Continuing the Pankhurst legacy

Professor Helen Pankhurst founder of GM4Women

GM4Women is a volunteer led organisation focused on promoting equality and diversity for the benefit of the community in Greater Manchester. 

Following the first viewing of the BBC film Emmeline, The Making of a Militant, in May 2018, Helen was on the panel where the last innocent sounding question was to be the catalyst for founding GM4Women. It was a simple enough question; “what is Manchester like now for women and girls and how do we measure progress?”

Helen, a visiting Professor at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) initially hosted discussions with other organisations to answer these questions and bring about a call to action. A timeframe of 10 years was decided that celebrated the centenary of the first right to vote, 2018 to 2028 which is the centenary of equal franchise.

“We are a charity focused on promoting equality and diversity for the benefit of the community in Greater Manchester. Led by Helen Pankhurst, we are committed to making Greater Manchester a better place for girls and women, in all their diversity, to live, work and prosper”. GM4Women

But how to measure and speed up progress?

The group came up with 10 indicators, across 5 themes, which became the Pankhurst-Fawcett Scorecard, which annually monitored progress against these indicators. The indicators are: Employment, Safety, Participation, Education and Culture & Active Lives.

“GM4Women2028 have committed to improving outcomes for all women and girls across the ten Local Authority boroughs of Greater Manchester in these five scorecard areas. In order to do this, women from all walks of life, backgrounds, sectors, industries and disciplines volunteer their time to help policy and decision makers disassemble outdated systems and processes and engage women in our communities to re-engineer systems that are fit for the future and move us all forward as a cohesive and richly diverse society.”  Sofia Higgins, Chair of Board of Trustees.

We can do better image

GM4Women is half way through its 10 year project – with much work still to do under the guiding hand of Emmeline’s great granddaughter, Helen Pankhurst and fellow trustees.

Data, deeds and determination are critical if we are to make significant inroads into entrenched and persisting gender inequality.