Dr Helen Pankhurst, 48, is the great-granddaughter of Emmeline and Sylvia Pankhurst (leaders of the Suffragette movement).

Born and raised in Ethiopia, she says that she only began to understand the significance of her family heritage on trips to the UK as a teenager.

She is the campaign ambassador for CARE International UK and supports both the In Her Shoes and Voices Against Violence campaign. She also blogs for The Huffington Post UK.

To mark International Women's Day on 8 March, HuffPost UK Lifestyle spoke to Dr Pankhurst about feminism, social media activism and the pressures of being a Pankhurst.

dr helen pankhurst

Dr Helen Pankhurst and her daughter Laura in October 2012 on a rally organised by UK Feminista in Parliament Square to call for equal rights for men and women

What have you done today that makes you a feminist?

I'm a single mother. I have two children: a girl who will be 18 next week and a 16-year-old son.

As a feminist, not only do I support the children financially (which generations ago, thanks to right to divorce and retain a livelihood as a woman, wouldn't have been possible) but I treat my children equally, value them equally and pass on notions of gender equality.

How does being a feminist today compare to your great-grandmother's time?

In many ways it’s become a lot easier. I don’t have to put my life on the line. There’s no issue of force-feeding, there’s no issue of violence by the state for anything that I am demanding, that I am calling for. The nature of it in some ways is less extreme, I would suggest.

And the tools at our disposal are so much easier. The fact that from my laptop I can click and link up to to so many people is fantastic. And the younger you are, the more able you are to utilise that skill.

Do you think that online activism is as effective as other forms of activism?

I think we can have both. I think that there is some ranting on social media, but look at the Amazon ‘Keep Calm And Rape Her’ t-shirts, they've now been taken off. That was social media in action, a concrete result.

The No More Page 3 campaign looks like a social media campaign that, fingers crossed, is going to get somewhere.

I believe it can achieve change, absolutely.

What are your concerns for young women today?

The sexualisation of women is a new danger, which wasn't around in my great-grandmother's era.

Women and young girls feel so defined by what they look like and to dress to fit beauty norms. These pressures on are missing the point and waste energy.

What would you say to someone who believes in equality, but who doesn’t see themselves as a feminist?

It’s a pity. I understand the fear to label yourself a feminist. I think it comes from not wanting to stand out a bit. But it’s a pity. We do need to put our hands up when we see something is wrong. For me calling yourself a feminist is stronger than just saying that “I believe in equality”.

But feminists have quite a negative image, do you think that can be shaken off?

I don’t think everybody needs to be a serious feminist.

You can be feminist in so many different ways. With your interests in music - from culture to sport. Within that it needn’t be a killjoy attitude. I think we need to reclaim it and diversify the image of what a feminist is.

Does the name Pankhurst carry a lot of responsibility?

It’s a privilege that I need to live up to, by the work I do and the way I live my life. It’s a privilege for me, but I think it’s a privilege for all women that they fought for.

I'm very lucky that my parents let me explore what the name meant to me, they’ve been incredibly supportive.

What would you be doing if you weren't a Pankhurst?

I'm a jack-of-all trades really. Maybe a writer or a musician.

I would like to think I would still be involved in the feminist movement.

CARE’s Walk In Her Shoes campaign is based around International Women’s Day (8th March).

The campaign encourages UK women to walk 10,000 steps a day for a week in March, in solidarity with women and girls in the developing world who must walk many miles every day to collect water for their families. Their long, gruelling and often dangerous walks leave them with little time for paid employment or to go to school.

Funds raised by participants will support CARE, who are building wells, boreholes and standing taps close to these women and girls’ homes, giving them the time they need to go to school or work.

