South Shields women's group celebrates 100 years since women won the right to vote

A major milestone in the fight for equality for women was marked with a day of creative fun and celebration.

Wednesday, 7th February 2018, 5:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 7th February 2018, 8:30 am
Apna Ghar celebrate 100 years of womens votes. Front Sharon Finnigan and chair Dr Shobha Srivastava

Yesterday was the 100 year anniversary of some women finally being given the chance to vote in the UK.

To celebrate the day and the start of women beginning to gain an equal stance in the world of politics, South Tyneside-based women’s group Apna Ghar in Ocean Road, opened its doors to the public to mark the occasion.

Apna Ghar celebrate 100 years of womens votes.

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The group was joined by the Creative Seed, led by husband and wife team Garner and Sandy Harris, as people were invited to use their artistic talents to help create a display based on the theme of diversity and women’s rights.

The event was made possible with a grant from the Women’s Vote Centenary Fund aimed at helping community groups to celebrate the centenary of some women gaining the right to vote.

Sharon Finnigan, from Apna Ghar, said: “It has been a really good day and we have had quite a few people along to join us.

“We are a women’s organisation and we couldn’t let a day such as this pass by without marking it in someway.

Apna Ghar celebrate 100 years of womens votes.

“We are working with the Creative Seed to create a display based on women’s rights and diversity.

“We aim to bring to life what women have achieved through hard work and determination.”

Throughout the day, visitors were invited to listen to speakers including Dr Shobha Srivastava, Ruth Berkley from South Shields Labour Party and Dr Sue Robson.

A buffet was also provided by women who showcased their cooking skills at the event.

Apna Ghar celebrate 100 years of womens votes.

People could also experience henna painting.

Sharon added: “The event was a one-off event, but it has gone so well we may look at applying for funding to host a bigger event later in the year.”

Across the country people marked the milestone in politics with a variety of events and activities.

Since the passing of the Representation of the People Act on February 6, 1918 which gave women aged over 30 and “or property” the right to vote, changes in politics continued to follow.

Apna Ghar celebrate 100 years of womens votes. Costume making with The Creative Seed Sandy Harris

Months later, women were allowed to stand for Parliament.

Ten years after the change, The Equal Franchise Act allowed all women aged over 21 the right to vote.

The change was started through the campaigning of the Suffragettes who held protests and demonstrations to raise the issues.

Apna Ghar celebrate 100 years of womens votes. Costume making with The Creative Seed Sandy Harris
Apna Ghar celebrate 100 years of womens votes.
Apna Ghar celebrate 100 years of womens votes.
Apna Ghar celebrate 100 years of womens votes.
Apna Ghar celebrate 100 years of womens votes. Costume making with The Creative Seed Sandy Harris
Apna Ghar celebrate 100 years of womens votes. Costume making with The Creative Seed Sandy Harris