Emmeline Pankhurst is well known for leading the British Suffragette movement and championing the cause of women’s voting rights. Years before she became a political activist, however, she had attended finishing school in Paris in 1873, where she was taught to become a bookkeeper.

In her autobiography, My Own Life, she wrote:

‘The school was under the direction of Marchef Girard, a woman who believed that girls' education should be quite as thorough as the education of boys […] she included chemistry and other sciences in the course, and in addition to embroidery she had her girls taught bookkeeping.’

Emmeline was repeatedly imprisoned for her violent and controversial tactics to help women be granted the right to vote. Emmeline died at the age of 69 on 14th June 1928, just weeks before women over 21 years old were granted the right to vote on 2nd July 1928.

I'd rather be a rebel than a slave.

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This is part of our year-long #ICB100Women Campaign honouring 100 influential and inspiring women bookkeepers, to celebrate the suffrage centenary.