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Ribston Hall High School

Ribston HallHigh School

Special Feature: Women in the World

The War on Women

Problems that girls around the world face every single day.

It’s been 100 years since the Representations of People Act was passed. Thanks to this, women who were over 30 and owned property gained the right to vote in England.

However, girls and women around the world still face many problems in their everyday life.

A vigil for Savita Halappanavar, who died in 2012 after being denied an abortionFor example, FGM is an incredibly wide-spread issue for girls across Benin, Burkina Faso, the Central African Republic, Chad and Djibouti. The procedure is performed in hope of inhibiting a girls’ sexual feelings, without anaesthetic and in very unhygienic conditions. The girls tend to be between the ages of 4-8. Thankfully, charities such as Forward and Daughters of Eve are trying to eradicate FGM as the problem is far too common.

Forced MarriageChild marriage is another huge crisis for girls. Education is limited for them in places such as Niger, the Central African Republic, Chad, Bangladesh, Nepal and so many more countries. Girls are forced to marry and have children, sometimes as young as nine years old.

Sadia’s Story

Sadia, now 16, was 14 when she was married to a man named Sumon. She hadn’t been able to see or talk to him before the marriage.

Sadia loved school, liking maths in particular. But when she turned 13, her parents told her that she would have to leave in order to work. Six months later, she was a wife.

Sadia dreamed of becoming a teacher so that others had an opportunity to learn and succeed - two things she was unable to do. Charities such as Amnesty International are working as hard as possible to tighten the law on marriage at 18 or older, so that more girls like Sadia have an opportunity to fulfil their potentials.

A lot closer to home in Ireland, the 8th Amendment means that women are unable to have abortions unless they could die from the birth. Even if they are raped or unintentionally impregnated, they are forced to give birth to their child. Therefore, women from 16 and upwards in face a big issue when birth control isn’t successful: a baby who could ruin their life forever. A referendum will take place at the end of May regarding legalising abortion. Hopefully, there will be enough people to can make this much-needed change in the 21st Century possible.

Although some women in England were given the right to vote 100 years ago, it was only ten years later when we were granted completely equal voting rights. Unfortunately, in most countries around the globe, this achievement is miles away. We need to speak up and stand in solidarity against the ridiculously unfair War on Women.

By Violette

The Suffragettes & their Legacy

Image result for suffragettes bbcIt’s been a century since British women were partially granted the right to vote in local and parliamentary elections. The movement to give all women voting rights developed over time until all women were rewarded with the right to vote. Here is a brief guide to 100 years of suffrage.  

The first ‘self-governing’ country to grant women over the age of 21 the vote was New Zealand in 1893. Then following close behind was South Australia granting the vote in 1895. Although the USA had allowed women to vote in Wyoming in 1869 and Utah in 1870, this only applied to white women so therefore female minorities were still unable to vote.

Even though many had accepted The Suffragette’s terms, Britain still failed to support the Suffragette movement, and by 1903 British women still had no vote. Shortly after militancy erupted across the United Kingdom, women still desired the vote and were determined to have their way.

The campaign for the vote became hostile and women were imprisoned. Then they went on hunger strike the brutal practice of force feeding was used; convinced it would dampen the campaigner’s spirits. They were wrong. The Suffragettes were outraged by the lack of reaction, causing the campaign for suffrage to intensify further.

In 1911, a woman called Emily Davidson became increasingly involved in militant activity. She had previously spent small periods of time in jail. During one such sentence she went on hunger strike and resisted force feeding; one of the prison guards became increasingly agitated and proceeded to shove a hose into Ms Davidson’s cell and subsequently filled it with water to such an extent that the whole room was nearly submerged. Ms Davidson later sued the wardens at Strangways for 40 shillings – which is two pounds in modern day currency.

On the 4th of June 1913, Ms. Davidson threw herself in front of the Kings Horse at the Epsom Derby, and to this day her intentions are debatable. Although losing her life in the accident, Ms Davidson left an inspirational and heroic legacy in her wake and will always be remembered for having displayed such an incredible act of bravery that contributed to the development of women’s rights.

In the years following the campaigns, militancy continued but finally in 1918, women over the age of 30 who were householders or property owners were given the right to vote. This was one of the final steps towards all women possessing the right for vote, for in 1928 the suffrage was extended to all women over the age of 21. It took sacrifice, bravery and courage to accomplish, but women now have the right to vote. We must now remember the heroism that our predecessors possessed, and let us hope that their legacy and accomplishments live on for eternity.

By Ilsa, Katie and Lucy P