February 6 2018 marked a century since (some, but by no means all) women in the UK won the right to vote, through the 1918 Representation of the People Act, following a hard-fought campaign by suffragettes and suffragists. The hashtag #100Years trended the world over. But how did UK universities mark the day on social media?
It’s worth keeping in mind that when this Act passed in 1918, Oxford nor Cambridge University awarded degrees to women. Many institutions celebrated the achievements of their notable female alumni or founders, particularly those with links to the Suffragette movement. These included Cumbria on education reformer Charlotte Mason, Newnham College, Cambridge on their co-founder, the suffragist Millicent Fawcett and Manchester on suffragette Christabel Pankurst, who graduated from the university in Law. Queen Mary and Liverpool also followed this trend.
Others shared their bragging rights over women’s equality issues. Roehampton, for providing higher education for women longer than any other HE institution in the country or King’s for pioneering women’s education.
Some institutions, like De Montfort, shared footage and live links of commemorative events they were holding. Whilst others chose to make the link to current gender-related campaigns and the ample work there is still to do towards gender equality.
Leeds shared a public lecture from Harriet Harman on a pioneering but little-known Yorkshire MP Alice Bacon.
Cambridge shared their ‘Breaking the Silence’ campaign video, working towards zero tolerance of sexual misconduct.
Royal Holloway promoted a screening of the film Suffragette, whilst one of their students unearthed a photo of Holloway students marching for the vote in 1908.
Edge Hill launched their Wonder Women Campaign (#EHUWonderWomen).
And Glasgow dug this cartoon out its archives.
Points for effort goes to Bristol, who gave the day wide coverage: sharing articles, including what their own academics are doing for women’s equality; profiling ‘ground-breaking Bristol women’ with specially designed infographics; reporting the fact they were the first HE Institute to admit women on an equal basis with men and finally by sharing scenes of their lantern parade and the Wills Memorial Building lit up in Suffragette colours purple, green and white.