Press Release

Speaker Hosts Lecture on Perspective on Female Suffrage

Session: 2012/2013

Date: Monday, 03 June 2013

The Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, Mr William Hay MLA, hosted an event in Parliament Buildings this evening as part of the "Perspectives On..." series agreed by the Assembly Commission to mark the decade of centenaries. The event, entitled 'Perspectives on Female Suffrage', featured a lecture by Dr Margaret Ward, author of women's history.

In addition to MLAs, guests at the event included elected Members and a range of women's organisations.

The Speaker 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.

"This event follows on from a schools competition we held in April. I was delighted to welcome the finalists to Parliament Buildings and in speaking to those young people, it highlighted to me the impact our history has. Could we actually imagine society today if women had not been granted the vote? It is unthinkable. Women have played a major role at all levels in this Assembly since 1998, despite being fewer in number. However, as I said at that event in April, as Speaker I would like to see many more female Members in the Assembly across all sides of the Chamber."

Notes to Editors:

The Northern Ireland Assembly Commission was appointed by resolution of the Assembly on the 23 May 2011.

 The Commission is the body corporate of the Northern Ireland Assembly. It has the responsibility, under section 40(4) of the Northern Ireland Act 1998, to provide the Assembly, or ensure that the Assembly is provided with the property, staff and services required for the Assembly to carry out its work.

The Members of the Commission are:

 The Speaker, William Hay MLA (Chair), Judith Cochrane MLA, Leslie Cree MBE MLA, Pat Ramsey MLA, Caitríona Ruane MLA and Peter Weir MLA.

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