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Posted on: 06/02/2018

Suffrage Day - February 2018

Staff and students stood side by side at Loreto Grammar School as they celebrated 100 years of women's suffrage, but both generations agreed the advances promised by the suffrage movement had not yet fully been fully realised.

The homage to celebrate the day 100 years ago that property owning, married women aged 30 and above were finally given the vote saw the full school come in wearing the suffragette colours of green, purple and white to fundraise to help stop the contemporary trafficking of women from Albania.

The students were proud of their feminist tradition and Loreto's values of justice and freedom, but argued passionately for more to be done by women and men together now and in the future.

Maryama Gadzama said: “Until the last six months it seems clear that feminist issues have been pushed under the carpet. Feminism isn't just about women getting the vote but so many different aspects such as the gender pay gap and having to repel unwanted sexual advances and as young women I think we just feel grateful that these issues are finally been brought out into the open.”

Ciara Mayers, 16. said: “I think some men for many years have held an unconscious stigma about the abilities of women in the work place and that's why the gender pay gap has been allowed to develop, but it is now incumbent on both sexes to step back, examine their own motives and create a fairer society which values men and women equally.”

Rhea Taylor, 17, said: “The fact that women give birth should not be limiting but should reaffirm female strength. Pregnancy and the act of giving birth demands great courage and strength and shows we are fully capable of any role in the work place.”

Rhea added: “It should be up to each couple, each family, to work out the best arrangement for their family and the raising of children and the State should support those choices.”

Megan Walsh, 17, said: “My dad has two daughters and I feel he is very much a feminist and understands the position of young women and I feel boys of our age are better educated and more understanding of feminist issues, but as the 'Times Up' campaign in Hollywood has shown there is still so much more to be done.”

Jenny Thornton, Loreto's Head of History who organised the day and set up the fundraising activities to support Sister Imelda Poole and her work in Albania, said: “I think progress since the first steps were taken in Representation of the People Act 100 years ago has been good in some areas but too slow in others. This generation of young women know they must continue to fight just as passionately as those we are celebrating today did so 100 years ago.”

Vote For Women C

Pictured in front of Loreto's teachers are just some of the sixth formers who wanted to make a difference. Rhea Taylor is holding the banner and from left to right are: Ciara Mayers, Maryama Gadzama, Cora Frattasi and Issy Farrell.


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