Amnesty International has named Peasedown St John councillors Karen Walker and Sarah Bevan each as recipients of a Suffragette Spirit Award.
The global charity led a national search for women across the UK who go ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty to champion and speak out for the rights of women who are marginalised and discriminated against.
The awards are a once in a lifetime event to coincide with the centenary of the first women in the UK being able to vote.
Over 100 women from every corner of the British Isles have been honoured. The list includes high profile campaigners such as Margaret Aspinall, Chairman of the Hillsborough Family Support Group; Mridul Wadhwa, campaigner for trans rights and migrant women facing gender-based violence in Scotland; and autism campaigner Anna Kennedy.
Speaking in response to being named Suffragette Spirit Award winners, Karen and Sarah said: “We’re hugely honoured to have received these awards, and to join a list of such highly esteemed women from across the United Kingdom.
“Thanks to Amnesty International for coordinating this initiative in this very significant year for women’s rights and equality.
“Our campaigning work across Peasedown St John and the wider B&NES area is driven by a strong passion to make sure that women don’t face any form of discrimination, prejudice or injustice.
“Women can often feel vulnerable because they don’t have the same access to services or career opportunities. This is what we are determined to stop!”
Kate Allen, Director of Amnesty International UK, congratulated Karen, Sarah and all the award winners from across the country.
She said: “At Amnesty we know of 281 women around the world who were killed last year for standing up for what they believed in, but this figure is likely to be just the tip of the iceberg.
“From Heather Heyer who died while protesting against a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, to Daphne Caruana Galizia, a Maltese anti-corruption journalist who was killed in a car bomb last October – the world felt like it was an increasingly treacherous place to live in if you are a campaigner.
“But next to these horrible statistics I have recently witnessed a chink of light that has filled me with hope: and it’s in the form of the Suffragette Spirit campaign.
“I have been bowled over by the incredible cases put forward – all of whom are working to make very real, positive changes in their communities.
“From Glasgow to Portsmouth, Ipswich to Swansea, women embodying that fighting spirit a century on are using their powerful voices to help the vulnerable, stand up to bullies, fight racism, tackle abuse and save their local environment.”