We are delighted to be hosting this fundraising evening for the Brighton Suffragette Blue Plaque Campaign. The main event will be a panel discussion with Helen Pankhurst (writer, women’s rights activist and great granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst), Jean Calder (former Brighton councillor, journalist and community activist) and Frances Stenlake (author and historian), chaired by Caroline Lucas (Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion, author and campaigner).
Dr Helen Pankhurst is a women’s rights activist and senior advisor to CARE International, working in the UK and in Ethiopia. Helen is the great-granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst and granddaughter of Sylvia Pankhurst, leaders of the British suffragette movement.
Jean Calder is a journalist and community activist. She has worked with teenage girls who had been abused in childhood and with women and children experiencing domestic violence. She represents local women’s rights charity “For Our Daughters.” Working alongside #Vote100, Jean is organising a campaign to have a suffragette statue in Brighton.”
It was through writing about the artist Robert Bevan, born in Hove, brought up in Cuckfield, and well represented in Brighton Museum, that Frances became interested in local women’s suffrage campaigning. The artist’s sister, Edith, founded the Cuckfield and Central Sussex Women’s Suffrage Society, and digging this story out of the Mid Sussex Times in Burgess Hill Library has led to researching the network of National Union of Women’s Suffrage Society branches across Sussex.
Brighton’s first female MP who made history in 2010 when she was elected as the first Green party MP in the House of Commons. Within 16 months she was named ‘MP of the Year’ in the Women in Public Life Awards. She is also in the Environment Agency’s Top 100 Eco- Heroes of all time. She is a prolific writer and campaigner on feminist issues and author of Honourable Friends? Parliament and the Fight for Change.