Women’s rights

Wednesday marks 100 years since votes for women officially became part of the US constitution (its basic values and laws) on 26 August 1920. The breakthrough was the result of decades of campaigning.

Before such campaigns, it was believed that only men should vote in elections. People fought for years to change the rules. In the UK, campaigners known as suffragettes fought for their rights. Many were arrested for smashing windows, marching on Parliament, and chaining themselves to railings outside public buildings – all done in the name of equality with men.

Women’s Equality Day is celebrated every August as an opportunity to remember women, such as Millicent Fawcett and Malala Yousafzai, who fought for their rights. It is also a chance to remember all those who achieved great things once given the opportunity to succeed.

But it is not just a celebration. Today, women can vote in every democracy in the world – but many still face discrimination. Women are often paid less for doing the same jobs as men, while about 130 million girls worldwide do not go to school.

How will you be celebrating women’s rights this Wednesday?

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Assembly

The 2012 Olympics were the first time every competing country had a woman athlete representing them. In this interview, British athlete Dina Asher-Smith talks about the sporting women who inspire her.

Activities

  1. Using the internet, make a timeline of women’s suffrage in countries around the world. Are there any you find surprising?
  2. Choose one woman from history who inspires you. Write a short biography and explain why you admire her.
  3. Choose one woman from history who inspires you. Write a short biography and explain why you admire her.