Voices from History: East London Suffragettes
In 1914, the East London Federation of Suffragettes, led by Sylvia Pankhurst, split from the WSPU. Sylvia’s mother and sister, Emmeline and Christabel, had encouraged her to give up her work with the poor women of East London – but Sylvia refused. Besides campaigning for women to have an equal right to vote from their headquarters in Bow, the ELFS worked on a range of equality issues which mattered to local women: they built a toy factory, providing work and a living wage for local women; they opened a subsidized canteen where women and children could get cheap, nutritious food; and they launched a nursery school, a crèche, and a mother-and-baby clinic. The work of the Federation (and ‘our Sylvia’, as she was fondly known by locals) deserves to be remembered, and this book, filled with astonishing first-hand accounts, aims to bring this amazing story to life.
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