The UK’s leading women’s rights and gender equality charity the Fawcett Society has today announced a partnership with international law firm Pinsent Masons to mark the centenary of the first votes for women.

Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Representation of the People Act 1918, which enabled all men and some women over the age of 30 to vote for the first time in the UK, the organisations will come together to collaborate on a programme of nationwide events throughout 2018. The events will promote the importance of women's participation in politics and public life as a factor in achieving gender equality.

The programme includes a suffrage centenary reception and exhibition at the Royal Albert Hall and regional events at the Museum of Liverpool and Manchester’s People's History Museum, culminating in an event at the end of 2018 to mark the centenary of women in UK parliament.

Carolyn Saunders, partner and head of London office at Pinsent Masons, said:

"For us at Pinsent Masons, gender equality and diversity is far more than just a tick-box exercise, and we strive to create both a workplace and wider society where men and women stand on a level playing field. Earlier this year women made up 68% of our promotions to partner level – meaning we hit our target early for at least 25% of our partners to be women – and the firm was also named one of The Times' Top 50 Employers for Women.

"This centenary of votes for women is important to commemorate, as it was a vital early step in giving women agency and changing their role in society. We look forward to collaborating with The Fawcett Society to mark the anniversary of this significant milestone on the path towards real gender equality."

Sam Smethers, Chief Executive of the Fawcett Society said:

“We are delighted that Pinsent Masons is going to be our lead partner for next year’s anniversary. We have already collaborated on some important new research on the gender gap in financial security, so it's great to find a company that shares our values and our priorities. We look forward to working with them in the months ahead to take forward this important work at a critical time."

The Fawcett Society's programme of events for 2018 will be published on our website shortly.