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Shami Chakrabarti to deliver inaugural Pankhurst Lecture

26 Feb 2015

Shami Chakrabarti, director of human-rights organisation Liberty and honorary professor of The University of Manchester, will deliver the inaugural Pankhurst Lecture this evening in honour of Christabel Pankhurst.

Shami Chakrabarti

Christabel Pankhurst was a first-class Law graduate of The University of Manchester, but was barred from the legal profession on account of her gender. Instead, she was forced to use her learning for her own defence, and that of her suffragette sisters, in their many legendary struggles against a law that denied women the vote in the early 20th century.

In establishing an annual lecture in Pankhurst's name - three years before the centenary of the Representation of the People Act and the votes for women so-hard-won - the University's School of Law plans to remember, and rekindle, the radical and feminist heritage of the Pankhust sisters, at a time when Baroness Brenda Hale, who spent many years teaching at Manchester, still remains the first and only woman in Britain's highest court. 
"Much has been achieved in women’s struggles for their basic human rights the world over," says Chakrabarti, "yet there is so much more still to be done."

In this inaugural lecture, Chakrabarti will reflect on what Pankhurst's generation of law students and freedom-fighters might think‎ of the mixed performance in gaining equal rights for women of her own generation.

Ahead of the lecture, Shami Chakrabarti shares her thoughts on the future of human rights on the School of Law blog, and on feminism, which she dubbs 'the F-word', on BBC Radio Manchester (1h 11m in / link expires 27/03/15).