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The 6 February 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the Representation of the People Act of 1918 – the legislation allowed some women over the age of 30 to vote for the first time and was a momentous step towards universal suffrage 10 years later. February 2018 is also the beginning of an exciting year of programming that pays tribute to the fight to win the vote and celebrates women around the world.


Coming Up This Month

It all kicks off at 10pm this Saturday with Suffragette showing on Channel 4 – a historical drama following the campaign for the right to vote in the 1900s. The 2015 film shows women from all walks of life, including Emmeline Pankhurst played by Meryl Streep, desperately fighting against the state’s attempts to oppress the movement.

Channel 4 further explores the suffragette movement with Clare Balding’s Secrets of a Suffragette at 10pm on Tuesday the following week. Along with a team of forensic experts, Clare Balding makes fascinating new discoveries about the day Emily Wilding Davison was fatally injured after stepping in front of King George V’s horse.

BBC Radio 3 are getting involved by launching ‘30 on 30’ next Tuesday 6 February – this segment on the breakfast show will run until International Women’s Day on 8 March and invites 30 well known figures to select music by female composers they particularly admire. Also premiering on the BBC Radio 3 website next Tuesday is the Pankhurst Anthem – a choral work with music by Lucy Pankhurst and text based on the words of Emmeline Pankhurst. Free downloads of the vocal scores will be available on the BBC Radio 3 website.


Other Programmes to Look out for This Year

Dates and times have not yet been confirmed for the following programmes, but be sure to keep an eye on our twitter feed for updates.

Antiques Roadshow – Pioneering Women Special, BBC One: guests will be bringing treasured objects that give intimate insights into the lives of the pioneering women who shaped our nation.

How Women Won the Vote with Lucy Worsley, BBC One: this documentary reveals the complexities of the battle to win the right to vote and the wide range of people that joined the fight.

The Making of A Militant, BBC One: with never before seen footage and artefacts, this programme tells the story of Emmeline Pankhurst’s leading role in the fight for women’s suffrage.

Suffragette Allies, BBC Parliament: looks into the men that played key supporting roles in the suffrage campaign.

The Drama of the Suffragettes, BBC Radio 3: a series of extracts from plays that the supported and promoted the Suffragette cause.