Events to commemorate 100 years of women’s vote in Bristol

January 26 2018

BRISTOL Women's Voice and Bristol City Council have been successful in their bid to the Government’s ‘Centenary Cities: 100 years of votes for women’ fund, receiving a grant which they will use to put on a series of celebratory events to mark the centenary year in 2018.

.

BRISTOL Women's Voice and Bristol City Council have been successful in their bid to the Government’s ‘Centenary Cities: 100 years of votes for women’ fund, receiving a grant which they will use to put on a series of celebratory events to mark the centenary year in 2018.

The bid was spearheaded by Bristol Women’s Voice in partnership with Bristol City Council and with the support of partners across the city. The charity was set up following the council commissioning research in 2011 to find out whether women in the city felt their voices were heard by decision makers. The report clearly showed that this wasn’t the case, and Bristol Women’s Voice was created as a result. 

 Bristol Women’s Voice currently has three main projects – women’s health, maternity discrimination and volunteering. Alongside those projects, they work with the Women’s Commission to represent women when decisions are being made and organise women’s question time hustings during elections. 

In 2018, Bristol Women’s Voice will be organising a series of events to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of some women winning the vote in the UK. In the early 20th Century, Bristol had the highest level of suffrage activity outside of London and the aim of this new programme is to learn from our shared history and to inspire future generations.

 As part of the events programme, on 6 February the organisation will be celebrating the signing of the Representation of the People Act (when women over 30 who owned property were given the right to vote) with a lantern parade. The Wills Memorial Tower and The Victoria Rooms will also be illuminated in suffragette colours and at City Hall, a choir of 100 girls will sing ‘The March of the Women’ by Dame Ethel Smyth, who was a prominent composer and key member of the movement for Votes for Women.  

The city’s main International Women’s Day event in 2018 will be held at City Hall on 3 March with an exciting and packed programme including music, interactive theatre, hot topic debates and much more to celebrate the diverse talents of women from our city and around the world. 

In addition, M Shed will also host an exhibition, talks and guided suffragette tours during 2018, Future Brunels will hold a hands-on science event for girls on International Women in Engineering Day on 23 June and Bristol Post and Bristol Old Vic will also be holding women’s events during the year too. 

Speaking of their plans for 2018, Penny Gane, Chair of Bristol Women’s Voice and Bristol Women’s Commission said: “We are thrilled to have won this grant and to be working with so many organisations in the city to make sure we learn from our past and continue to strive for women’s equality now and in the future.”

Also commenting, Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said: “Bristol has a strong history of activism to support the rights of many communities and groups, few more so than the campaign for women’s suffrage. As a city we can be proud of the part played by those Bristol activists who fought the fight when equality seemed a distant ambition and those who continue to educate and campaign on women’s rights. 

To find out more about Bristol Women’s Voice and the events that they have planned, visit https://www.bristolwomensvoice.org.uk/100-years-of-votes-for-women/