The great-granddaughter of suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst, who led the movement to win the right for women to vote, has been officially installed as the first chancellor of the University of Suffolk.
Dr Helen Pankhurst’s appointment comes 100 years after women aged over 30 were given voting rights under the Representation of the People Act in 1918.
Dr Pankhurst is a writer, academic, women’s rights activist and senior adviser to humanitarian agency Care International, working in the UK and Ethiopia.
Starting in her role as university chancellor, she said Suffolk has had women involved in the suffragist movement over the years – including the first Englishwoman to qualify as a doctor, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson.
“Let’s hope that in the coming decade and in the coming centuries we still find and see many more women, and all people, rising up and ensuring the world is a better place,” said Dr Pankhurst.
She added: “My role as the first chancellor is symbolic; it is about the idea, the vision of the university.
“I think the vision, for me, is about persistence, hard work, having an idea and sticking with it.
“It is about the power of individuals but also about how important it is to come together to effect change and that we can.”
Professor Helen Langton, the university’s vice chancellor, said: “We are extremely proud that the University of Suffolk has installed Dr Helen Pankhurst as our chancellor and look forward to seeing her act as a great ambassador and advocate for our university and our region.”