Dr Helen Pankhurst - Deeds Not Words: The Story of Women’s Rights, Then and Now

ILAS Grand Challenges lecture series

Helen Pankhurst will be leading a participatory and wide-ranging discussion on women’s lives, reflecting on the changes since the right to a parliamentary vote was first granted to some women in the UK in 1918.

The session will be in three parts with questions after each. It starts with personal reflections from Helen, a direct descendent of the famous Pankhursts, on the Votes for Women campaign and the role of the suffragettes; Second, it explores how far we have come in the last hundred years, looking at and contrasting progress in areas such as in politics, money and work and women’s identity. The session ends with a discussion about priorities going forward.

The participatory lecture will be informed by findings from her book Deeds Not Words: The Story of Women’s Rights, Then and Now.


Helen Pankhurst CBE is an author, a women’s rights activist and an international development practitioner.

Helen studied at Sussex University, Vassar College, New York, and Edinburgh University and has an honorary degree from Edge Hill University. She was a Visiting Professor/Senior Fellow at LSE, is a Visiting Professor at MMU and the First Chancellor of the University of Suffolk.

Helen is a Senior Advisor for CARE International, based in the UK and in Ethiopia. She previously worked for other international development charities including WaterAid, Womankind Worldwide and ACORD. She is currently a Trustee of ActionAid and, in 2019, one of the judges of the Orwell Prize for Political writing.

The great-granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst and granddaughter of Sylvia Pankhurst, leaders of the British suffragette movement, Helen carries on the legacy. This has included undertaking re-enactment work for current-day awareness-raising including at the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics, the 2015 film Suffragette, leading CARE International’s annual #March4Women event ahead of International Women’s Day in London launching the Centenary Action Group and the Greater Manchester initiative GM4Women2028. She has worked with the composer Lucy Pankhurst, on the lyrics of the Emmeline Anthem commissioned by BBC Radio 3 and in 2018 published the book: Deeds Not Words, the Story of Women’s Rights, Then and Now.

Twitter: @HelenPankhurst

Refreshments will be available from 5.30pm onwards.

This lecture is free and all are welcome to attend.

Please note that are no restrictions for visitors on parking in areas marked for staff parking, including the Keele Hall courtyard, from 5.00pm.

Event date
Event Time
Keele Hall - The Ballroom
Steve Kilner
Contact email
Contact telephone
01782 7 34449