Fri, 06 Jul 2018
A LOCAL Labour Party campaigner will be taking to the streets of Newbury this weekend to celebrate both 100 years of women’s suffrage and the 70th anniversary of the NHS.
Liz Bell, who is Newbury Constituency Labour Party’s women’s officer, will be hitting the pedestrianised pathways of Newbury’s Saturday market on Saturday.
She will be joined by other members of Newbury Labour Party to remind members of the public to use their hard-won votes in next year’s spring local elections.
Sporting an outfit reminiscent of the women’s suffrage movement for the day, Dr Bell will be handing out leaflets and celebrating the role women played in establishing the NHS.
There will also be a giant birthday card for the NHS, which passers-by can sign, and Dr Bell will perform some readings of famous suffragette speeches at noon and 2pm from her soapbox.
Dr Bell, whose grandmother was a working-class suffragette in the East End of London, said: “Women have been at the forefront of many political struggles – but all too often they have been written out of history.
“I want as well to pay a special tribute to the women and men of the Windrush generation, without whom our precious health service would not have got off the ground, or indeed be functioning today – we have not forgotten how you have been treated.
“I’ll be chatting with the market-goers to remind people that the world’s women cannot, and will not, be ignored.”
Dr Bell, a researcher, manager and consultant who has worked in the higher education and research sector including biomedicine for more than 25 years, will also speak about how austerity has impacted women working within the NHS.
She also hoped her action would help raise awareness about how women who head the household cope with increasing health inequalities in the UK and other issues caused by austerity.
She said: “This kind of hardship hits women most severely as they are often those who head the household.
“My action aims to raise awareness about this avoidable poverty and the way in which it affects health and tends to punish women and their children hardest.
“We in the Labour Party are campaigning for a proper system of welfare – universal, fair and properly funded – not a return to the bad old days of charity after all we’ve achieved.”