Suffragettes100: Ilford pupils talk feminism for women’s vote centenary

PUBLISHED: 17:00 06 February 2018 | UPDATED: 14:00 07 February 2018

Park School pupils Noor Malik, Zia Modha, Milena Georgieva and Safaa Khan with headteacher Androulla Nicholas

Park School pupils Noor Malik, Zia Modha, Milena Georgieva and Safaa Khan with headteacher Androulla Nicholas


The UK commemorates a century of women’s suffrage today (February 6). To mark this historic milestone, the Recorder spoke to pupils from Park School for Girls on what feminism means to them.

Ria Modha said that she believes too many people have a negative impression of the word.

She said: “It is about being a strong, independent woman, but it’s also about not having power over men rather being equal to men.

“A lot of people seem to think it’s about having power over men, which is not the way I see it.

“It’s about everyone being equal - so woman should be strong, but men should be strong as well.”

And empowerment was another topic on the agenda for fellow schoolmate Safaa Khan.

“We can do whatever everyone else can do and we can do it just as well and we have the skills and the talents and the ability to do what we need to do.

“It’s about supporting one another as well as ourselves and encouraging one another.”

Noor Malik agreed: “To me it is equality for all genders, and I think that it’s very important in today’s society because women have been oppressed for many years and so equality is still really important today.”

And when it comes to the history behind women’s suffrage in the UK, Safaa revealed that her school, in Park Avenue, Ilford, has done its best to tell the whole story of the Pankhursts and others, who fought for so long for the write to cast their ballots.

“We’ve all been informed numerous times in assemblies and things about how these women have changed us and how we’re only here because of them.”

The girls were also asked if they had ever been discriminated against or told they couldn’t do something because they were female.

“Luckily I’ve been very fortunate to have never been told that,” admitted Milena Georgieva.

“I think society is moving more towards a time where woman are not being told that as much as in the last few hundred years, so I think that’s good.”

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