This is our year (2018)
For the Chinese, 2018 was the year of the dog but we are calling 2018 the year of the woman!
In 2018, it was 100 years since women won the right to vote. However, this new law didn’t include all women. In 1918, under the Representation of the People Act, a woman had to be over 30 and had to either own land themselves or be married to a man with property to have the right to vote. It took another 10 years before all women in the UK were granted equal voting rights under the Equal Franchise Act. This new law almost doubled the number of eligible female voters.
In July 2018, the NHS was 70 years old. Aneurin Bevan (the Health Secretary in 1948) launched the NHS in Manchester (from what is now known as Trafford General Hospital). It was an ambitious plan to bring good healthcare to all. To begin with, it was all free but charges have since been introduced for prescriptions, dental and optical health. The NHS marked their 70th birthday by launching a prestigious competition to recognise chosen individuals and teams as regional champions. https://www.england.nhs.uk/nhs70/
And in 2018, it was 50 years ago, that the women at Ford Dagenham went on strike for equal pay. It is said to have been a victory but they didn’t actually win equal pay in 1968 (technically, there were no men doing the same work to compare to) but they did gain an extra 7 pence an hour. They didn’t actually receive equal pay until much later (1984) but without the Ford women, we would not have the Equal Pay Act of 1970.
And 2018 marked Survivors Together’s 10th year. Yvonne (our Director) continues to meet people individually before welcoming them to the group. Her enormous understanding of the issues involved and what resources are available are invaluable but the main purpose of Survivors Together is to provide social meetings where women survivors can practice self-care or learn a new skill in a relaxed environment with people who understand.
Here’s to many more years of social support and self care. Make every year the year of the woman.