NEWS: 5 ways women are winning on Change.org from FGM to No More Page Three

In the US, August 26 marks Women’s Equality Day which commemorates the date in 1920 when votes to women officially became part of the constitution. To celebrate the day, we've pulled together some of the biggest campaigns run by women who are using Change.org to start petitions on issues that matter to them in their own fight for equality here in the UK.

1. #Endtampontax
More than 320,000 signed Laura Coryton’s petition and two-year campaign that saw former Chancellor George Osborne eventually agree to axe the tax on women’s sanitary products earlier this year.

Axe the tax: Laura Coryton delivering her petition to former Chancellor George Osborne who eventually agreed to scrap the tax

Axe the tax: Laura Coryton delivering her petition to former Chancellor George Osborne who eventually agreed to scrap the tax

Her campaign inspired dozens of sister campaigns across Europe and in the US, which sparked off a global movement.

2. Women on banknotes
When the Bank of England said that 19th-century prison reformer Elizabeth Fry would be replaced on £5 notes by Winston Churchill, leaving no women on banknotes, Caroline Criado-Perez knew she had to do something.

Persuasion: Caroline convinced the Bank of England to keep a woman on banknotes

Persuasion: Caroline convinced the Bank of England to keep a woman on banknotes

She launched her petition in 2013, and 36,000 signatures later the Bank backed down and said that author Jane Austin would feature on the new £20 note from 2017.

Not only that, last year the Bank ran a public consultation - for the first time ever - inspired by the campaign, calling on the public to nominate an historic British artist to appear on a future note. In April this year it was announced that J M Turner will appear on the £20 note.

3. No More Page Three
In 2012, Lucy-Anne Holmes wrote a letter to the then editor of The Sun, requesting the newspaper reconsider including Page 3, detailing some of the reasons why objectifying women in a newspaper was “simply not sensible”.

No more! Lucy Anne-Holmes took on the biggest and best-selling newspaper in the UK and won

No more! Lucy Anne-Holmes took on the biggest and best-selling newspaper in the UK and won

Receiving no answer, she started a petition – and, 245000 signatures, publicity stunts and stacks of media coverage, finally got her reply.  

The newspaper dropped pictures of topless women in January 2015 - without any big fanfare, though Lucy’s supporters the world over are in no doubt that such an historic decision was taken down to her campaign.

4. Teach FGM in Schools
When Fahma discovered that female genital mutilation had affected young girls she knew at school, the then 17-year-old decided teachers should be made more aware of it.

Education: Fahma won her campaign to raise awareness of FGM in schools

Education: Fahma won her campaign to raise awareness of FGM in schools

She and the 234,000 signers of her petition convinced former Education Secretary Michael Gove to write to all schools about the risks of FGM so that they would be aware of any girls at risk in their schools.

5.    50:50 Parliament
Frances Scott’s not happy about the gender imbalance of men and women running politics in the UK and set out to do something about it.

Equal seats: Frances wants to see more women MPs representing the British public in the Commons

Equal seats: Frances wants to see more women MPs representing the British public in the Commons

Her petition is still going strong with 50,000 signatures, but continues returning to the media spotlight and she says she won’t back down until there is a better representation of women in the House of Commons.

Notes
Change.org petitions are now embeddable. Any mention of a campaign can now be paired with the visual (just as you'd embed tweets in a piece about a topic on Twitter). Find out more in our handy 'how-to' guide here