Ballots for both: Britain celebrates centenary of women’s suffrage

PROCESSIONS by Artichoke invites women across the UK to mark the centenary of women gaining the vote, with commissions by over 100 female artists Credit: 14-18 NOW
Today marks 100 years since women over 30 and all men in Britain were given the right to vote under the Representation of the People Act 1918. Although still not universal for another decade, it was a huge leap of progress for both sexes.

HLF has supported a number of creative and engaging centenary women’s suffrage projects which are providing new insights and a greater understanding of the context, experiences and struggles for democratic rights fought by women. 

“We are supporting projects across the UK…which we hope will inspire young people today and into the future.”LIz Ellis, HLF Policy Adviser

Liz Ellis, Policy Advisor Communities and Diversity at HLF, said: “It’s hard to believe that it’s only 100 years since the Representation of the People Act was passed.  We owe a huge debt of gratitude to a number of forward-thinking and courageous women for helping make this happen.  To mark this, we are supporting projects across the UK that celebrate these achievements and which we hope will inspire young people today and into the future.”

Suffrage projects funded include:

1. ‘She Bangs the Drums’, Manchester

Young people in Manchester’s Contact Young Company have used their National Lottery grant of £41,500 to work with the People’s History Museum and the John Rylands Library to celebrate the lives of the women who achieved change in the 20th century and link these experiences with democratic struggles today.

2. ‘Echoes of Holloway Prison’, London

Thanks to a £73,700 HLF grant, Islington Museum brings to life the powerful stories behind the bars of Holloway Prison. Exploring its period as a mixed prison - with Oscar Wilde as its most famous inmate - to the women held there for demonstrating at Greenham Common, the project also includes a number of compelling suffragette stories.

3. PROCESSIONS, 14-18 NOW and Artichoke

Women and girls across the UK will mark the centenary of the Representation of the People Act by walking together in public processions across the nations on Sunday 10 June.  Part of the National Lottery-funded 14-18 NOW - the First World War Centenary cultural programme - this mass-participation event will form a living portrait of women in the 21st century and a visual expression of equality, strength and cultural representation.

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