Liberal Democrat MPs Layla Moran and Stephen Lloyd are calling on the Government to create a ‘Women’s Equality Day’ to fall on the Spring Bank Holiday.
2018 marks the centenary of the extension of suffrage to some women and the 90th anniversary of universal suffrage.
To mark this, Stephen Lloyd challenged female pupils from Willingdon School in his constituency to come up with a campaign which he could deliver in Westminster on their behalf. The winning idea was to create a Women’s Equality Day.
We are so proud that in the year of the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage, our own girls have been so empowered through this and demonstrated such personal excellence.Emily Beer, Headteacher at Willingdon School
The idea is being taken forward by Education spokesperson Layla Moran and an Early Day Motion has already received cross-party support from MPs.
“A century ago great strides were made in the battle to acknowledge the importance of giving women a voice and the independence to vote for their representatives. But perhaps, a century later, we would have expected more progress," said Layla.
“Across the country we see women routinely paid less than men, stifled from progressing in their organisations, and experiencing sexual harassment. This is not the message we want to send to future generations.
“The message that we want to send and that the girls of Willingdon school felt was the most important for Stephen to raise, was that of equality and in 2018, that should alarm us. There is a long way to go, and I hope that this day will be enshrined and will act as an annual recognition of gender equality.”
Next week on 6th November Layla and Stephen will host an event in parliament for MPs and Peers in which they will call on supporters to commemorate these anniversaries of women’s suffrage. Marking the day will be a yearly recognition of the full and equal participation that we aspire for women to have in both society and public life.
Emily Beer, Headteacher at Willingdon School said: "We are delighted that our students have had a real taste of democracy. They chose their ideas, they discussed and debated and subsequently selected the best one.
“For our students to be involved in possibly making a national change to a bank holiday name is monumental and demonstrates to them how anything is possible.
"We are so proud that in the year of the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage, our own girls have been so empowered through this and demonstrated such personal excellence.”