A woman who was born before some women were given the right to vote looks back on 100 years of progress to mark International Women’s Day.

Edith Pryor, who celebrated her 100th birthday on Christmas Day, has urged women to “keep on fighting” for equality as she recounts key moments in history in the fight for equal rights.

Now living at Bupa Erskine Hall care home in Northwood, Mrs Pryor says the Queen’s coronation and Margaret Thatcher’s appointment as prime minister stand out.

She said: “At 36, I remember being gathered around the television, watching the Queen’s coronation.

"I didn’t think about it at the time, but that was a real milestone, showing the world that women can lead.

"Likewise with Thatcher taking power. Whatever your thoughts on the politics, it was inspiring to have a woman in that position and made people realise that women can be just as successful as men.”

“Gaining the right to vote was, without a doubt the biggest step forward for women during my lifetime. It was the acknowledgement of equality and that our voices matter, which is why it’s important that we don’t take it for granted.

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Picture: BUPA carer Megan Guest with Edith Pryor

Mrs Pryor, who is a great-grandmother, cites English actress, singer, and comedian Gracie Fields, who died in 1979, as her role model.

“Unlike other stars at the time, she had such a strong personality and wasn’t afraid to show it. She showed us that women could be funny and successful, while being kind and helping others too.”

“When I was growing up, women were always expected to be a mother and housewife. There weren’t career options, the men would be the breadwinners and that was that. Women weren’t even allowed to have their own property. Of course, nowadays that’s different and it’s a joy to see women forging their own careers.

“I’m fortunate to have seen some great changes during my lifetime, but we mustn’t be complaisant. There’s still further to go to reach equality and we need to stand up and keep on fighting.”

Nowadays Mrs Pryor is helping inspire others.

Megan Guest, who works at the care home, said: “It sounds cheesy to say that Edith’s an inspiration, but she really is. As a young woman today it’s easy to take our rights for granted, but every time I talk to Edith it really hits home and makes you realise how far we’ve come. It makes you appreciate the vote and stand up for yourself.”

International Women’s Day is being celebrated today.