is a brand new take on the suffrage story, focused on the girls and young women who fought for the vote 100 years ago.
Centring on Manchester as the birthplace of the suffrage movement, it features women from across the northwest, all of whom became activists in their teens or twenties.
Although they fought with courage, creativity and some cunning for the right to vote, they did not qualify to do so when the Representation of the People Act was finally passed in 1918.
Either they were too young or else they didn’t meet the property ownership qualification. One, cruelly, died the year after the Act was passed – but three years before she would have been old enough to cast a vote.
is funded by Spirit of 2012
, which disburses funds from the National Lottery. Spirit funds projects that bring people together and that leave behind a social legacy of increased wellbeing at an individual level, as well as happier and more connected communities.
Spirit of 2012
wanted to mark 2018, the centenary of some women winning the right to vote, with a celebration of the young people that were pivotal to movement but whose names we might not know, and use their stories to inspire a new generation of young activists.
was therefore designed as a positive, youth-focused celebration of gender equality, and a provocation to today’s young people to embrace the opportunities on offer to them to be the change they want to see.
As well as a physical exhibition which ran at the Portico Library in central Manchester, Spirit commissioned this digital archive so that the stories of these remarkable young women aren’t lost again.
It is hoped that they will act as a provocation: think about what you want to be different; consider how you can challenge inequality; find your way to make positive change.
British Film Institute
Museum of London
National Portrait Gallery and
The Women’s Library at LSE for the loan of the items in this exhibition.
This archive is funded by Spirit of 2012.