The Suffragettes and the Road to Equality on Google Arts & Culture
Following decades of organized campaigning led by charismatic and brilliant women from around the UK, in 1918, women of all classes, ages and professions came together in the triumph for voting rights for many women. Ten years later, this right was extended to all women over 21, giving women the vote on the same terms as men.
The Road to Equality has continued over the last century, with many brave women and men campaigning on a broad range of equal rights issues. In June this year, as a wave of Processions celebrating women and their long struggle for political and social equality comes to the UK, Google Arts & Culture has collaborated with more than 20 partners to bring online archival collections, video footage, and in-depth, visual stories of those who have helped shape history.
For the first time, Google Arts & Culture is showcasing the work, lives and sacrifices of powerful figures like Emmeline Pankhurst, Milicent Fawcett, and Princess Sophia Duleep Singh. This online experience delves into the organizations they established, their revolutionary forms of protest, and the objects that represent their legacy—the iconic suffragette banners, their personal letters and writings, photographs, and hundreds of other artifacts.
Inspired by the historic unveiling of a statue of suffragist leader Millicent Fawcett in Parliament Square, we partnered with the Mayor of London’s office on “Signs of Change,” a film project with the artist Gillian Wearing, and featuring the Mayor Sadiq Khan. The film shines a light on the achievements made by the women in history and contrasts them with contemporary figures. From teen activists and deputy mayors to local Londoners from all walks of life, the film highlights the diversity of ambitions for the future.