TWO rising stars have praised “selfless” suffragettes – 100 years after a long campaign won some women the right to vote.

The Commonweal teens said that the women’s campaign showed that you had to “take risks”, but that progress could win out.

The pair – one of whom harbours a dream to become prime minister – warned that there was still a “long way to go” in the fight for equality.

This week marks the 100th anniversary of the Representation of the People Act, 1918. The law gave propertied women over 30 the right to vote in parliamentary elections. Some women – generally wealthier – had had the right to vote in local elections from 1869.

The 1918 law followed decades of hard campaigning by female activists. The more radical, who backed the Women’s Social and Political Union, were called “Suffragettes”. They included Swindon-born Edith New, who was jailed in 1908 for breaking the windows of 10 Downing Street in the cause of women’s suffrage.

This week, students at Commonweal School, Old Town, paid tribute to the early campaigners.

Ruth Flame, 17, who will next year begin a law degree at Oxford University, said: “It means a lot, considering women couldn’t have done things like gone to university and done law.

“Having the vote was a really important step.”

Maegan Watts, 15, added of the suffragettes: “They risked a lot for a cause that might not have affected them. I think what they did was really selfless.”

She said that the eventual success of the campaign showed that “you have to take risks and you can get there.”

Both girls were interested in politics. Ruth, who hopes to one day become a barrister, said: “I’m quite political and I wish I could have voted in the referendum.

“I think although we have come so far in terms of equality, there’s still a long way to go.

“People probably think that the fight is over – but it’s not.”

Similarly political Maegan said: “It would mean a lot to know that I can make a contribution.

“I would love to go into politics – whether it’s just to be a councillor or prime minister.”