Also on HuffPost:

Loading Slideshow...
  • PAKISTAN-WOMEN-DAY

    Pakistani working women carry placards as they shout slogans during a rally on International World Women's day in Lahore on March 8, 2013. International Women's Day, observed on March 8 every year, highlights the economic, political and social achievements of women. AFP PHOTO/ARIF ALI (Photo credit should read Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images)

  • RUSSIA-WOMEN-DAY

    Women hold posters reading 'Equal payment for the equal labour !' during a rally in central Moscow to mark the International Women's Day, on March 8, 2013. AFP PHOTO / ANDREY SMIRNOV (Photo credit should read ANDREY SMIRNOV/AFP/Getty Images)

  • CHINA-POLITICS-CONGRESS-NPC

    Female delegates arrive at the Great Hall of the People on Women's Day before a session of the National People's Congress in Beijing on March 8, 2013. Thousands of delegates from across China met this week to seal a power transfer to new leaders whose first months running the Communist Party have pumped up expectations with a deluge of propaganda. AFP PHOTO/Mark RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

  • PAKISTAN-WOMEN-DAY

    Pakistani working women carry placards as they shout slogans during a rally on International World Women's day in Lahore on March 8, 2013. International Women's Day, observed on March 8 every year, highlights the economic, political and social achievements of women. AFP PHOTO/ARIF ALI (Photo credit should read Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images)

  • PAKISTAN-WOMEN-DAY

    Pakistani working women carry placards as they shout slogans during a rally on International World Women's day in Lahore on March 8, 2013. International Women's Day, observed on March 8 every year, highlights the economic, political and social achievements of women. AFP PHOTO/ARIF ALI (Photo credit should read Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images)

  • PAKISTAN-WOMEN-DAY

    Pakistani working women carry placards as they shout slogans during a rally on International World Women's day in Lahore on March 8, 2013. International Women's Day, observed on March 8 every year, highlights the economic, political and social achievements of women. AFP PHOTO/ARIF ALI (Photo credit should read Arif Ali/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Indian women attending a rally listen to speakers talking against sexual abuse and ways to raise their voice against it on International Women's Day, in New Delhi, India, Friday, March 8, 2013. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)

  • Indian women react as they watch a play sensitizing women to sexual abuse and ways to raise their voice against it on International Women's Day, in New Delhi, India, Friday, March 8, 2013. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)

  • Indian woman laborers work to lay a cable for an electricity company on International Women's Day in Ahmadabad, India, Friday, March 8, 2013. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)

  • Indian women laborers work to lay a cable for an electricity company on International Women's Day in Ahmadabad, India, Friday, March 8, 2013. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)

  • Indian martial arts students perform on International Women's Day in Hyderabad, India, Friday, March 8, 2013. (AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A.)

  • INDIA-DEFENCE-WOMEN

    An Indian female martial arts student perform a self defence manoeuvre during an International Women's Day celebration in Hyderabad on March 8, 2013. International Women's Day is marked on March 8 every year. AFP PHOTO / Noah SEELAM (Photo credit should read NOAH SEELAM/AFP/Getty Images)

  • INDONESIA-ANNIVERSARY-WOMAN-RIGHTS

    Indoensian women march during International Women's Day in Jakarta on March 8, 2013. According to the United Nations, women of all continents can look back to a tradition that represents at least nine decades of struggle for equality, justice, peace and development. AFP PHOTO / Bay ISMOYO (Photo credit should read BAY ISMOYO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • INDONESIA-ANNIVERSARY-WOMAN-RIGHTS

    Indoensian women march during International Women's Day in Jakarta on March 8, 2013. According to the United Nations, women of all continents can look back to a tradition that represents at least nine decades of struggle for equality, justice, peace and development. AFP PHOTO / Bay ISMOYO (Photo credit should read BAY ISMOYO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • INDONESIA-ANNIVERSARY-WOMAN-RIGHTS

    Indoensian women march during International Women's Day in Jakarta on March 8, 2013. According to the United Nations, women of all continents can look back to a tradition that represents at least nine decades of struggle for equality, justice, peace and development. AFP PHOTO / Bay ISMOYO (Photo credit should read BAY ISMOYO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • INDONESIA-ANNIVERSARY-WOMAN-RIGHTS

    Indoensian women march during International Women's Day in Jakarta on March 8, 2013. According to the United Nations, women of all continents can look back to a tradition that represents at least nine decades of struggle for equality, justice, peace and development. AFP PHOTO / Bay ISMOYO (Photo credit should read BAY ISMOYO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • CHINA-WOMEN-DAY

    Women shop at a woman's clothes store in Shanghai with discounts for International Women's Day on March 8, 2013. International Women's Day in China is celebrated with various events including discount shopping for women at malls in cities around China. AFP PHOTO/Peter PARKS (Photo credit should read PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • CHINA-WOMEN-DAY

