareness of the cause around the Portsmouth area in line with the national celebration.

Waspi members have been lobbying for justice for all 1950s born women who have lost up to six years of state pension with little, or no, notice.

For Solent Waspi co-ordinator, Shelagh Simmons, it was important that the group continued to get support for their campaign. 'We are delighted to be involved in these events celebrating International Women’s Day,' she said.

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'The invitations we’ve received show the support and recognition there is for our campaign.

'We agree with state pension age equalisation, but the way it has been done has been grossly unfair.  Dame Joan Bakewell calls us “modern-day suffragettes”.

'Just like the women’s suffrage campaigners, we have the determination and resilience to continue our campaign until we achieve the state pension justice all 1950s born women deserve.  We wish all those working for women’s equality and justice a very happy International Women’s Day, 2019.'

On Thursday (March 7) the group will take part in the Celebrating Women event at the Gosport Labour Party office. Rocks will be decorated in the suffragette colours of purple, white and green with Solent Waspi contact details painted on the back. There will also be a chance to see their suffragette themed window, which remains on display for an extended period.

Members have also been welcomed to take part in a tree-planting ceremony in Somers Town on Saturday (March 9) by Portsmouth South MP and Councillor Stephen Morgan.

Mr Morgan said: 'I am very grateful to the many Waspi volunteers who are joining my Vote 100 Plant 100 initiative, aimed at celebrating the centenary of some women’s right to vote as well as looking forward to what women can achieve in the next 100 years by planting 100 trees across the constituency. 

'I am certain that the Waspi women have drawn strength and inspiration from the struggle of the suffragettes, and their campaign today only goes to show that there is so much more to do to create a equal and fair society for all.'

Other events this week will also see the Waspi women visiting Petersfield and Southampton.