Bristol academic questions use of 'empire' in honours

Prof Gill Hague
Image caption Prof Gill Hague says she accepted the honour to promote the cause of women's rights

An academic has said the word 'empire' should be taken off the honours handed out by the Queen as the British Empire no longer exists.

Bristol-based Prof Gill Hague was appointed CBE in the New Year's Honours list for her work supporting women and children who have survived violence.

"I've accepted it to honour all the survivors of violence I've worked with and use it if possible to promote the cause," she said.

She will be handed the CBE next month.

She added: "But many people advised me not accept it because of the archaic names, which are really quite offensive to many British citizens who have heritage in colonies where there was slavery and indentured labour and so on, so really these names which celebrate empire can be seen as very insensitive.

"Also the empire has not existed for many decades."

Prof Hague has been involved in projects all over the world, and helped to pioneer research in Bristol into the violence against women, writing eight books and several research papers.

She has been campaigner for women's rights for nearly 50 years, and retired from the University of Bristol in 2012 after 22 years.

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