Vote 100

By , 18/02/18

This year marks a century since women first gained the right to vote. Today thousands of women across Scotland shape our movement and thousands more built it. To mark the centenary of women's suffrage, we are highlighting 100 women who represent the SNP in 2018. 

 

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Mhairi Black, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South since 2015 and the youngest MP in 350 years. 

 

Mhairi Black’s message to young women who want to get involved in politics today:

“Have courage of conviction. Know your stuff inside and out and don’t be intimidated.”

 

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Councillor Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council - only the second woman to hold that office. 

 

On International Women's Day 2018, Susan Aitken said: "While I am leader, the administration of the City Government will be an unashamedly feminist one. We will have women and women's priorities and family priorities absolutely at the centre of our policies, in the political decision-making process."

 

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Councillor Mhairi Hunter, Convener for Health and Social Care Integration on Glasgow City Council. 

 

On why she's involved in politics, Mhairi Hunter said: "I was brought up in a political household so it was quite normal to be involved in politics and be active. What makes me continue to be involved is just believing people together can achieve a fairer society and can improve the quality of life for people."

 

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Councillor Rhiannon Spear represents Greater Pollok on Glasgow City Council and is a law student at the University of Glasgow.

 

On her own personal experience in politics, Rhiannon said: "My experience of being a young woman in politics is the very reason why I will continue to campaign for change. My experiences of sexism has been frequent and at times severe. No party is immune but within the SNP I have found a space that allows my voice to be heard and allows me to encourage more young women to let their voices be heard, long may that continue."

 

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Councillor Christina Cannon represents Springburn/Robroyston on Glasgow City Council and is Convener of SNP Students. 

 

On the centenary of women's suffrage, Christina said: "Celebrating 100 years of women getting the vote is a fitting time to reflect on how far we have come in the fight for equality but also how far we have to go. With on-going issues like everyday sexism and pay inequality we must stand up to challenge this culture that creates so much gender inequality. An increased number of women in politics is a great start, but we are not a statistic, we are here to stand up for women’s rights."

 

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Anum Qaisar Javed is an SNP activist in Falkirk and works for Humza Yousaf MSP. 

 

On her political inspirations, Anum has said: "I have always been fascinated with politics and current affairs. I grew up hearing about strong women such as Emmeline Pankhurst and Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto. Over the years I have seen women from different communities, such as Malala Yousafzai, stand up for their rights and I am continually inspired by them. However, women are still underrepresented in politics. BME women even more so. Whilst we have come very far, there is still a very long journey ahead."

 

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Michelle Campbell is an SNP councillor for Erskine and Inchinnan and is also the SNP Council Group and Branch Secretary.

 

On her hopes for the next 100 years, Michelle said: "As a women in politics, I work hard to rid gender typical views when I am working with some who may be assumptive - that is the challenge and I will always push for progress.

 

My hope for the next 100 years is this becomes a history lesson and is no longer a relevant issue. In Scotland, we are at the helm of this progress and I am proud to be a women in politics within the SNP.”

 

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Stacey Adam is a long-standing SNP activist, has held various organisational roles for the party and is passionate about Paisley.

 

Looking back at her time in politics, Stacey said: “I have led a very lucky life as I have been surrounded by independent strong women all my days. My family have been loving and supportive always: no obstacles were ever put in my place. The town I live in and love, Paisley, has always been there too.


“What I would like to see is for everyone to have the same opportunity and support I got as going into politics is not a job but a vocation. If done properly it is all consuming but well worth it.”

 

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Rona Mackay is MSP for Strathkelvin and Bearsden. 

 

On delivering a better Scotland for future generations, Rona said: “I have been very lucky to have had strong, inspirational female role models throughout my life, leading me to feel able to be involved in politics. I am particularly proud of our party and how many female representatives we have. To me, it is so important we all work together and have as many women as possible in leadership roles to achieve a better and fairer Scotland for future generations.”

 

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Kirsty Jarvis is an SNP activist in Fife.

 

On the importance of this centenary, Kirsty said: “100 years ago women won the right to vote, today we can vote, stand in elections and become the First Minister of our country. Women have just as much of a platform and as much of a right as men to make a difference to our society and have their voices heard and to represent the voices of other woman.”

 

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Christina McKelvie is MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse and Minister for Older People and Equalities.

 

On the contribution of women who campaigned for the vote, Christina said: “It has been 100 years since some women got the vote and that was a real turning point for many women in search of equality. We have come a long way since then but with unequal pay, gender stereotypes and women still experiencing sexual harassment in the work place we still have a long way to go. I know that together we can make progress just like our suffragist sisters 100 years ago. The world is changing and women are at the forefront of that change!”

 

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Clare Adamson is MSP for Motherwell and Wishaw. She is currently the Convener of the Scottish Parliament's Social Security Committee.



On breaking down barriers in the workplace, Clare said: "Thanks to the tireless work of thousands of women over the last hundred years, we have achieved great progress. However, it is still obvious that today women from all walks of life still face institutional bias and we have to continue to move forward towards true equality.

"Prior to becoming involved in politics, I worked in the male-dominated IT industry and became all too aware of the issues women still face in the workplace every day. I’m really proud that the SNP remains committed to empowering young women and I am pleased to see more women represented in politics and in STEM than ever before. We must remain steadfast until we see true equality in representation, pay and in the boardroom."

 

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Clare Haughey, MSP for Rutherglen and Minister for Mental Health.

 

On continuing the fight for equality, Clare said: "The right to vote for all women was just the first step on a long road to equality but we still have some way to go on this journey to achieve true equality. Women the world over still face huge barriers including to education, healthcare and economic independence. The fight goes on and I am happy to stand with my sisters here and across the globe to demand parity."

 

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Ruth Maguire is MSP for Cunninghame South.

 

On how it is 'deeds not words' that matter, Ruth said: "We’ve come so far since 1918 but we’re not there yet, amongst the myriad of inequalities girls and women are faced with we remain stubbornly underrepresented in politics and public life. If you are a women who cares about her community, her country, know that your voice, your ideas and your opinions matter and need to be heard.

"And for me and my colleagues in Parliament and Council chambers, it is not good enough for us to say, 'Well, I’m here, so that’ll do.' We need to do everything in our collective power to break down the structural barriers that are in the way of others, in particular BME women and women with disabilities. Deeds not words as our sister suffragettes would have said."

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