A group of Edge Hill students, early 20th century

A group of Edge Hill students, early 20th century

Throughout 2018, Edge Hill University will be marking the 100th anniversary of the first women’s right to vote with a packed programme of free events.

Wonder Women: 100 Years of Women’s Suffrage will celebrate the inspirational women – and men – who have helped to shape democracy over the last century.

The programme begins on Thursday 25 January 2018 with a hotly-anticipated public lecture by the Speaker of the House of Commons, the Rt Hon John Bercow. As well as sharing his views on the modernisation of Parliament, John will also discuss his commitment to making the democratic process more accessible and inclusive, and his involvement with the Government’s Vote 100 project which commemorates the key milestones on the road to universal suffrage in the UK.

Other Wonder Women events during the year include:

Thursday 8 February – Baroness Lynne Featherstone, Equal Ever After

Political champion of same-sex marriage, Baroness Lynne Featherstone delivers a public lecture as part of LGBT History month, discussing her role in effecting change and the place of women in politics.

Wednesday 28 February – The Suffragette Symposium

Join academics, authors and artists to explore the historical, political and cultural impact of suffrage and the progress made since the passing of the ‘Representation of the People Act’ in 1918. Keynote speakers, Mary and Bryan Talbot, will present an illustrated lecture on their acclaimed graphic novel, Sally Heathcote: Suffragette, and the symposium ends with a screening of the 2015 film Suffragette.

Thursday 22 March – Caroline Lucas, Something’s Got to Change

Leader of the Green Party and three-time winner of The Observer’s Most Ethical Politician award, Caroline Lucas, talks about being a woman, and the only Green MP, in the House of Commons and how politics itself needs to change.

17 May-17 June – Festival of Ideas 2018

To mark 100 years of votes for women, Equalities is the theme of this year’s Festival of Ideas. Now in its third year, the Festival boasts a programme of entertaining and accessible public events aimed at opening up conversations about overcoming past injustices and how we can formulate a more egalitarian society in the future.

Later in the year, the campus will also host an event for the Great Get Together, a nationwide series of community events to celebrate the life and beliefs of Jo Cox MP. Marking the a highspot of this year’s Festival of Ideas, the event will include performances, installations and activities to trace the journey towards equality.

There are also plans to create a Suffrage Garden on campus to commemorate Edge Hill’s part in the history of the Suffragist movement – as well as many other exciting events to be announced throughout the year.

Edge Hill has a long and proud history of championing women’s rights and equality, from its pioneering role as the first non-denominational teacher training college for women, to its links with the suffrage movement.  Today, this heritage is reflected in the green and purple of the University’s corporate and ceremonial colours and in Edge Hill’s active commitment to promoting diversity and equality.