A month of special events in Corby to celebrate 100 years since women won the right to vote began last night.
The Votes & Voices programme started last night (Sunday) at the town’s rooftop gallery where leading Northamptonshire feminist Dr Heather Brunskell-Evans spoke on a range of topics including feminism in action, why women have had to continue the fight for equality since winning universal suffrage and the effects of the gender recognition act on women’s rights.
The events have been organised by Corby and East Northants Labour party’s Women’s Forum but are open to people of any, or no, political persuasion.
Local women have also formed the Votes & Voices choir which will be performing throughout the month. Last night they sang a series of songs about the women’s movement including some used to rally crowds by suffragettes.
Events this month include a burlesque masterclass, a singing workshop run by musician and author Paula Boulton, a talk about the unique work of the Corby Women’s Centre, a supper with Beth Miller, a talk on the history of women’s suffrage in Northamptonshire, a poetry evening and a presentation about the story of Greenham Common and the women’s peace movement.
There is also an exhibition of artefacts relating to the suffragette and suffragism movements including two suffragette costumes and a game of ‘Panko’.
Visitors to the gallery can also see a display featuring the history of the feminism in Corby and the women’s centre.
And the banner made by women of the town for the Vote 100 march in London is also available to view. It features the Corby raven, a slogan written by a 15-year-old girl from Corby - Women Together Will Change the World -, dozens of embroidered violets and the town’s motto, Deeds Not Words, which is shared with the suffragette movement.
Beth Miller, The Labour Party’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Corby & East Northants, said: “The first women getting the vote was a turning point but 100 years later there is still so much that can be done. I hope that people will want to join in these celebrations and work with us to achieve our goals.”
There is more information on the events on the group’s Facebook page.