Women’s rights have had a whirlwind of a history. Most of us have heard of Emmeline Pankhurst but one of the earliest known “activists” was Mary Wollstonecraft who in 1784 escaped her abusive father and established her own school – successfully, I might add. Wollstonecraft is often known as the ‘Mother of Feminism’. Of course, the suffrage movement is the most widely known fight for women’s rights. It’s stated that the suffrage movement started in 1832 when Mary Smith petitioned for spinsters to ‘have a voice in the election of Members [of parliament]’. This was the first women’s suffrage petition presented to Parliament. At long last, in 1928 ‘The Representation of the People Act’ came into play and this entitled everyone over the age of 21 to vote, including women... only 96 years in the making!
Even after all of this, we women are still facing marginalisation today, especially in business. In 2021, only 8 of the UKs top 100 businesses were headed by women, the highest number so far. As we all know, the gender pay gap is still a thing! Why?! Not until 2018 did the law force businesses to report their gender pay gap – this report found that women working in the public sector earned only 86p for every £1 their male counterparts made. In 2021, that dropped to 84p! Supposedly the national gender pay gap has fallen significantly in the past 10 years. This is due to there being 1.9 million more women in work than there was in 2010. How is it not obvious that increasing the number of female workers does not actually mean the gender pay gap is better! I think this proves that women still have a long fight ahead for complete equality.
We want to highlight some of the amazing glass ceiling smashers past and present that we love!
- Iris Cable (date unknown) - An air force mechanic, later set up her own garage despite adversity in entering a ‘masculine’ field.
- Edith Smith (1915) - The first woman to be sworn in as a police constable with official powers of arrest in Grantham, Lincolnshire.
- Marie Stopes (1921) – Founded the first birth control clinic in the UK. The clinic was run by midwives and doctors and offered mothers birth control advice and taught birth control methods.
- Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1970) – The second woman to serve on the supreme court in America and activist for female rights. In 1970 Ginsburg became professionally involved in the issue of gender equality when she was asked to introduce and moderate a law student panel discussion on the topic of “women’s liberation.” In 1971 she published two law review articles on the subject and taught a seminar on gender discrimination.
- Sandi Toksvig (2015) – writer, comedian, broadcaster, actor, podcaster and more! Furthermore, she has also co-founded the Women’s Equality Party! YES!
- Jameela Jamil (2021) – Actress, presenter and activist. She has helped to create a platform called I Weigh - In her words “It’s a platform for activism and allyship” where they will help you to learn and grow.
Fall From Grace is proud to be a female owned business and to be part of the fight for equality! Let’s smash that Glass Ceiling!
Patriarchy, Hear Me Roar!!!