The Suffragettes and the Road to Equality on Google Arts & Culture

Following decades of organized campaigning led by charismatic and brilliant women from around the UK, in 1918, women of all classes, ages and professions came together in the triumph for voting rights for many women. Ten years later, this right was extended to all women over 21, giving women the vote on the same terms as men.

TheRoad to Equality has continued over the last century, with many brave women and men campaigning on a broad range of equal rights issues. In June this year, as a wave of Processionscelebrating women and their long struggle for political and social equality comes to the UK, Google Arts & Culture has collaborated with more than 20 partners to bring online archival collections, video footage, and in-depth, visual stories of those who have helped shape history.

For the first time, Google Arts & Culture is showcasing the work, lives and sacrifices of powerful figures like Emmeline Pankhurt, Milicent Fawcett, and Princess Sophia Duleep Singh. This online experience delves into the organizations they established, their revolutionary forms of protest, and the objects that represent their legacy—the iconic suffragette banners, their personal letters and writings, photographs, and hundreds of other artifacts.

Inspired by the historic unveiling of a statue of suffragist leader Millicent Fawcett in Parliament Square, we partnered with the Mayor of London’s office on “Signs of Change,” a film project with the artist Gillian Wearing, and featuring the Mayor Sadiq Khan. The film shines a light on the achievements made by the women in history and contrasts them with contemporary figures. From teen activists and deputy mayors to local Londoners from all walks of life, the film highlights the diversity of ambitions for the future.

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    Newly digitized scrapbooks from the Museum of London collection. Extremely fragile and not publicly displayed, these scrapbooks provide beautiful insight into some of the Suffragettes personal experiences.

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    An editorial feature by the great-granddaughter of suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst on why the suffragette’s struggle remains so relevant and inspirational today.

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    At just 18 years old, teenage campaigner Amika George is campaigning to make free menstrual products available to schoolgirls from low income families.

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    Rosa May Billinghurst used her tricycle wheelchair, decorated in suffragette colours, to charge at police officers during demonstrations.

  • 4. Mary Somerville suffrage banner.png

    Mary Somerville suffrage banneris part of the LSE Women’s Library beautiful collection of suffrage banners, commemorating scientist Mary Somerville.

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    Remarkable women who have shaped contemporary British society choose objects that speak to them from the Foundling Museum’s Collection. Collection

  • 7. Christina Broom (Suffragette banner bearer).png

    The UK’s first female press photographer Christina Broom meticulously documented the suffrage movement, giving an insight into the lives of suffragists and suffragettes across the UK.

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    Women’s Day March poster is part of the Feminist Library collection. With bold colourful designs, the Women’s Liberation Movement continued the suffrage campaigners’ traditional of powerful feminist protests.

  • 9. Princess Sophia Duleep Singh.png

    Daughter of a Punjabi Maharaja, and goddaughter of Queen Victoria, Princess Sophia DuleepSingh sold the Suffragette newspaper outside her home at Hampton Court Palace, and joined the Women’s Tax Resistance League, refusing to pay her taxes until women were given the vote.

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    Y B A Wife? Posteris from the Glasgow Women’s Library collections, showcasing playful and powerful ephemera legacy of women’s activism.

Learn more about The Road to Equality and the men and women who have supported this movement by exploring the exhibition on Google Arts & Culture and on our iOS and Android apps.

The Suffragettes and the Road to Equality on Google Arts & Culture