On Thursday 8 March the Royal Over-Seas League will be hosting its annual International Women's Day debate, which will echo the United Nations global theme of the rise in female activism. We have a star studded panel who will be discussing issues such as political participation, the medias presentation of female MPs - in particular female party leaders, and problems or barriers that women face who currently work or wish to work in the government face. Over the next few days we'll be introducing you to each of our speakers to give you a flavour for the evening. First up is Dr Helen Pankhurst, great-granddaughter of Emmeline.
Helen is a women's rights activist and senior adviser to CARE International, based in the UK and in Ethiopia. Her work in Ethiopia includes support across sectors, focused on the interests and needs of women and girls. In the UK she is a public speaker and writer on feminist issues. She also leads CARE International's #March4Women event in London on the Sunday before International Women’s Day. Check out the video below to get a feel for last year's march and if you are interested in joining Helen, and some other inspirational women, you can sign up here.
Helen is the great-granddaughter of Emmeline and granddaughter of Sylvia Pankhurst, leaders of the British suffragette movement and has been involved in work keeping alive their legacy including by being involved in the 2015 film Suffragette and in 2018 publishing Deeds Not Words, the Story of Women’s Rights, Then and Now. The book, which combines historical insight with an inspiring argument, reveals how far women have come since the suffragettes, how far we still have to go, and how we might get there. Each of the five chapters within the book explores a different theme; politics, money, family and identity, violence, and culture, then rates how far we have come in each sphere out of five. Helen has artfully combined the voices of both pioneers and ordinary women into her analysis and offers suggestions on how we can gain a better understanding and strengthen feminist campaigning from what she has discovered.
Helen will be selling copies of her book on the night and will be happy to sign your copy after the talk. You can follow Helen on Twitter @HelenPankhurst.
If you are interested in seeing Helen speak alongside Sophie Walker, leader of the Women's Equality Party, Akeela Ahmed, founder of She Speaks, We Hear, and Deeba Syed, our Chair for the evening and part of the Jo Cox Women in Leadership Programme, then make sure you get tickets to our event below.