Votes at 100


Christina McKelvie MSP pays tribute on 100th year anniversary of women’s right to vote


The centenary anniversary of The Representation of the People Act (1918) was marked in the Scottish Parliament this week as MSPs celebrated 100 years of women gaining the right to vote.

The Representation of the People Act (1918) allowed the first women - over the age of 30 who met a property qualification - to vote, and all men, to vote for the first time. It was not until the Equal Franchise Act of 1928 that women over 21 were able to vote and women finally achieved the same voting rights as men.

Ahead of the parliamentary debate on the anniversary, The Scottish Government announced a new £500,000 fund to encourage greater representation of women in political roles at all levels of Scottish society.

The £500,000 funding will support projects around Scotland aimed at celebrating and commemorating the centenary of women’s suffrage and improving women’s representation in politics. This will include support for Glasgow Women’s Library programme of activity to mark the suffrage centenary.

SNP MSP for Hamilton Larkhall and Stonehouse, Christina McKelvie, who spoke in the parliamentary debate, commented:

“We are eternally grateful to the immortal trailblazers such as The Pankhursts, the Davisons and even one Dr. Winifred Ewing for leading where we now follow.

“These are brave, principled women who stood up against the patriarchy rightly deserve their legacy.

“It is their legacy that the elected female MSPs in Parliament now emulate and the £500,000 funding announcement from the Scottish Government to encourage more women into politics will ensure that legacy continues.

“The 100th year anniversary gives a moment for us all to reflect on the progress made but not to rest on our past achievements.

“Equality for women is at the heart of this Scottish Government’s vision for an inclusive and just country and on behalf of my constituents I am proud to strive towards that ultimate goal of true equality for Scotland.