Around 100 local women celebrated the centenary of the women’s suffrage movement at a special event in Lewes.
One hundred years ago, the Representation of the People Act gave some women over the age of 30 the vote for the first time and marked the start of the movement that campaigned for the right of every woman to vote.
Organised by Lewes District Council, the free event, Vote 100, was the idea of Councillor Sarah Osborne who wanted to encourage women to make their voices heard and to increase the number of women in local government.
Lewes Mayor Janet Baah gave an opening speech about the women in her family and highlighted how although life had changed for women, there was still more to be done.
Lewes District Councillors Sarah Osborne, Elayne Merry, Joanna Carter and Ruth O’Keeffe spoke about what is involved in being a female councillor and workshops were held by Becky Shaw, Chief Executive of East Sussex County Council, Ruth Smethurst, Movement and Health Educator from Playcation and Pat Taylor, Strategy and Partnerships Lead for Thriving Communities for Eastbourne Borough Council and Lewes District Council.
Councillor Osborne said: “It was great to see so many women at the event. We need more women in positions of authority and leadership and I hope that many who attended will consider getting involved in local government.”
Councillor Merry, Deputy Leader of the Council, said: “Women have so much to give and even in these enlightened times are under-represented in local government. We want to encourage more women to take that step into government to realise how much they can contribute and make a difference.”