Equal rights for women still an issue

Over 100 years after Emmeline Pankhurst made her bold and unprecedented attempt to get equal rights for women, including getting the vote it is disappointing to note that the fight continues, even in little old UK where we pride ourselves on fair play.

So what then has happened since the suffragettes made their case in a week where equal pay for women has hit the headlines?

If you are a woman, not a lot as even here in Scotland I witness examples of women trying vainly to establish themselves in a male dominated society.

You just had to watch the Open on TV to get a whiff of what I mean where nearly all the spectators watching from the balconies of the various St Andrews clubs were men. A trivial example, but nonetheless, an observation worth making, especially as sport is generally guilty of perpetuating or promoting poor attitudes when it comes to equality.

Women of course, particularly those who play golf and bowls have been their own worst enemies, pandering to the male species in the intervening years since the heroics of the suffragettes, and in my opinion hopelessly letting down the fair sex.

Granted Emmeline and her daughter Christabel achieved their objective of getting women the vote, but only after a massive campaign, taking them a quarter of a century in the face of quite astonishing resistance from the men of the day. During the period 1903 to 1928 women chained themselves to railings, threw themselves under the hooves of Derby runners, went on hunger strikes, and generally made life difficult for the male politicians of the day.

But despite history telling us a tale of protest our current day politicians seem determined to continue to see the UK parliament as a male club in which women can occasionally make their presence felt.

The pay issue is also a nonsense, and one that must be resolved and soon, and while I am not advocating the militancy of the suffragettes, I would certainly like to see more women stand up and make it known how unhappy they are with the chauvinism we still practice in 2015.

Perhaps there will be a new awakening when the public view the film “Suffragette” due to be released later in the year, starring Meryl Streep and Helena Bonham Carter, two of the formidable ladies of the silver screen who might just help get the message home to a lacklustre British public.

Ironically the film will first be shown, albeit on limited release, in the USA before hitting the British circuit on October 30, which given the fact it is a film that was made in the UK is nonsense, but let’s save the debate about American dominance for another day.