Women should always be celebrated

March 9, 2024
empowered women

Happy women’s history month!


Here at WE MCR, we want to shed light on some of the influential women of Manchester. As we all know, women’s history month is a special time to reflect, celebrate, and empower women.

This year, we want to showcase some amazing historical groups and individuals from Manchester. From suffragettes to actresses, these women have all impacted the world in their own way.

By Olivia Whelan


Emmeline Pankhurst


No list of influential women would be complete without mentioning Manchester-born Pankhurst. An iconic political activist and leader of the British Suffragettes, Pankhurst founded the Women’s Social and Political Union, Women’s Franchise League, and Women’s Party. The WSPU (Women’s Social and Political Union), founded in 1903, was an all-women advocacy group dedicated to “deeds, not words” – leading the group to become well-known for their physical confrontations to opposing parties.

She inspired many generations of female activists to be strong until justice was granted, and taught women to not back down. A lot was risked by Pankhurst during this time, but her progress in female rights was not reversed, and instead created the women’s voice of Britain.

manchester town hall


Kathleen Ollerenshaw


Previous Mayor of Manchester, politician, and mathematician, Ollerenshaw has left a lasting impact on the mathematics world. From a young age, Ollerenshaw suffered with otosclerosis which left her partially deaf. At the age of eight, she developed an illness which brought on sensorineural deafness and left her almost entirely deaf. This never stopped her, and Ollerenshaw continued to focus on her love for mathematics.

Her book, Most-Perfect Pandiagonal Magic Squares, with computer scientist David Brée was published in 1998 by the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications. A magic square can be defined as a square divided into smaller squares each containing a number, such that the figures in each vertical, horizontal, and diagonal row add up to the same value. This has helped children (and adults) today learn mathematics and calculations, sharpen mental math skills, helping to develop a deeper, visual understanding of maths.

Victoria Wood

Victoria Wood; a Bury born comedic icon. Wood’s work in television, film, and music created amazing sketches (written by herself), live comedy acts, and satirical takes of Britain’s social classes.

Her fabulous observational humour throughout all her work allowed her to be nominated for a BAFTA TV Award fourteen times, winning four of these nominations. In 2005, she received a special BAFTA at tribute evening. Her significant impact on television with her own comedic takes allowed her to create and star in highly praised programmes, such as Victoria Wood: As Seen on TV, which showcased her talent for observational comedy.

She holds the Royal Albert Hall record for the longest run shows by a female headline artist, where she did a run of 15 sell-out shows from 21st September 1993, and again on the 24th of September 1996. Her impact has allowed for more women to take on a comedic stance in television, film, and stand-up.

This is just a short list of women who should be in the spotlight. Each women’s history month, we must remember those who have come before us and paved the way; whether this be for our rights, our entertainment, or education – all factors are important and should be celebrated!

Happy women’s history month!