In the summer of 1913, thousands of women walked to London to demonstrate for the right to vote. 100 years later, a similar walk is taking place in Sheffield to celebrate those who made it possible for women to go to the ballot box, writes Nikki Bond.
The Sheffield Walk for Women is an hour long walk from Wortley Hall starting at 5.45pm today. Everyone is welcome and participants are encouraged to wear sashes and rosettes in the suffragette colours of green, white and violet.
Wortley Hall seemed a fitting location for the walk as it is the venue for the Sylvia Pankhurst Memorial Lecture, which takes place on the same day.
The walk is being led by Maggi Clark who sits on the Wortley Hall Management Board: “As a member of the board I welcome women to Wortley Hall and hope that after the walk they will take time to enjoy the gardens and the hall itself with its impressive history.”
The Sheffield event joins numerous other commemorative walks that have happened across the country over the past few weeks. I was asked by Lucy Anne Holmes, founder of the walk, to organise one in Sheffield and following discussions with the Sheffield Women’s Network, plans got underway.
I met with Lucy, who also started the campaign to end Page 3, earlier this year to discuss what Sheffield is doing to celebrate women and strive for equality.
On Valentines’ Day this year, Barkers Pool was filled with a dancing flash mob to raise awareness of violence against women and girls as part of the One Billion Rising - a Sheffield campaign that raised over £1,000 for local domestic abuse and rape charities.
Around the same time, an appeal was launched to raise £150,000 for a sculpture for the Women of Steel. The City Council has committed £28,000 to the project so far and more money is expected to be raised at a Women of Steel Concert on November 9.
Sheffield also has many female leading figures including Council Leader Julie Dore, Lord Mayor Vickie Priestley and High Sheriff Lady Ruby Sykes.
Sheffield’s support for women is nothing new. In 1851 the Sheffield Female Political Association emerged as the first suffrage society in the country to be run by women for women. Hence, a Sheffield Walk for Women makes perfect sense. By remembering the struggle of the suffragettes, it gives us the strength to speak up and speak out whether it’s for No More Page 3 or ending violence against women and girls. So come and join us today!
Email Nikki@walkforwomen.co.uk to register.