Today is Emmeline Pankhurst’s birthday.  She was born Emmeline Goulden on 15 July 1858, and is one of the most famous women in British history.

There is plenty that has been written about Mrs Pankhurst and her deeds, so I write here only to celebrate her achievements, and those of the thousands of other brave women of the Suffrage movement.

If we are to have heroes, then these women are mine.  They were instrumental not just in gaining women the vote (some women, at least, at first), but in forcing the negotiations towards women’s emancipation.

We are not yet at the end of this road, and I wonder whether Emmeline would be disappointed with what we still face today.  But without her and her ilk, we would certainly be considerably worse off.

So Happy Birthday, Mrs Pankhurst, and thank you.

Further Reading

Germaine Greer: Emmeline Pankhurst freedom or death introduction.  in The Guardian

Spartacus Educational: British History -Emmeline Pankhurst

Marina Warner/Time Magazine: The Agitator Emmeline Pankhurst (subscription required for full article)