‘Rename Spring Bank Holiday Women’s Equality Day’, say Willingdon pupils

The children outside Westminster with Stephen Lloyd MP
The children outside Westminster with Stephen Lloyd MP

Spirited pupils are lobbying Parliament to introduce a Women’s Equality Day to mark 100 years since women first won the right to vote.

The schoolgirls from Willingdon Community School headed to Westminster this week to make a change – spurred on by the support of the MP Stephen Lloyd.

The youngsters in Parliament

The youngsters in Parliament

Hannah Tucker, 14, and Anna Branson, 14, were delighted to win a competition arranged by the MP, to put forward a policy they believed could make a positive difference.

The pair’s idea was to rename the Spring Bank Holiday Women’s Equality Day. It was voted the best idea by 75 per cent of the pupils.

Hannah said, “We are campaigning to have the Spring Bank Holiday renamed as Women’s Equality Day to commemorate those millions of women who have made such a positive contribution in the past, and to celebrate the amazing contribution women will do in the future. The struggle for equality has gone on long enough.”

Anna said, “There’s still some way to go but it’s improved a lot since the Suffragettes. Women are allowed to do much more than 100 years ago.”

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Mr Lloyd, who promised to take the idea to Westminster, said, “As we all know, a key celebration this year has been women getting the vote 100 years ago.

“I thought it would be a great opportunity for the girls at Willingdon School to engage in the project. It was an inspiration to see such commitment to their ideas, intellectual thoroughness and vigour of debate.”

Working with Layla Moran MP, they tabled an Early Day Motion on Tuesday (November 6).

The idea has support from MPs across the political spectrum.

Willingdon Headteacher Emily Beer said, “It’s really exciting for our kids to see something from such a small idea has taken such momentum and they are seeing the power they can have as individuals to drive change in the future.

“I’m massively proud. I believe in equality, being a woman head I have worked very hard to achieve my position, so I know the struggles sometimes women can face.”

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While the children’s teacher, Jo Hardwick said it was great to get the young girls involved in politics.

She said, “It’s been really inspiring coming to Westminster. A fantastic opportunity for these girls to realise that young women can make a difference and bring about real change in politics.”

There is also a petition at change.org called ‘Rename Spring Bank Holiday: Women’s Equality Day Bank Holiday’.