Suffragette city: celebrating international women's day at store street exchange

Here at Store Street Exchange, we're proud of Manchester's heritage, and its inspirational women are no exception. With International Women's Day on March 8th, and Mothers' Day just around the corner too, it's the perfect opportunity to celebrate the city's impressive - and progressive - female icons.

From swimmers to suffragettes, here are some remarkable local women who helped pave the way for women's rights.

Ethel 'Sunny' Lowry hailed from Longsight and, after three attempts, swam the English Channel aged just 22 -one of just five British women to do so. Known for her single-mindedness, Sunny infamously shunned a traditional swimming costume in favour of a lighter bikini-style two-piece and was consequently branded a 'harlot'.

Withington-born Eleanor Sykes was one of the country's first female doctors, dedicating her life to helping others and working extensively in the city's more deprived areas. Unusually for the time, she kept her maiden name in her professional life, working as Dr. Schill.

Finally, with this year's International Women's Day theme of #PressforProgress coinciding with the 100 years of votes for women, it's only right that we give some attention to the suffragettes, who fought tirelessly to revolutionise women's rights.

Born in Moss Side, Emmeline Pankhurst was a political activist who led the women's suffrage and is considered one of the most influential women of the 20th century for her actions. Her home on Nelson Street - now the Pankhurst Centre - was the birthplace of the suffrage movement where activists operated under the motto "deeds, not words".

Many of the women - Emmeline included - went to great lengths, risking their freedom to take part in protests and other acts of civil disobedience. When imprisoned they performed hunger strikes, demanding political prisoner status and making a bold political statement in doing so.

In 1918, certain women over 30 were granted the right to vote, a significant milestone in the fight for equality. In 1928, shortly after Emmeline died, women finally received equal voting rights to men. So whatever your political persuasion, everyone has a say thanks to the brave women of Manchester.

These women are a part of Store Street's colourful history as a hotbed of social exchange, transforming the lives of those in Manchester and beyond. Why not express your right to celebrate International Womens' Day and 100 years of votes for women here at Store Street Exchange? We've got trailblazing signature cocktails and daring dishes, everything you need to start a revolution of your own.