Suffragettes100: Upminster pupils talk feminism for women’s vote centenary

PUBLISHED: 14:00 08 February 2018

Coopers' Company and Coborn pupils Poppy Ellis, of Year 9, and games captain Phoebe Menear, of Year 13. Picture: CCCS

Coopers' Company and Coborn pupils Poppy Ellis, of Year 9, and games captain Phoebe Menear, of Year 13. Picture: CCCS


Phoebe Menear is the Upminster school’s games captain, and she is well aware of the important role played 
by the suffragettes a century ago.

She said: “Feminism to me means equal rights for men and women, over time we have become more equal and that was largely down to the incredible women who fought for my right to vote.”

And for the Year 13 student, sports is perhaps one of the best indicators of how far society has come in the past 100 years.

She told the Recorder: “In the first ever Olympics only 22 women competed in the entire games!

“In the 2016 Olympics the Great Britain women’s hockey team became Olympic champions! As a young woman who plays a vast amount of sport there is nothing more empowering than seeing sportswomen succeed in what was, historically, a male dominated activityt.

“It proves how women have come on leaps and bounds not only for the vote but in competitive sport.”

But Phoebe is still realistic about the issues facing young women today.

“In 2018 women still struggle,” she said.

“Serena Williams is the highest paid sportswoman, but she is 51st on the list. In modern days these statistics are appalling.

“We still have a way to go as women in sport and as women of the world.”

And for Year 9 pupil Poppy Ellis, the Oxford Dictionary’s definition of feminism as “the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes” was the right place to start, but admitted that in real life it has many different interpretations.

“To me feminism means that both women and men are treated equally, in all aspects of everyday life,” she said. “Therefore women should have equal opportunities in education and employment and have a balanced pay to men.”

And to Poppy, feminism is a powerful tool helping both men and women break down gender stereotypes and young boys and girls’ own self-perceptions.

“Throughout the last decade, women’s rights have taken a huge leap from the position they were once in 100 years ago – from the 1940s where women were allowed to work in factories during World War II, to our second female prime minister in the 21st century.”

Latest Romford News Stories


Two beloved historical societies in Havering that have been around for more than 50 years folded due to declining membership.

Yesterday, 17:00

Curiosity Killed the Cat are just one of the highlights of the 40th Anniversary Havering Show this August Bank Holiday weekend.

Yesterday, 14:17

Students at a school have been celebrating their “amazing” A-level results today.

Yesterday, 12:30

The students at a Harold Hill school have been celebrating receiving their A-level results with many being able to go to their first choice university.

Yesterday, 11:28

The principal of Havering Sixth Form College is “delighted” with this year’s successes in A-level and B-tec examinations.

Yesterday, 11:11

Year 13 students at The Campion School in Hornchurch are celebrating a hugely successful year of A-level results that have left the school’s headteacher “over the moon”.

Yesterday, 10:43

Coopers’ Company and Coborn School achieved its best A-level results in 15 years this week, and it’s no surprise its teachers are “extremely happy”

eFrances Bardsley Academy in Romford has woken up this morning to record-breaking A-level results that have been dubbed “the best in the school’s history”.


“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining,” so the saying goes. So if some warm weather is making your conservatory uninhabitable, think about replacing its roof with a flat one and adding a roof lantern instead.

The next step in renewable energy could be right beneath your feet as you walk through a Romford shopping centre.

There are many reasons people decide to join a gym. Some want to pack on muscle for strength, train for endurance, or lose weight. But did you know it also does wonders for your mental health? Two members at Romford’s Better Gym in the Market Place talk about their personal fitness journey and the importance of replacing bad habits with good ones.

Newsletter Sign Up

Romford Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

News from your area

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now