Perspectives on Female Suffrage

One hundred years ago, women in Great Britain and Ireland were not allowed to vote. The Suffrage Movement fought for the right for women to vote and to run for office. This Movement united women from all social, economic, political and religious backgrounds who shared the same goal.

As part of the "Perspectives On..." series the Assembly hosted an event entitled 'Perspectives on Female Suffrage' which featured a lecture by Dr Margaret Ward.

The Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, Mr William Hay MLA said: "I am delighted that I have been able to host this event in Parliament Buildings to recognise the importance of the female suffrage movement. The campaign for women's right to vote is a significant milestone in the history of democracy. This important movement is one of a number of centenaries that the Assembly is marking as part of its "Perspectives On" series.

Speaking after the event Dr Ward said "Women were talking not just about the vote but they were talking about what kind of society they wanted, a society were children were important, were issues like violence against women and poverty were important, were equality in opportunity, education and work were issues that women wanted to stress. All of these issues are still current and we need more women's voices to be raising those issues and putting forward what women feel and what the impact on their daily life is."

Caitríona Ruane MLA (one of the MLAs who attended the event) thinks that this event is writing women back into history and the challenge now is to make sure that the achievements of the movement are not lost and that we work to ensure the gender makeup of the Assembly is at least 50% women.

Watch the video below which features interviews with some of those that attended the event:

The Speaker of the Assembly, Mr William Hay MLA, welcomed guests to the Assembly Commission's Perspectives on Female Suffrage lecutre in the Senate Chamber, Parliament Buildings

The Speaker of the Assembly, Mr William Hay MLA, welcomed guests to the Assembly Commission's Perspectives on Female Suffrage lecutre in the Senate Chamber, Parliament Buildings

Dr Margaret Ward gave guests at the Assembly Commission's Perspectives on Female Suffrage lecture a brief history of the female suffrage movement

Dr Margaret Ward gave guests at the Assembly Commission's Perspectives on
Female Suffrage lecture a brief history of the female suffrage movement

Caitríona Ruane MLA and Dr Margaret Ward (back, L-R), engage with attendees of the Assembly Commissions Perspectives on Female Suffrage lecture (Emma Patterson, NI Women's European Platform and Juliana van Hoeven, Community for the Administration of Justice, Front, L-R)

Caitríona Ruane MLA and Dr Margaret Ward (back, L-R), engage with attendees of the Assembly Commissions Perspectives on Female Suffrage lecture (Emma Patterson, NI Women's European Platform and Juliana van Hoeven, Community for the Administration of Justice, Front, L-R)

Organisations and MLAs attended the Assembly Commission's "Perspectives on Female Suffrage" lecture.  From L-R: Helen Craickard, WOMEN'STEC; Mike Nesbitt MLA; Sandra Overend MLA; Anne McVicker WOMEN'S TEC

From L-R: Helen Craickard, WOMEN'STEC; Mike Nesbitt MLA; Sandra Overend MLA; Anne McVicker WOMEN'S TEC

Sandra Overend MLA and Jo-Anne Dobson MLA catch up with Dr Ward before the lecture.

Sandra Overend MLA and Jo-Anne Dobson MLA catch up with Dr Ward before the lecture.

Guests at the Assembly Commission's Perspectives on Female Suffrage lecture included elected representatives and various women's organisations.  Pictured: Ian Paisley Jr MP and Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly Mr William Hay MLA

Guests at the Assembly Commission's Perspectives on Female Suffrage lecture
included elected representatives and various women's organisations.  
Pictured: Ian Paisley Jr MP and Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly Mr William Hay MLA

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