A statue of one of Leicester’s pioneering suffragettes has been unveiled today to commemorate her work towards equal rights for women, as 2018 marks 100 years since women were given the right to vote in this country.
Alice Hawkins was a working-class woman from Leicester who worked in a shoe factory, where she soon realised she wasn’t being paid as much as men. This was the start of Alice’s fight for equal rights and she later became the leader of the Leicester suffragette movement.
In December 2017, Leicester was named as a Centenary City for its importance in women being given the right to vote, 100 years on. Seven other cities were also chosen as Centenary Cities – including London, Manchester, Bolton and Birmingham.
A seven foot bronze statue of Alice Hawkins was unveiled by Alice’s family, after a parade from Humberstone Gate to Market Place where the statue now stands.
Peter Barratt, Alice’s great-grandson, has worked tirelessly to spread the word about his great-grandmother’s remarkable life and dedication. He said:
“One of my earliest memories, 5 or 6 years of age, grandad telling me how we stood in this very same spot we are now, how his mother, Alice, speaking to the crowds and she was being heckled by men – but she stood her ground, she was made of strong stuff.”