About Our history Our history Millicent Fawcett: a tireless and courageous leader The Fawcett Society's story begins with Millicent Fawcett, a suffragist and women's rights campaigner who made it her lifetime’s work to secure women the right to vote. At the age of 19, she organised signatures for the first petition for women’s suffrage, though she was too young to sign it herself. She became President of the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (the NUWSS) from 1907-19. With 50,000 members it was the largest organisation agitating for female suffrage at the time. Her powerful and peaceful mass campaign was instrumental in securing the first extension of voting rights for women in 1918. In 1913, she was awarded a brooch engraved with “For Steadfastness and Courage”, which The Fawcett Society still has today. Millicent Fawcett died in 1929, a year after women were finally given universal suffrage. Her work has continued ever since, with The London Society for Women’s Suffrage renamed as The Fawcett Society in her honour in 1953. In 2018, 100 years since women first secured the right to vote, Millicent Fawcett made history once again. She was the first woman commemorated with a statue in Parliament Square – a landmark moment for the wider suffrage movement, and for women everywhere. We’ve been fighting for gender equality for over 150 years and continue to do that now, in 2022. We work to close the gender pay gap, get more women into roles of political power and smash stereotypes that hold our children back from reaching their full potential. Right now, we’re campaigning to make misogyny a hate crime, so that women who are targeted get the same protection as other groups. We will continue to fight everyday until gender equality has been achieved. Take a stand for women's rights today In 1918, some women secured the vote - but as our Sex & Power 2022 report shows, we clearly still have a long way to go. Equality won't happen if we don't fight for it. We've got to make it happen. We will continue Millicent's legacy by ensuring 2022 is a year of victories for girls and women everywhere. Will you join our call for a fairer, more equal society? Honour Millicent Fawcett today by becoming a Fawcett member at this crucial time for gender equality. By supporting our work you are pushing for real change for women everyday and becoming a part of a community of people who share your values and are hungry for change. Join the Fawcett Society as a member today.