Hornsey School for Girls welcome women’s campaigner Helen Pankhurst – who’s a descendant of suffragette leaders Emmeline and Sylvia

Helen Pankhurst addresses students and Hornsey School for Girls. Picture: Care International / Toby

Helen Pankhurst addresses students and Hornsey School for Girls. Picture: Care International / Toby Madden - Credit: Archant

Hornsey School for Girls welcomed the great-granddaughter of suffragette leader Emmeline Pankhurst this week.

Helen Pankhurst, whose grandmother - and Emmeline's daughter - Sylvia was also a prominent activist, spoke to year 8 pupils at the Crouch End school about International Day of the Girl which takes place next month.

Helen, an ambassador for the charity Care International, held an assembly for the students and asked them what they would do, "if girls ran the world".

After what she said was a "wonderful day", Helen spoke to the Ham&High.

She said: "The most interesting thing was I asked how girls would run the world and they said they wouldn't just run it for girls.

"They were clear that there are too many inequalities out there, too many people who don't have a voice."

Helen added that she had enjoyed being able to speak to girls in the way they deserve.

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She said: "If you ask any adult to start having a conversation with girls it is often 'oh you look nice'. I have often seen when they relate kids they treat girls and boys differently. That's something that needs to change."

Kauther Yusuf, one of the school's pupils, explained how she would run the world.

She said: "If I ruled the world, I would give women equal pay, in fact higher pay. I'd give women higher pay, and also make sure everything [was] free for women as we work too hard.

"And also, I'd make sure there's no more violence towards women, like men being physically and verbally violent towards them - that's what I'd do."

The school's headteacher, Kuljit Rahelu told this newspaper she had been "thrilled" to invite Helen, who she called "a bit of an icon, a mythical creature", in. She added: "We want our students to be aware that their potential can have a global impact if that's what they choose - and events like this underline their ability to make a personal impact on the world in which we live."

Care International are working on a project, funded by the People's Postcode Lottery, which brings girls from London and Somalia together to consider how they would run the world.

The International Day of the Girl is on Friday October 11.