How far have we come since women won the vote?

PUBLISHED: 08:00 11 February 2018

Suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst in a Polling Booth circa 1910. Picture: PA

Suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst in a Polling Booth circa 1910. Picture: PA


The battle for equality did not end with some women winning the vote in 1918, and there are still hurdles to overcome in North Somerset.

While equal pay legislation means women cannot be paid less for doing the same work, there remains a pay gap in the district.

Women who work full time can expect to take home £461 a week on average, according to the Labour Market statistics. By contrast men receive £638.

Statistics show twice as many women are working in admin, education and healthcare compared to men.

An estimated 12,600 men are employed in banking, finance and insurance, compared to 9,300 women.

While the pay gap continues to affect women’s bank balance, boys are still falling behind at school.

There is a 10 per cent gap between boys’ and girls’ achievements in GCSEs in North Somerset, for teenagers collecting both the average and highest possible grades.

Men continue to struggle with their mental health. More women nationally are contacting mental health providers to get support.

Suicide remains the leading cause of death among men aged under 50.

MORE: When the militant suffragettes visited North Somerset... and burned a historic church.

In 2013-15, 32 men from North Somerset took their own lives compared to 16 women.

Men are twice as likely to be admitted to hospital with dru g and alcohol-related conditions.

International headlines have been filled with stories of sexual harassment and assault.

In North Somerset, an estimated 20 per cent of women have been sexually assaulted. It is estimated five per cent of women in the district have been raped.

Securing the right to vote has not necessarily led to equality in politics.

Research conducted by the Times shows men make up 68 per cent of people elected on parish and town councils.

However, a woman is chairman on 50 per cent of councils in the Times’ patch.

None of Weston, the former Woodspring constituency, or North Somerset have ever had a female MP.

A survey of 2,000 people conducted by the Times suggests 58 per cent of women in the South West always use their vote in elections.

This drops to 49 per cent for young women aged 18-34, with 23 per cent of them saying they never vote.

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