Yesterday (6th of February, 2018), marked one-hundred years since some women, in the UK, gained the right to vote in democratic elections. This was a big step for the time, and is still recognized as monumental today. As an Equality and Diversity Champion I wanted to write a post honoring this event, as well as thinking about some more progress that needs to be made.
Although now anyone over the age of 18, and a UK citizen, can vote, the original suffrage, noted in 1918 wasn’t as equal. According to the Representation of People Act, women could only vote providing they were over the age of thirty and owned land, or were married to a man with who owned land. This divide of equality was addressed again in 1928, with the Equal Franchise Act, meaning that men and women were held under the same stipulations in order to vote; this increased the amount of women eligible to vote to approximately fifteen million, as opposed to eight million in previous years.
Voting should never be a right taken for granted, especially in a world that is still progressing, in terms of gender equality. Gender equality is still an issue, with women receiving the vote as early as 1893, in New Zealand, however it was just 2015 when Saudi Arabia offered equal voting rights. I believe this is why it’s so crucial to recognize the developments we as a society are making; however also encouraging other nations to do the same. Whether man, woman, or somewhere in between, we should be given equal opportunities.
There’s always room for improvement, with only thirty-two percent of the UK’s members of parliament are women. This leaves us 39th in global polls, documenting the representation of women in government. And, regardless of political leanings, we do have our second female prime minister…oh, and our first female Doctor, but that’s a different post entirely!
Let’s just leave it as the following; we have progressed, but we must keep progressing.
Take Care Everyone, I’ll Speak to You All Soon!