On 6 February 2018, TORCH, in collaboration with City and County Council representatives and other cultural organisations, celebrated 100 years of partial Women's Suffrage. The Representation of the People Act 1918 granted some women and all men the right to vote. To celebrate this, there was a mass flag-raising involving 21 University of Oxford Colleges, the Humanities Division in Radcliffe Humanities (originally the Radcliffe Infirmary), the Music Faculty, the County and Town Halls, and Oxford Castle. The flag read ‘Votes for Women’ printed on a backdrop of purple, white and green – the colours of the Women's Social and Political Union, which was led by Emmeline Pankhurst.
In the evening we celebrated and reflected on the life of local councillor Olive Gibbs. You can watch the video of the event here and read about the flag raising in The Oxford Mail here.
The flag-raising launched what will be a year-long programme of events, discussions, exhibitions and initiatives looking at the journey to women's suffrage, and what voting, democracy, and representation of women in public and political life mean to people today.
Below are some of the photos from the flag-raising.
You can keep up-to-date with the project through the TORCH website and through our Newsletter.
Humanities & Identities
Women's Suffrage 2018