PROJECTS are taking place up and down the country this year to mark the 100th anniversary of The Representation of the People Act and the enfranchisement of women.

On page four of today’s Northern Echo we report how a group in Bishop Auckland are planning a parade and re-enactments to celebrate the landmark, and the efforts of the Suffrage movement.

However, had Emmeline Pankhurst been alive and well and reading The Northern Echo today, her attention would surely have been grabbed not by that article, but by the lead stories on pages 12 and 13 – Hollywood stars dressing in black at the Golden Globes to make a stand against sexual harassment of women in the entertainment industry, and a leading BBC journalist resigning in protest at being paid significantly less than her male colleagues doing the same job.

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Two different issues which essentially come back to the same point – that it has been and still is seen as acceptable to treat women as second class citizens in too many industries and in too many ways.

Every time there is a gender pay gap revelation or new harassment scandal there is talk of a “tectonic shift” in society’s attitude to women.

But if in 2018, women are still have to quit the jobs they love to get their voices heard, or launch social media campaigns complete with pithy hashtags to demand the right not to be sexually harassed or bullied, how far have we really come?

It would seem that while Ms Pankhurst won the battle, the war is still being fought.