I’m a firm believer that everybody who is eligible to vote should. No matter whether it’s local council, Holyrood or a General Election – voting is an integral part of our democracy.
And, let’s not forget, not everyone has always had the right to vote – particularly women,
It was 100-years-ago this year that the bravery and sacrifices of the suffragettes finally paid off. Women were granted the vote via The Representation of the People Act of 1918 and although far from perfect, it was a giant leap forward for Women’s Rights in the UK.
Later that year, Parliament also passed The Qualification of Women Act which meant women could be elected into the House of Commons, and in 1919 the first female to be elected and take her seat in the House was Nancy Astor – a Coalition Conservative MP for Plymouth Sutton.
It would be a further decade before women were finally granted equal voting rights to men, but the initial 1918 Act passed a century ago marked the beginning of a change in the United Kingdom,
So, in light of this anniversary, there’s got to be a celebration, of course!
PROCESSIONS is a mass participation artwork which will be showcased in four cities throughout the UK next month. It will bring together the work from 100 organisations from across the UK – including artwork produced by our very own Perth Theatre! It’s always inspiring to be amongst a diverse group of women and remember there is power in coming together!
17 local women have been taking part in workshops at the Theatre, creating a banner which will be added to the main PROCESSIONS artwork. The workshops focused on text and textiles, which echoes the practices of those brave souls part of the women’s suffrage campaign. There were also spaces in the piece to consider the power of the vote today, and what the future may hold.
The 17 participants worked with artists Pester and Rossi to design and create the Perth Theatre banner and the main concept was to celebrate the many great women of Perth, as well as portray the participants’ thoughts on suffrage and the city’s place in the worldwide movement towards gender equality.
Becca was one of the women who attended the workshops at Perth Theatre and she gave her thoughts.
“The PROCESSIONS workshop was a great opportunity to reflect on what have achieved in the last century,” she said, “and how far we still have to go.
“It’s always inspiring to be amongst a diverse group of women and remember there is power in coming together!”
PROCESSIONS will take place in four UK cities – Edinburgh, Belfast, Cardiff and London – on Sunday 10th June, with women and girls from across the whole of the UK invited to come together on the streets and get involved in the celebration.
The participants in PROCESSIONS will wear the colours of green, white or violet to help form flowing bands of the suffragette colours throughout the city streets. It’s a part of the wider 14-18 NOW – the UK’s official arts programme to make the First World War centenary.
The aim of the artwork is to unite and inspire women from all walks of life. The women who came together on the streets 100-years-ago made themselves visible to all with handmade flags, banners, pins and rosettes as they campaigned for their right to vote.
For more information about PROCESSIONS, visit https://www.processions.co.uk/.
The Scottish event will take place at The Meadows in Edinburgh from 2PM on Sunday 10th June 2018.
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