It is 2015 but not everyone seems to realise this, writes Liz Nice

Anne-Marie Duff (Violet) and Carey Mulligan (Maud) in Suffragette

Anne-Marie Duff (Violet) and Carey Mulligan (Maud) in Suffragette - Credit: PA

I enjoyed the film, Suffragette, a stirring reminder of a time when people in Britain were prepared to fight tooth and nail for a cause they believed in.

I say people, because, of course, it wasn’t just women who thought women should have the right to vote. And today, I know plenty of men for whom equality is as natural an impulse as breathing.

Others, however, still have a way to go, like the man at an event I attended recently who gave a talk about leadership and showed us a slide of ‘great leaders’. All were men. A rather silly approach to take in 2015, no?

However, anyone who thinks the battle for gender equality is won in the 21st Century, is kidding themselves.

The gender pay gap is still nearly 20 per cent. There are significantly more men called John running FTSE 100 companies than there are women.


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Meanwhile, our national game, football, has been very slow to cotton onto the revolution. When the FA investigated the case of Chelsea doctor Eva Carneiro for example, they ignored her claims of sexism by fans and concluded that Chelsea had acted appropriately in dismissing her after her clash with Jose Mourinho.

Whatever the rights and wrongs of that case, it was surely a little unusual for them to deliver a verdict without actually speaking to her? “I wonder whether this might be the only formal investigation in this country where the evidence of the individuals involved in the incident was not considered relevant,” she said. Quite.

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Meanwhile, a young female engineer was in the news this week after a picture of her, used to promote her company, received abuse online from those who claimed she couldn’t possibly be an engineer because she was too attractive.

This followed a series of photographs of young, female surgeons which did the rounds a month ago in an online campaign to promote #thisiswhatasurgeonlookslike. One wrote: “At the hospital, I’m referred to as Stephanie. They call the men ‘doctor’.”

The suffragettes would be proud of what women have achieved up but also despairing that still we find ourselves defined by our appearance and gender first, while men are far more likely to be respected for their skills and intelligence.

This week Zoo magazine finally closed and Playboy announced that it will no longer feature fully naked women. The fact that this has happened is cause for celebration.

The fact that it took this long is a reminder that in 2015 we still need the suffragette spirit as much as ever.

See more from Liz Nice here

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