    Women shop at a clothes store in Shanghai with discounts for International Women's Day on March 8, 2013. International Women's Day in China is celebrated with various events including discount shopping for women at malls in cities around China. AFP PHOTO/Peter PARKS (Photo credit should read PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Indian gynecologists and obstetricians share a laugh as they participate in an event organized to create awareness about importance of the girl child, on International Women's Day India in Bangalore, India, Friday, March 8, 2013. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)

  • International Women's Day 2013

    Vince Cable (centre) the Business Secretary with some of the fifty women helping to open the London Stock Exchange for trading, who were there to help celebrate WIE (Women Inspiration and Enterprise), in the City of London.

  • International Women's Day 2013

    Vince Cable (just right of centre) the Business Secretary with some of the fifty women helping to open the London Stock Exchange for trading, who were there to help celebrate WIE (Women Inspiration and Enterprise), in the City of London.

  • Delhi policewomen try to control Bharatiya Janata Party women activists protesting outside the venue of an event presided over by Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dixshit to mark International Women's Day, in New Delhi, India, Friday, March 8, 2013. The activists were protesting against rising violence against women and quick trial of accused in relating crimes. (AP Photo /Manish Swarup)

  • Women activists of the Bharatiya Janata Party shout slogans outside the venue of an event presided over by Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dixshit to mark International Women's Day, in New Delhi, India, Friday, March 8, 2013. The activists were protesting against rising violence against women and quick trial of accused in relating crimes. (AP Photo /Manish Swarup)

  • Women activists of the Bharatiya Janata Party shout slogans outside the venue of an event presided over by Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dixshit to mark International Women's Day, in New Delhi, India, Friday, March 8, 2013. The activists were protesting against rising violence against women and quick trial of accused in relating crimes. (AP Photo /Manish Swarup)

  • Young Indian girls try to balance an oil lamp on their foreheads on International Women's Day celebrations organized in a college in Mumbai, India, Friday, March 8, 2013. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)

  • An Indian woman performs Mallakhamb, a traditional Indian gymnastics on a rope on International Women's Day celebrations organized in a college in Mumbai, India, Friday, March 8, 2013. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)

  • Filipino protesters shout slogans as they prepare to march to the US Embassy in Manila to commemorate International Women's Day Friday Mar.8, 2013 in the Philippines. Thousands of Filipinos commemorate Women's Day with calls to stop violence against women and children. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

  • Indian women laugh as they watch police coming down hard on an eve teaser as they watch a play sensitizing women to sexual abuse and ways to raise their voice against it on occasion of International Women's Day, in New Delhi, India, Friday, March 8, 2013. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)

  • An Indian artist gives final touches to a painting on street walls on International Women's Day in Hyderabad, India, Friday, March 8, 2013. (AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A.)

  • An Indian woman performs Mallakhamb, a traditional Indian gymnastics on a rope on International Women's Day celebrations organized in a college in Mumbai, India, Friday, March 8, 2013. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)

  • Young Indian men and women reflect the attitude of the society of closing their eyes to sexual abuse against women as they stage a street play against sexual abuse of women and ways to raise voice against it on International Women's Day, in New Delhi, India, Friday, March 8, 2013. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)

  • Filipino protesters clash with police as the former try to march closer to the US Embassy in Manila to commemorate International Women's Day Friday March 8, 2013 in the Philippines. Thousands of Filipinos commemorate Women's Day with calls to stop violence against women and children. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

  • Filipino protesters shout slogans as they prepare to march to the US Embassy in Manila to commemorate International Women's Day Friday Mar.8, 2013 in the Philippines. Thousands of Filipinos commemorate Women's Day with calls to stop violence against women and children. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

  • Filipino protesters clash with police as the former try to march closer to the US Embassy in Manila to commemorate International Women's Day Friday March 8, 2013 in the Philippines. Thousands of Filipinos commemorate Women's Day with calls to stop violence against women and children. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

  • Filipino protesters clash with police as the former try to march closer to the US Embassy in Manila to commemorate International Women's Day Friday March 8, 2013 in the Philippines. Thousands of Filipinos commemorate Women's Day with calls to stop violence against women and children. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

