100 for 100th – Suffragette for a Day!

On Saturday 30 June, Hannah Forsyth joined her fellow Young Women Lead group to take part in a celebratory event for women getting the vote 100 years ago. This also marked the end of her term as part of the initial Young Women Lead project – here she recounts her day of celebration:

I don’t know how your usual Saturdays go, but my last one was a little surreal. At 11am in the Grassmarket Community Centre, I was stood on a platform exhorting my fellow women to keep up the good fight, dressed in full Suffragette regalia (including a very fetching hat…).

YWCA Scotland and The Parliament Project had partnered to deliver an event focussed on the anniversary of women’s suffrage, and what we hoped to achieve in the next hundred years. This was a really fitting end to our Young Women Lead project, and I was lucky enough to be asked to take on a slightly less conventional role in the event.

Backed by a whole room of women singing the Doctor Who theme tune (harder than it sounds, but to give them their dues, they gave it a good shot), I delivered a wonderful speech written by Katie Brown about the suffragettes of Scotland and the part that they played in winning the vote. It included references to suffragettes such as Anna Mulligan, part of the Dundee WSPU, and Ethel Moorhead, a very brave young woman who broke into the Wallace Monument and left a message next to William Wallace’s sword.

Saturday marked the end of the Young Women Lead project, which will be running again later in 2018 (if you can apply, you absolutely should). We had a lovely celebration in the grounds of Holyrood, kindly supported by the Scottish Parliament team. It’s been a slightly whirlwind few months, and I can’t wait to see where all of these amazing women go next.

This suffragette is hanging up her hat (for now…).