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Young people in Rochdale set to become modern-day suffragists to mark International Women’s Day

Date published: 06 March 2019


Young people in Rochdale are taking part in a new project that will empower them to become campaigners of the future, to mark International Women’s Day.

The Game Changers project is exploring the movement of the lesser known female campaigners, the suffragists and is helping the youngsters from Milnrow Youth Group learn about the peaceful methods they used to campaign, unlike the more militant and more famous suffragettes.

The suffragists campaigning led to women over 30 gaining the right to vote through the Representation of the People Act 1918.

As part of the project, run by Tandem Theatre, which has been made possible by a grant by Heritage Lottery Fund, the young people have researched the collaborative working of the Co-operative Women’s Guild.

They have created artwork from what they have learnt including banners, sashes and posters with local artist Sophie Bullock, which will be on display at Rochdale Pioneers Museum the day after International Women’s Day on Saturday, 9 March between 11am and 4pm, where the group will have a pop-up stall for members of the public to visit.

Young people in Rochdale take part in the Game Changers project, exploring the movement of the lesser known suffragists campaigners

 

Jasmin Akhtar, youth worker from Milnrow Youth Group, said: “It has been great for the young women at the group to take part in this project, they have learnt a lot about the work of the suffragists and the important role they played in securing the vote and justice for all.

“They have enjoyed attending skills workshops to help them become effective campaigners and leaders of the future by building self-esteem, social skills, confidence and raising aspirations and are looking forward to the taking part in International Women’s Day celebrations and displaying their work.”

The young people have visited the People’s History Museum and Archives+ in Manchester and enjoyed re-enacting the 1908 Manchester Demonstration by marching though Lark Hill Place, Salford Museum and Art Gallery.

Frances Nutt, Artistic Director at Tandem Theatre, based in Salford, said: “The high-profile role of Emmeline Pankhurst and the more militant activities of the suffragettes can sometimes overshadow others who campaigned for women’s suffrage.

“Our Game Changers project highlights the lesser known suffragists, who used law abiding methods to campaign, to be an inspiration to young women today, as campaigning for women’s rights is still as relevant.”

The project, which is taking place across all 10 boroughs of Greater Manchester, will culminate in a joint event on 13 April 13 where young women will come together to display artwork and take part in a performance and mock debate at Manchester Central Library recreating the Women’s Bazaar of 1912.

For more information on the project go to

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