The Tameside Tied Together ribbon project was unveiled to mark International Women's Day, a global day that celebrated the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and calls for action to accelerate gender parity.
The event took place at Ashton Market Place as the nation honoured 100 years of women’s suffrage – when some women gained the right to vote, near the steps where some of the most famous suffragettes gave speeches, including Ashton’s Hannah Mitchell who was a key worker for women’s rights.
Cllr Warrington, Tameside Council’s first female leader, said: “The centenary of women’s suffrage is a historical milestone that makes International Women’s Day even more poignant this year. Tameside Tied Together gives an opportunity to pay tribute to the women who have, and who continue, to inspire us and pave the way for gender equality.”
Entertainment included song and dance by young women from Tameside College, songs from St James’ Primary School pupils and a performance from soloist Sarah Kinsey.
Participants wearing purple sashes and badges and Tameside Youth Council gave pebbles painted in suffragette colours to people to write messages on.
Excerpts were read from “The Hard Way Up - the Autobiography of Hannah Mitchell, Suffragette and Rebel” and the speeches Emmeline Pankhurst made from the town hall steps.
A permanent memorial to the movement is being considered in Tameside with residents to be consulted on what’s most appropriate with a statue or street name among the ideas.
The Representation of the People Act 1918 gave women the vote provided they were over 30 and owned property or were married to a property-owner.