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Town Hall room to be renamed after women’s rights campaigner

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A COMMITTEE room at Warrington Town Hall looks set to be renamed The Mabel Capper room – in honour of the town’s first female journalist and also a leading campaigner for women’s rights.

The proposal will be put to the annual meeting of the borough council on Monday, May 21 and, at a meeting when, for the first time ever, a female Mayor and female Deputy Mayor are due to be elected at the same time, is unlikely to be opposed.

Councillors will be asked to agree to the renaming of the current No 2 committee room.

This year is the centenary of the Representation of the People Act which enabled some women over the age of 30 to vote for the first time.

It paved the way for universal suffrage 10 years later.

Mabel Capper was born in Manchester to a family of active suffrage campaigners and used her role as a journalist to publically argue the cause for women’s rights and suffrage.

She remained a prominent activist until her death in 1966 and was a high profile campaigner, being jailed six times and being one of the first suffragettes to be force fed during a hunger strike

She also worked as a nurse with the Voluntary Aid Detachment during the First World War and her lifelong work in campaigning for gender quality and women’s has been recognised by the

Women’s Local Government Society who have included her on their list of the top 100 suffrage pioneers.

A report to be considered at the council meeting points out that gender equality is an issue as prominent as ever.

“The Council has made great strides in promoting gender equality with a strong female presence on the Executive Board and a female Mayor and Deputy Mayor for the first time. The naming a room at the Town Hall in honour of Mabel Capper’s work and sacrifice would further demonstrate the council’s commitment to gender equality.”

Warrington Museum recently ran an exhibition entitled “Nevertheless, She Persisted” which celebrated the Warrington women who fought for women’s suffrage.

The renamed room will be furnished with artefacts from the exhibition with Mayoral pictures currently hanging there being moved to another room.

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