Today’s Google Doodle is in honour of Millicent Fawcett; the equal rights campaigner who today would celebrate her 171st birthday.
Millicent Fawcett although well known within feminist circles has reached a wider audience in recent months and is recognised for being the first woman to take her place alongside other famous and significant men in Parliament Square. Earlier this year a statue to the women’s rights campaigner was unveiled – the very first statue of a woman to appear in square to recognise the effort she made to achieve voting rights for women.
The unveiling of her statue was not only significant because she was the first woman to have her statue erected in Parliament Square, but it is also the place where many significant battles between the suffragettes and Police took place.
Millicent was not the only person in her family to strive for equal rights, her sister, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, also pushed boundaries in medicine and fought to be the first female Doctor in the UK.
Today the Fawcett Society, a leading women’s rights and equality charity, works to advance women’s equality. Continuing the legacy of Millicent, who aged just 19 collected over a thousand signatures on a petition to secure women the right to vote, the society fights sexism and gender inequality through its research and campaigns.
On Sunday thousands of women and girls marched through the streets around across cities in the UK wearing the colours of the suffragettes to mark the centenary of some women getting the vote.
This important moment in history was only made possible through the grit and determination of those like Millicent Fawcett and her contemporaries such as Emily Wilding Davison and of course the famous Pankhurst sisters whose lives were dedicated to ensuring women had the right to vote.