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Thursday, 14 February 2013

Belfast: centenary of women's suffrage movement

Belfast City Council is to host a series of events to mark the rise of the women`s suffrage movement a century ago. The programme starts next week and continues to the end of March.

Event highlights over the coming weeks include:
  • Thursday 21 February: The role of women in Belfast 1912-1914, with Dr Olwen Purdue and Brenda Collins
  • Thursday 28 February: Prison, Protests and Strikes – How Ulster Women Fought For The Vote, with Dr Myrtle Hill and Dr Margaret Ward
  • Thursday 14 March: A reading from Shrieking Sisters by Maggie Cronin and Carol Moore, telling the story, through a combination of archive material and new writing, of the attempted bombing of Lisburn Cathedral by a group of suffragettes in August 1914
  • Wednesday 20 March: A reading from Lay Up Your Ends, by Martin Lynch – set against the backdrop of the 1911 mill girls` strike, and following the lives of five workers at the York Street mill at the time.
All these events start at 7.15pm and are free of charge. Tickets from the Belfast Welcome Centre in Donegall Place (Telephone 9024 6609). Further information

On International Women`s Day – Friday 8 March – a rally will leave the University of Ulster`s Belfast campus at 12.30pm, to march to the City Hall, where it will be welcomed by the Lord Mayor, Alderman Gavin Robinson. In keeping with the theme of `commemoration and celebration`, some of the women taking part in the rally will be dressed as suffragettes.

Another highlight of the events programme will be a series of `HERitage Tours`, which will take in many of the landmarks associated not only with the suffragette movement but also women`s contribution to the political and community life of Belfast throughout the intervening years. The tours will highlight the `millies` and the struggles of women in the linen mills and weaving factories and the women imprisoned in Crumlin Road gaol because of their fight for the right to vote, as well educational pioneers, anti-slavery campaigners, trade union and political activists, singers, writers and community workers. For details of these free tours, contact Women`s Tec on 9074 9810.

The Ulster Hall will also be staging a series of special events over the period, including themed book groups, screenings of classic movies, and a showcase of music, theatre and poetry by Belfast women singers on writers. Details.