100 Years ago today, women were granted the right to vote by act of parliament, this entitled them to both vote in and stand for all elections in the country. 100 years later my daughter (aged 3) has campaigned in 4 elections and 1 referendum, she regularly attends civic functions and community events. And to be completely honest as the child of two elected politicians, I really hope that, in the future, she goes into the family business.
Tomorrow is the day of the general election in the United Kingdom and at every election I generally say something along the lines of people fought and died for you right to vote so go and use that right.
I feel that this is losing something as I may have used that line at least 3 times in the last two years, so here are just a few people who actually died in order for you to be able to vote. So now you can begin to understand the human cost of the rights you take for granted.
Here are just three people who died fighting for the belief that every man and woman should have the right to choose their representatives in parliament.
- Samuel Holberry- Who died in prison, he was arrested for planning a protest in Sheffield as part of the Chartism movement, that would see every man with a vote and a wage for every MP so it would not just be the rich who could afford to stand.
- Emily Davison- Who in protest for a woman’s right to vote threw herself in front of the Kings horse at Epsom Derby and died of wounds sustained.
- Mary Clarke-Who died mere hours after being released from a police station where she was imprisoned for acts of protest
These are just three people who died for your rights, and doesn’t begin to mention the 22 who died in the Newport Rising and the hundred more injured, or the hundreds of men who were imprisoned or transported for fighting, and doesn’t mention the hundreds of women who were beaten, jailed, force fed and molested so that you could go and tick that box in secret.