Updated: Wednesday, 26th February 2020 @ 2:34pm

Iconic Manchester suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst honoured by Google doodle on her 156th birthday

Iconic Manchester suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst honoured by Google doodle on her 156th birthday

| By Josh Willacy

Google have honoured iconic Manchester-born Suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst in their doodle in celebration of her birthday.

Pankhurst would have been 156 today and the political activist’s work has been recognised as a crucial factor in attaining the vote for women in Britain.

Born in Moss Side to politically active parents in 1885, Pankhurst was one of ten children and the eldest of five daughters.

She attended revered school the École Normale Supérieure in Paris to study and in 1878 she married Richard Pankhurst, a barrister and supporter of the women's suffrage movement who was 24 years her senior.

She founded the Women's Franchise League in 1889 as part of a campaign to allow married women to vote in local elections before going on to establish the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) in 1903.

Together with her daughter, Christabel, Emmeline initiated a series of political interventions, smashing windows, assaulting police officers and, even arson – the WSPU's slogan was ‘Words, not deeds’.

Through a campaign of protest and direct action, the group forced itself into the national consciousness and members were regularly sentenced to repeated prison sentences where they staged hunger strikes.

When the First World War hit in 1914, Emmeline and Christabel, who had then taken on the leadership of the WSPU, called a halt to militant suffrage activism and urged women to aid industrial production.

In 1918, The Representation of the People Act granted votes to all men over the age of 21 and women over the age of 30.

Ten years later, just weeks before her death in June 1928, the Conservative government's Representation of the People Act extended the vote to all women over 21 years of age in July 1928.

Meryl Streep is set to star as Pankhurst in a forthcoming film, Suffragette, which will also see Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter and Ben Whishaw, it is set for release in early 2015.

The Pankhurst Centre on 60-62 Nelson Street, right near Manchester Royal infirmary, was once the home of Emmeline Pankhurst and her daughters Sylvia, Christabel and Adela.  It is also the birthplace of the suffragette movement.

The two Victorian buildings now form a centre that is a women-only space to creating a unique environment for women to learn together, work on projects and socialise.

The building also contains museum The Pankhurst Parlour, which has become a memorial to the suffragette movement.

To find out more information, visit the centre's website.

Image courtesy of Google with thanks