The film Suffragette is out in full force and the movement seems to have caught new momentum. I went to photograph Helen Pankhurst at her house in a small garden town not far from London. Helen is the grand daughter of the leader of the Suffragette movement, Emily Pankhurst. Helen has in many ways followed in her grand-mothers footsteps. She helps promote the ideas that Emily fought for but she also now fights for other groups that are denied their human rights. She’s worked for WaterAid, (helping provide clean water to people who do not have access to it,) and she’s now working for CARE in Ethiopia, focusing a lot on supporting women to help them get families and communities out of poverty. Helen has herself recently recovered from cancer. She met us with a big smile, just waiting to head off down to Ethiopia again for some more charity work.
She spoke enthusiastically about working with Carey Mulligan behind the scenes when filming the Suffragettes and was full of enthusiasm for the publicity the movement would get again. Helen does maybe not need to chain herself to fences or shout slogans in the street in order to make people listen up, but she has a more subtle approach and works from behind the scenes to help change the perception of women all over the world. The Pankhurst family have given a lot to the women of today all over the world and we should all be thankful for the continual work they do.