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Vote 100: Parliament launches celebration of 100 years of the vote in 2018

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The suffragette flag has today been flying over Portcullis House, as the Houses of Parliament officially launches Vote 100 – a year-long programme of events celebrating a century of women’s voices in Parliament. 

2018 will see the anniversary of landmark moments in the journey towards universal suffrage and the representation of all citizens in Parliament. Throughout the year Vote 100 will celebrate these major milestones, and the contribution of women to politics in the UK, with a series of events, exhibitions and educational programmes. 
 
 
The celebrations will begin on 6 February 2018 to mark 100 years since the Representation of the People Act passed, allowing women to vote for the first time. 
In a partnership with Royal Holloway University, Parliament will also launch a ‘massive open online course’ (MOOC) on women, Parliament and the vote, which will tell the story of the campaign for women’s suffrage in detail. 
 
An 'immeasurable contribution'
    
Baroness Maddock, Vote100 Advisory Group Member, said: “Women have made an immeasurable contribution in both Houses of Parliament but this has only been possible because of those who broke down the barriers. Since women were allowed to sit in the House of Lords, there have been six women Leaders; three women Government Chief Whips; and the first two Lord Speakers have both been women. But work must continue to ensure the gender balance is equal. I encourage men and women across the UK to reflect on the achievements of the suffrage movement whether that’s through holding an EqualiTea or by visiting the Voice and Vote: Women’s Place in Parliament exhibition. ”
 
Vote 100 exhibition
 
As part of Vote 100 Westminster Hall, the oldest part of Parliament, will host a major summer exhibition in 2018 titled “Voice and Vote. Women’s Place in Parliament”.  It will 'immerse visitors in women’s experiences of Parliament' from the 18th century to the present day, through sound, image and text. The exhibition will examine the 72-year campaign for the vote as well as the experiences of Nancy Astor MP and Baroness Wootton of Abinger, who were the first women to sit in the House of Commons and the House of Lords, in addition to the more than 400 women who serve as Parliamentarians today.
 
Other anniversaries in 2018 include:
  • 100 years since women first had the right to stand as an MP
  • 100 years since the 1918 election, the first where all men over 21 and some women over 30 had the vote
  • 100 years since the election of the first female MP
  • 90 years since women first had the same electoral rights as men
  • 60 years since the creation of life peerages allowing women to sit in the House of Lords

For more on the project, visit the Vote 100 website.

(Images: Suffragette flag flying over Portcullis House 14/07/17. Copyright Notice: © UK Parliament/ Mark Duffy; Women MPs on the House of Commons Terrace, 4 November 1931 Back row, left to right: Viscountess Astor, Helen Shaw, Mavis Tate, Thelma Cazalet, Sarah Ward, Ida Copeland, Florence Horsburgh Front row, left to right: Norah Runge, Gwendolyn Countess of Iveagh, Katherine Duchess of Atholl, Irene Ward, Mary Pickford, Copyright Notice: © Parliamentary Archives, HL/PO/RO/1/188; ‘Emmeline Pankhurst’ by John H. F. Bacon, chalk on paper, c.1908, Copyright Notice: © Parliamentary Art Collection WOA 5438)

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