THE women of Redditch – and quite a few men – came together on Saturday to mark 100 years of some women getting the vote and to lay a wreath in memory of the Suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst.
The event was organised by local MP Rachel Maclean and attracted a wide cross-section of people who gathered to hear warm words and speeches on the inspirational women who won the vote and how the battle for equality is far from over.
Borough Mayor Councillor Juliet Brunner said: “It is hard to imagine that a mere century ago I would not be able to cast a vote let alone stand here today as a woman and politician addressing you as your Mayor.
“I certainly would not have entered politics had it not been for the love and support of my family and encouragement of my late, beloved father.
“He taught me the importance of serving the community and embracing the seven principals of public life, selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.
“He believed you can be part of the problem or part of the solution.
“He always chose to be part of the solution – and this has been my mantra during my 14 years of public service to Redditch.
“I urge you to encourage women to come forward to take part in public life as councillors, MPs Magistrates and Mayors. There’s nothing we cannot do if we set our minds to it.”
Mrs Maclean said: “It was very well attended with representatives from many different organisations like the Girl Guides, WI and Carers Careline and it was about women putting themselves forward for public office.”