On the same day that Google Doodle honoured the British suffragist Millicent Fawcett, Google launched an online exhibition, Road to Equality, about the heroic women who fought for the right to vote after a wave of Processions marking the 100-year struggle came to the United Kingdom.
With an aim to celebrate the lesser-known stories of the suffrage movement, Google Arts & Culture’s online exhibition features women’s rights campaigners such as #FreePeriods activist Amika George, suffragette Emily Wilding Davison, actress Vera ‘Jack’ Holme and photographer Christina Broom.
Road to Equality is also a joint project between Google and the Museum of London and their Suffragette collection of banners, scrapbooks, artefacts and photographs has been made available online for the first time.
Campaigners attend a rally organised by UK Feminista to call for equal rights in London
Road to Equality
In partnership with the Museum of London, the LSE Library, the City of London Police Museum and 20 other organisations, Road to Equality is a free exhibition that brings together over 4,000 stories and artefacts from the suffrage movement in a digital space.
These institutions contributed imagery and videos from their archives and the project has ‘provided an exciting opportunity to provide greater public access to the Museum of London’s suffragette collection, the largest in the world relating to the militant campaign,’ said Beverley Cook from the Museum of London.
‘In particular, the digitisation and online publication of key suffragette scrapbooks will enable these significant and unique resources, usually kept in our archive store, to reach a global audience in their entirety, for the first time,’ she continued.
Emmeline Pankhurst being arrested by police outside Buckingham Palace in London
Road to Equality aims to explore ideas that surround modern feminism and highlights the Processions parades in London, Belfast, Edinburgh and Cardiff as well as the Old Vic’s upcoming production of Sylvia, a musical about the life of the suffragette Sylvia Pankhurst.
‘It’s so important that the stories of these courageous women and the cause they fought for are easy to discover so their sacrifice is never forgotten or taken for granted.
‘We hope this project will encourage people to read some of the previously untold stories of the Right to Vote movement, and demonstrate what else can be done on the road to equality,’ said Suhair Khan, program manager for Google Arts & Culture in the UK.
What is in the Road to Equality exhibition?
As well as an exploration into all that Millicent Fawcett did for the suffragist movement, Road to Equality also includes a feature on 18-year-old Amika George, the #FreePeriods campaigner, the men who helped the campaign for women’s rights and who has been dubbed the militant suffragette, Emily Wilding Davison.
In a special editorial feature, Helen Pankhurst, the great-granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst and the granddaughter Sylvia Pankhurst, reflects on the influence of the Women’s Social and Political Union and in other visually stimulating articles, the history of the women’s movement is told.
Signs of Change
Inspired by the unveiling of the statue of Millicent Fawcett in Parliament Square in London, Google worked with Sadiq Khan’s office on ‘Signs of Change, a film project created by the Turner-Prize artist Gillian Wearing, who also created the statue.
The film forms parallels between the achievements of women in history and contemporary figures, drawing attention to the diversity of ambition for the future.