Last week staff and students at Bishop Grosseteste University (BGU) held a special event to celebrate voting equality for women.
Organised and hosted by a hardworking group of staff from across the University (including the CELT and Research teams), the #EqualiTeas afternoon was part of a national programme of events in the run up to the 90th anniversary of the Equal Franchise Act which granted equal voting rights to women and men across the UK.
After an opening speech by Dr Andrew Jackson, Head of Research at BGU, the event delved into the history of Women’s Suffrage in Lincolnshire with readings from BGU’s archive covering records of debates held on women’s voting rights at the then Diocese College.
These were followed by letters written to the college magazine at the close of the First World War read by current BGU MA students Elaine Johnson and Sian Hope-Johnson. Both letters were written by students of the college and offered rich historical detail discussing the appropriate nature of protest along with whether women should be allowed to sit in the Houses of Parliament.
On top of this guests were provided with afternoon tea as well as an opportunity to discuss the continuing issues concerning equality both inside and beyond politics.
Speaking after the event, Dr Jackson explained why celebrating the anniversary of the act continues to be of great importance:
“Through this celebration we are remembering the long and hard fought campaign for Women’s Suffrage and questioning whether we have yet reached a good place in terms of opportunities, representation and conduct in politics and wider society”
2018 is a landmark year in anniversaries for equal voting rights and BGU are running events to celebrate throughout the next months. You can find more information on all the exciting plans, including our ongoing exhibition at Lincoln Central Library, on our dedicated #Vote100 page.