Thousands march for gender equality in London

Thousands of people have taken part in a march in London to highlight the fight for gender equality.

The rally coincided with the 100th anniversary of some women being given the right to vote.

Celebrities including Bianca Jagger, Anne-Marie Duff, Natalie Imbruglia, Biffy Clyro and Michael Sheen joined London’s mayor Sadiq Khan on the march.

Marchers including ,from third left, Bianca Jagger, Justine Greening, Natalie Imbruglia, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and Sandi Toksvig

Image: The protesters gathered outside Parliament before marching to Trafalgar Square

Helen Pankhurst, the great-granddaughter of suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst, also attended and said “right across the board, in every sphere, there’s work to be done”.

She added: “I think we are living in a world where there are some dinosaurs that are trying to take us back.

“And there are those that are moving together, trying to say ‘that’s not the way we want this world to look’, and moving us forward, and looking at issues around inequality and naming prejudice and all sorts of forms of entitlement, that just shouldn’t be part of the scene of the 21st century.”

Ms Pankhurst said there was a “great energy” and that “day after day after day there’s a media story saying we are not going to tolerate this anymore”.

The rally coincided with the 100th anniversary of some women getting the right to vote

Image: The rally coincided with the 100th anniversary of some women getting the right to vote

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When asked about Donald Trump’s recent admission that he does not consider himself a feminist, she said: “It’s irrelevant. I think what we need to be focusing on is the number of men and women who are supportive of change and of equality and all the beautiful and wonderful things that happen.

“And we need to fight against people like him who represent old ideas, dated ideas, ideas that actually put people into boxes and don’t allow people to thrive. Why should we allow that?”

Banners reading “Bloody difficult woman”, “Courage is a muscle” and “Men of quality do not fear equality” were held aloft.

Prime Minister Theresa May also lent her support to the demonstration as she tweeted: “Here’s to all the ‘bloody difficult women’ out today on the #March4Women.”

Tory grandee Ken Clarke was caught on a microphone describing Mrs May as a “bloody difficult woman” in 2016. Her tweet was accompanied by a screenshot of Google’s search results for the phrase, as her Wikipedia profile is the top result.

Marchers wore sashes with the suffragettes’ famous slogan “deeds not words” and gathered outside the Houses of Parliament before setting off on the route to Trafalgar Square.

The march came ahead of International Women's Day

Image: The march came ahead of International Women’s Day

Activist Bianca Jagger was cheered when she called for the gender pay gap to be closed.

Sadiq Khan said there were not enough women in Parliament and boardrooms across the country.

Wearing a “deeds not words” sash, he said: “I’m a feminist, I’m a proud feminist.

“I think if you’re in a position of power and influence and you think it’s wrong that women get paid less than men, you think it’s wrong there’s discrimination against women still, you think it’s wrong that simply by virtue of being born a boy you have more chances than a girl – you should be a feminist.

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Marchers wore sashes with the suffragettes' famous slogan 'deeds not words'

Image: Marchers wore sashes with the suffragettes’ famous slogan ‘deeds not words’

Actor Michael Sheen has said he would “absolutely” take a pay cut if it meant being paid the same as an actress.

He said he had turned up in solidarity to demand a more equal society for everyone, adding that equal rights were “incredibly important to me”.

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