International Women's Day 2010

Emily Davison honoured on International Women’s Day in Morpeth

Posted in 2010 03 08, North East by womeninlondon on 27 February 2010

To celebrate International Women’s Day, an open invitation is being extended to members of the public to join the Chairman of Northumberland County Council at a church service to honour the memory of Emily Wilding Davison, one of the county’s most famous women.

International Women’s Day was marked for the first time in 1911 in support of the movement for women’s rights, including the right of women to vote. Each year around the world, International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women.

The service will take place at St Mary’s Church, Kirkhill, Morpeth at 12 noon on Monday 8th March.

There will be a special address from Morpeth woman and international geologist Christine Telford, extracts will be read from Emily Wilding Davison letters and Reverend Maureen Chester will take the closing prayers.

After the service, Northumberland County Council Chairman David Woodard and members of the congregation will lay flowers on Emily Davison’s grave on behalf of the authority and the people of Northumberland.

Northumberland County Council chairman David Woodard said:

    “ International Women’s Day is an opportunity to reflect on and celebrate the contribution of women to society from all walks of life and the challenges they have often had to overcome in order to make their voice heard.”

Emily Davison was very much aware of the social problems facing the country at that time and believed that no relief could come to the weak, the oppressed, or the suffering, until women had won their freedom and the right to vote. Emily joined the Suffragette Movement and campaigned against the exclusion of women from the parliamentary franchise – she was imprisoned many times following militant protests and in common with other suffragettes, was so passionate about the cause that while in jail she joined hunger strikes and was forced to undergo the painful ordeal of forced feeding on 49 occasions.

In June 1913, Emily made her final, tragic demonstration at the Epsom Derby. To draw the public’s attention to the cause she believed in so fiercely, she ran out onto the racetrack waving the Suffragette colours. She was struck by Anmer, the King’s horse, and died from her injuries 4 days later paying the ultimate price for her beliefs.

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