Future voters learn about the past as they look at women’s vote anniversary

Year 8 students from St Wilfrid's R.C College with their artwork at the Deeds not Words event. Photo by David Wood.
Year 8 students from St Wilfrid's R.C College with their artwork at the Deeds not Words event. Photo by David Wood.

Youngsters from South Tyneside discussed their own voting rights as they looked back at an event to mark 100 years since women were allowed to have their say at the ballot box.

Pupils from St Wilfrid’s RC College in South Shields and Jarrow School visited the University of Sunderland as part of the Vote 100 campaign.

Year 8 students from St Wilfrid's R.C College take part in activities learning about women's suffrage movement during the Deeds Not Words event at Sunderland University Picture by David Wood.

Year 8 students from St Wilfrid's R.C College take part in activities learning about women's suffrage movement during the Deeds Not Words event at Sunderland University Picture by David Wood.

The Deeds not Words event, which was also held for other children from across South Tyneside, saw them join in a craft activity which reflected the women’s plight and discuss whether the voting age should now be lowered from 18 to 16.

Angela Smith, Professor in Language and Culture at the university, said: “We asked the students to make artefacts to reflect the suffrage campaigns of 100 years ago, whilst making them relevant to today.”

Dr Sarah Hellawell, a lecturer in modern British history, showed footage from the time of the Suffragette marches, including a protest through the streets of Newcastle She described how the women were often met with brutal force by those trying to stop the demonstrations, with many ending up in prison.

The campaign marks century since Parliament passed a law to allow the first women, over the age of 30, and all men, to vote for the first time.

We asked the students to make artefacts to reflect the suffrage campaigns of 100 years ago, whilst making them relevant to today.

Angela Smith

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, increasing the number of women eligible to vote to 15 million.

Year 8 students from St Wilfrid's R.C College create artwork inspired by the women's sufferage movement. Photo by David Wood.

Year 8 students from St Wilfrid's R.C College create artwork inspired by the women's sufferage movement. Photo by David Wood.

Girls from Jarrow School decorate an umberella as part of the event hosted by the University of Sunderland. Photo by David Wood.

Girls from Jarrow School decorate an umberella as part of the event hosted by the University of Sunderland. Photo by David Wood.

The colours of puple, green and white were used in the craft pieces made by the students. Photo by David Wood.

The colours of puple, green and white were used in the craft pieces made by the students. Photo by David Wood.

Year 8 students from Jarrow School pictured at the event. Photo by David Wood.

Year 8 students from Jarrow School pictured at the event. Photo by David Wood.