First Minister to mark centenary of women's right to vote

6 February 2018, 06:37

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

The First Minister will lead a debate in the Scottish Parliament, to celebrate the centenary of women's right to vote.

Nicola Sturgeon has announced a £500,000 fund to drive greater representation of women in Scottish politics in "tribute" to the suffragettes.

The First Minister said much progress had been made since women won the right to vote a century ago but stressed that more action is needed.

The Scottish Government fund will provide grants for local initiatives across Scotland to encourage women to take up political roles and to projects commemorating the 100th anniversary, including those run by Glasgow Women's Library.

Speaking ahead of a Holyrood debate celebrating a century of women's suffrage in the UK, Ms Sturgeon said: "Celebrating the 100th anniversary of women securing the right to vote is a great occasion.

"Not only does it remind us of women's achievements - it is also a time to inject new momentum into increasing women's political representation and supporting their contribution to Scottish political and public life.

"While we have a come a long way since 1918, much still needs to be done if we are to eradicate gender inequality and create a fairer and more prosperous country.

"By supporting community initiatives and women-empowerment projects, we are making an important step towards securing that future.

"This funding will ensure we pay tribute to the women who fought for the rights that women have today, as well as playing a part in encouraging the next generation of women leaders."

On this day in 1918, Parliament passed an act granting the vote to women over the age of 30 who were householders, the wives of householders, occupiers of property with an annual rent of £5, and graduates of British universities. About 8.4 million women gained the vote.

In 1928, the Representation of the People (Equal Franchise) Act was passed, that extended the voting franchise to all women over the age of 21.