  • Filipino protesters clash with police as the former try to march closer to the US Embassy in Manila to commemorate International Women's Day Friday March 8, 2013 in the Philippines. Thousands of Filipinos commemorate Women's Day with calls to stop violence against women and children. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

  • Filipino protesters clash with police as the former try to march closer to the US Embassy in Manila to commemorate International Women's Day Friday March 8, 2013 in the Philippines. Thousands of Filipinos commemorate Women's Day with calls to stop violence against women and children. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

  • Indian women holds placards and shouts slogans during a demonstration to mark International Women's Day in Ahmadabad, India, Friday, March 8, 2013. Placard on left reads, “Exemplary punishment to rapists”. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)

  • Filipino protesters shout slogans as they prepare to march to the US Embassy in Manila to commemorate International Women's Day Friday Mar.8, 2013 in the Philippines. Thousands of Filipinos commemorate Women's Day with calls to stop violence against women and children. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

  • A woman carries a child past a banner during a drumming session in downtown Johannesburg, Friday, March 8, 2013 to protest against violence against women and children. As the world marks International Women's Day, South Africans are locked in public soul-searching over the high level of murders and rapes perpetrated against women. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)

  • Women activists of the Bharatiya Janata Party shout slogans outside the venue of an event presided over by Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dixshit to mark International Women's Day, in New Delhi, India, Friday, March 8, 2013. The activists were protesting against rising violence against women and quick trial of accused in relating crimes. (AP Photo /Manish Swarup)

  • Women take part in a drumming session in downtown Johannesburg, Friday, March 8, 2013 to protest against violence against women and children. As the world marks International Women's Day, South Africans are locked in public soul-searching over the high level of murders and rapes perpetrated against women. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell)

  • INDONESIA-ANNIVERSARY-WOMAN-RIGHTS

    An Indonesian woman wearing a pig nose attends a march during International Women's Day in Jakarta on March 8, 2013. According to the United Nations, women of all continents can look back to a tradition that represents at least nine decades of struggle for equality, justice, peace and development. AFP PHOTO / Bay ISMOYO (Photo credit should read BAY ISMOYO/AFP/Getty Images)

  • INDIA-LABOUR-WOMEN

    Indian female labours carry mud at a construction site in Amritsar on March 8, 2013, on International Women's Day. Women have always faced higher unemployment rates than men, and the sluggish global economy in recent years has only made the situation worse, the International Labour Organisation said in December 2012. International Women's Day is marked on March 8 every year. AFP PHOTO /NARINDER NANU (Photo credit should read NARINDER NANU/AFP/Getty Images)

  • VIETNAM-WOMEN-DAY-FLOWERS

    Men chose flowers for their loved ones as Vietnamese celebrate the International Women's Day in Hanoi on March 8, 2013. The day is a good business opportunity for florists with a sharp rise of flowers's prices, especially for roses. AFP PHOTO/HOANG DINH Nam (Photo credit should read HOANG DINH NAM/AFP/Getty Images)

  • VIETNAM-WOMEN-DAY-FLOWERS

    Men stop to buy roses at a street corner as Vietnamese celebrate the International Women's Day in Hanoi on March 8, 2013. The day is a good business opportunity for florists with a sharp rise of flowers's prices, especially for roses. AFP PHOTO/HOANG DINH Nam (Photo credit should read HOANG DINH NAM/AFP/Getty Images)

  • VIETNAM-WOMEN-DAY-FLOWERS

    Men stop to buy roses at a street corner as Vietnamese celebrate the International Women's Day in Hanoi on March 8, 2013. The day is a good business opportunity for florists with a sharp rise of flowers's prices, especially for roses. AFP PHOTO/HOANG DINH Nam (Photo credit should read HOANG DINH NAM/AFP/Getty Images)

  • CHINA-WOMEN-DAY

    Woman do manual labour in a garden outside an office block on International Women's Day in Shanghai on March 8, 2013. International Women's Day in China is celebrated with various events including discount shopping for women who can afford it but many do manual labour for a small wage away from homes and families. AFP PHOTO/Peter PARKS (Photo credit should read PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images)