Sisters feature on new stamps

TWO pioneering Suffolk sisters who forged a path to help change the lives of women everywhere are to feature on a new set of stamps.

TWO pioneering Suffolk sisters who forged a path to help change the lives of women everywhere are to feature on a new set of stamps.

Women of Distinction, issued on 14 October, highlights the work of women who defied discrimination achieving both power and influence in the traditionally male areas of politics, medicine and social reform.

The 1st Class stamps feature Elizabeth Garrett Anderson who grew up in Leiston and was the first British woman to qualify as a doctor and seven years later in 1872 founded the New Hospital for Women in London.

In 1908 Garrett Anderson became the first woman to be elected as a mayor in the UK, in Aldeburgh, Suffolk.

The new critical care centre at Ipswich Hospital has been named after Ms Garrett Anderson.

Her sister Millicent Garrett Fawcett, leading suffragist and a tireless campaigner for women's rights, who as President of the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies was instrumental in securing the right to vote and will also be featured on the stamps.

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Other women to be featured on the stamps include Marie Stopes who pioneered family planning, opening The Mother's Clinic, the first free family planning clinic in London.

Eleanor Rathbone who honed her political skills campaigning for social services for the women and children of Liverpool, before entering parliament in 1929 is also featured.

Civil rights campaigner, Claudia Jones who set up the West Indian Gazette and a founder of the Notting Hill Carnival and Barbara Castle, Labour MP, who, as Minister for Employment and Productivity, was responsible for making the Equal Pay Act law are also part of the set.

Julietta Edgar, Head of Special Stamps, Royal Mail, said: “It's easy to forget the enormous contribution women have made in key areas of our lives over the last century.

“Women of Distinction commemorates six individuals whose dedicated work not only changed the lives of other women, but society as a whole.”

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