To mark the centenary of The Representation of the People Act 1918 which paved the way to men and women over 21 gaining the right to vote ten years later, Bury North MP James Frith invited local people to join him for a cup of tea today.
EqualiTeas is part of a programme of events from UK Parliament to mark 2018’s important milestones for democracy. EqualiTeas, which gives people across the UK the chance to share, debate, and celebrate what equality means to them over a cup of tea, took place between 18th June and 2nd July.
2018 marks 100 years since The Representation of the People Act 1918 extended the right to vote to all men over 21 and the first women, making this one of the most important centenaries in British democratic history. Ten years later The Representation of the People (Equal Franchise) Act 1928, gave all men and women over 21 the right to vote. These acts followed years of campaigning, with the first petition to Parliament asking for votes for women presented to the House of Commons on 3rd August 1832.
Historically, tea parties were hotbeds of political activism. It was one of the few ways women could meet without men to discuss and plan. The leading suffrage organisations used tea parties and tea shops as central elements in their campaigning, to increase awareness, discuss tactics and raise money.
“The Representation of the People (Equal Franchise) Act 1928 was a vital step towards the rights women and men have today, and these anniversaries are an incredibly important opportunity for us to reflect on how far we have come.
“We all know that there is still more to do when it comes to equality in Britain, and EqualiTeas is an excellent opportunity to reach out and share our ideas for an even more equal society, while celebrating the strides we have already made.”