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School of Law

Baroness Hale to give the 2018 Christabel Pankhurst Lecture

25 January 2018

In the centenary of the Representation of the People Act and the hard-won votes for women, the University's School of Law intends to remember, and rekindle, the radical and feminist heritage of the Pankhurst sisters.

Christabel Pankhurst drawing
Christabel Pankhurst.

Christabel Pankhurst was a first-class Law graduate of The University of Manchester, but was barred from the legal profession on account of her gender. Instead, she was forced to use her learning for her own defence, and that of her suffragette sisters, in their many legendary struggles against a law that denied women the vote in the early 20th century.

In establishing an annual lecture in Pankhurst's name in 2015 - three years before the centenary of the Representation of the People Act and the votes for women so-hard-won - the University's School of Law intends to remember, and rekindle, the radical and feminist heritage of the Pankhurst sisters.

In the inaugural lecture, Shami Chakrabarti reflected on what Pankhurst's generation of law students and freedom-fighters might think‎ of the mixed performance in gaining equal rights for women of her own generation.

The School of Law founded the Pankhurst Lecture to commemorate Christabel Pankhurst’s achievements, to celebrate the achievements that have been made in women’s rights and to highlight the work still to be done. Each year the School invites a leading legal female figure to give a lecture.

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