Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced a £500,000 fund, which she hopes will “encourage more women to become involved in politics”.
Announcing the fund on Tuesday 6th Feb, 100 years since some women got the vote, Sturgeon describes it as a tribute to the suffragettes who fought for the rights of women to vote.
“Celebrating the 100th anniversary of women securing the right to vote is a great occasion,” she said. “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 was once the site of Calton Jail where many Suffragettes were imprisoned. Today, it is the seat of @ScotGov and the Suffragette flag is flying high. Thank you to all the women who fought for our right to vote - and enabled a woman to occupy the office of FM. #vote100 pic.twitter.com/efmGJ0VGqu— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) February 6, 2018
The fund will be spread amongst communities in order to support local initiatives – including Glasgow’s Women’s Library, which catalogues and celebrates the achievements and histories of Scottish women.
Sturgeon also told BBC Scotland that the funding would be a “play a part in encouraging the next generation of women leaders”.
“We’ve come a long way. There’s no doubt about it,” she said. “In 1918, some women won the right to vote. It was 10 years after that before we had universal female suffrage.”
“I often stand in Bute House, the official residence of the first minister, and I can look out the window over Charlotte Square. Charlotte Square was the starting point for the women’s march from Edinburgh to London back in 1912.”
“I often stand there and look out and just imagine what they felt - solidarity and excitement no doubt but also fear and trepidation. I sometimes wish I could just speak to them for a moment and say ‘you will win, you will prevail’.”
Throughout 2018, Stylist is raising the profiles of brilliant women past and present – and empowering future generations to follow their lead – with our Visible Women campaign. See more from Visible Women here.
Image: Rex Features