The international women’s day is a special day wherein women who fought for equal rights are celebrated. It is also a day to celebrate women who continue with the fight.
The suffragette movement is a seismic event in the history of the British kingdom, and women in Gloucestershire had a huge role to play.
During the suffragette movement, London and Manchester experienced some of the most massive revolts. The Gloucestershire protest was however not as extreme as in the other towns.
One significant case in Gloucestershire was arson in December 1913 when two suffragettes burnt the Alstone lawn manor house located in Cheltenham. The building was empty at the time of the arson. The two suffragettes were touring the country in support of the movement.
The two were arrested and jailed after a trial in Worcester. They were later released after going on hunger strike.
One most notable suffragette woman was Madame Lilian Borovikovski. Madame Lilian lived in Cheltenham and was part of the Women’s Freedom League. The group was militant but was not violent.
Madame Lillian traveled to London in 1909 to try and persuade the then prime minister Herbert Asquith to accept the women’s suffrage petition. She was arrested and charged with obstruction of the police. She served one month in Holloway Prison. This made Madame Lillian a heroine in Cheltenham when she returned.
The protests in Gloucestershire were relatively small, but the women who took part in the revolts risked their lives, and many of them were separated from their children.
These women did not throw themselves on a tarmacked road or in front of a horse, but their tame efforts were a major boost to the movement of women rights in Britain.