100 YEARS ON FROM THE EXTENSION OF SUFFRAGE
Motherwell and Wishaw MP, Marion Fellows, celebrated Vote 100 this week – 100 years on from the passing of the Representation of the People Act 1918 which extended the right to vote to landowning women over the age of 30 and all men over the age of 21.
Marion celebrated the day ‘Vote 100’ by remembering admired figure, Winnie Ewing – the SNP’s first female MP and the only Scottish politician to serve as a MSP, MP and MEP.
The Representation of the People Act was a pivotal moment in empowering oppressed groups of people enabling them to take part in the political process that excluded them for so long – especially women! It wasn’t until years later that the men and women of all classes gained an equal footing in elections.
Since then, we have also extended voting to 16 year olds in Scotland giving young people a greater say over the decisions that affect their futures.
We still have some way to go. It is important to remember the sacrifices and hard work of those in our past who fought for our rights today.
For me, that person is Winnie Ewing who has been my inspiration from a young age. I can remember her by-election win in Hamilton years ago. She was a trailblazer that led the way for Scottish women in politics and women in society in general.