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History repeats itself as Pankhursts lead modern day suffragettes

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  • by SHÂN ROSS
 

A GREAT grand-daughter of suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst led a rally outside the Houses of Parliament yesterday to call for equal rights for men and women.

Helen Pankhurst, who led marchers from UK Feminista as well as about a dozen “Olympic Suffragettes” who took part in the London Olympics opening ceremony, said “it was not good enough” that only 25 per cent of MPs were female and that austerity cuts were having a disproportionate effect on women.

The rally took place on the same day that nearly 200 women who worked at a local authority won their equal pay battle at the UK’s highest court, in a move lawyers said would have “serious ramifications” for employers.

The Supreme Court has “effectively” extended the time workers have to bring equal pay compensation claims from six months to six years.

Leigh Day & Co, the law firm representing the women described the decision as “historic”.

About 170 former Birmingham City Council employees – including women who worked as cooks, cleaners and care assistants – who left their jobs between 2004 and 2008 are seeking compensation.

They say the council made payments and gave benefits to men doing the same level of work, but not to them. Their lawyers say the council breached pay laws.

 

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