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Marking by Dover Town Council of 100th anniversary of women getting the vote

By Sam Lennon

Female councillors joined their male colleagues to celebrate 100 years since women first got the vote in Britain.

It was during the Dover Town Council community and services committee meeting on Tuesday.

This was exactly a century to the day since women were granted limited suffrage .

Dover Town Council celebrating 100 years of the woman's vote. From left Charlie Zosseder, Ann Jenner, Pam Brivio, Miriam Wood, clerk Allison Burton, Sue Jones. Picture: Peter Wallace
Dover Town Council celebrating 100 years of the woman's vote. From left Charlie Zosseder, Ann Jenner, Pam Brivio, Miriam Wood, clerk Allison Burton, Sue Jones. Picture: Peter Wallace

The celebration was organised by Cllr Miriam Wood who was elected to the Maxton, Elms Vale and Priory ward in 2015.

She said that the right for women to vote was “a first step on the road towards equality which we tread to this day. It took 10 years until the franchise was extended to all women.

"It was not until 1970 that it became illegal to pay women less than men for the same work.

“I’m pleased to note that on this council we have a highly qualified and skilled town clerk who is a woman.

"One of the group leaders is a woman and our numbers of men and women councillors are close to equal.”

The town council's town clerk is Alison Burton and the rest of the six female councillors, out of a total 18, are Ann Jenner, Charlie Zosseder, Lesley-Ann Burke, Pam Brivio and Sue Jones.

The Representation of the People Act 1918 was signed into law by King George V on February 6, 1918.

It extended voting rights to all men over the age of 21 and for the first time gave limited suffrage to females - only those over 30 who owned property.

The franchise went to all women 10 years later.

Cllr Wood added: "Even today, 100 years after this first step, there are far fewer women than men who hold top positions in companies, are on boards of directors, in parliament and in government positions.

" The average gender pay gap was 9.1% in 2017, the lowest ever but coming down so slowly that my grandchild, born this year, may well not live to see equality."

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