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Last Updated: Friday, 15 December 2006, 12:25 GMT
Showcase for suffragettes' work
Presiding Officer George Reid with exhibition piece
The suffragette exhibition will run until March
An exhibition charting the suffragette movement is being shown at Holyrood.

The "If I can't vote, I don't count" exhibition focuses on the approaches used by Scottish women to gain support for their campaign for the vote.

Archive materials, documents and objects from the National Museums of Scotland and the National Archives of Scotland will be shown from Friday.

The exhibition also features present day video footage with MSPs being interviewed about women's rights.

Presiding Officer George Reid said: "I'm delighted that the first exhibition we have organised is one that continues to have a very real relevance today, where women are still fighting to have their political and civil rights recognised across the world.

We have a strong, proud tradition of women's fight for equal rights and social justice in Scotland, but few formal tributes to this
Malcolm Chisholm
Communities Minister

"Closer to home, as the video footage shows, the impact and legacy of the Scottish suffragettes continues to influence and inspire our politicians in parliament today."

The exhibition, which will run until 9 March, will also highlight what progress has been made in the UK since women got the vote and what rights women have today around the rest of the world.

A sculpture, marking the contribution of Scottish women to improving women's lives and advancing democracy has also been unveiled by the Scottish Executive.

The porcelain sculpture, by artist Shauna McMullan, features a collection of handwritten sentences taken from 100 women across Scotland about their female role models.

It was unveiled on Wednesday - the 88th anniversary of women voting in the General Election for the first time.

Shauna McMullan with sculpture
100 women contributed to Shauna McMullan's sculpture

Communities Minister Malcolm Chisholm said: "I am delighted that the executive has been able to commission this permanent tribute in celebration of the contribution of so many Scottish women.

"We have a strong, proud tradition of women's fight for equal rights and social justice in Scotland, but few formal tributes to this.

"I hope the sculpture and these sentences will be a source of great inspiration to all who view the work."

Ms McMullan said: "The lack of visible forms of representation of and information about women's role in the history of Scotland provided the inspiration behind the approach I took to this work.

"I simply did not know enough myself about the history of how women have played their part and in order to develop the work, I needed the involvement of many more people.

"It doesn't work without the contribution of women, just as our history shows."

Deputy Presiding Officer Trish Godman said: "I think it is extremely fitting for Shauna's sculpture to be displayed in the Scottish Parliament, a place where our many women MSPs from all parties owe so much to women of previous generations who fought for equal rights."


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Watch more about the exhibition



SEE ALSO
Suffragette mystery solved
08 Mar 03 |  Scotland

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