A modern take on the suffragette movement

Three like-minded pupils impressed an invited audience with a presentation exploring the history of the suffragettes this week.

Lily Hodge, Erin Heath and Imogen Brander, all 11 years old, researched the complex history of the movement after deciding to take part in Past Masters  – a series of voluntary talks organised through The History Club. 

The talks take place fortnightly and are open to all Senior School pupils. Recent topics have included Hiroshima, the Battle of Britain, the rise and fall of Factory Records and the Magna Carta

Lily said: “I was trying to think of something that had a massive impact on society and I immediately thought of the suffragette movement.

“We talked about the founder Emily Pankhurst and about Emily Wilding Davison, who threw herself under a horse. We discussed whether we thought that had been a deliberate act or if she was attempting just to draw attention to the movement.”

The girls used a range of media, including archived images and gifs, to illustrate their presentation to an audience of teachers, Removes, Sixth Formers and their own teaching group.

Erin said: “We were incredibly nervous before but I thought that it was an issue that people could still do with being educated about, so I’m glad we did it.

 “One of the things we thought a lot about was what people would think of them today, would they get arrested or be seen as protesters with rights?”

The trio invited questions after completing the talk and were pleased to discover  the consensus was that there is still lots of progress to be made.

Imogen added: “I think the suffragettes taught girls to stand up for ourselves and not let boys or men say what they think we should do and for us to just follow along with it.

“They showed us that we have a voice and that we can fight for all sorts of issues, including equal pay.”