A GROUP of women from the Portsmouth area have been part of a national commemoration of one of the cornerstones of the campaign to get votes for women.
One hundred years ago, 50,000 women marched from all over the country – from as far as Lands End and Newcastle, to Hyde Park.
Their aim, when they reached the park on July 26, 1913 was simple. They wanted to persuade the government of the day to allow women the right to vote, which was something that was only ever the right of men in Britain.
A series of commemoration marches have been taking place across the country all summer, and yesterday it was Portsmouth’s turn.
It was organised by Sarah Bland, on behalf of the Solent Feminist Network.
‘We were asked if we would like to be part of it,’ said Sarah, who started the walk off at the Spinnaker Tower in Gunwharf Quays yesterday afternoon.
‘We said yes because it’s great to do something to celebrate women’s achievements and be able to do it in a public way as well.
‘It’s incredibly important to commemorate this march. I think we remember a lot of achievements by men, but not a lot of those made by women.
‘It’s important to do the same.
‘There were thousands of women who marched in 1913 and at that time it was very dangerous to do such a thing, but through their strength of conviction we now have a voice and our opinion can be heard.
‘Thanks to them we are able to vote.
‘Some women don’t, but at least we have the choice – it wasn’t so long ago that we didn’t.’
Around 20 women from the Solent Feminist Network joined Sarah on the walk, which snaked around Southsea before finishing at the naval war memorial on Southsea Common.
Both men and women are welcomed to join the group, which meets every two months in either Portsmouth or Southampton.
See solentfeministnetwork.co.uk for more information.