A century ago this year, Parliament passed the Representation of the People Act 1918 – a package of electoral reforms that extended the vote to women for the first time.
To mark the date Swansea University is now a project partner in Voice & Vote, the official commemorative album for the Vote 100 anniversary campaign, which tells the story of how the vote was won and also marks the achievements of the university, and other organisations, in advancing equality and diversity today.
Written by academics and experts and featuring a fascinating selection of archival images and documentation, the book also outlines women’s struggle to get the vote and how the fight for equality continues to this day.
It includes a contribution by the University’s Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Hilary Lappin-Scott (pictured) who is dedicated to using her role to inspire, support and encourage women in science at all levels locally, nationally and internationally.
Professor Lappin-Scott, who was awarded an OBE in the 2018 New Year’s Honours’ list for services to microbiology and women in science, said: “It is vital that we celebrate just how far we have come in 100 years and that is why I was glad to be invited to be involved with this project.
“I am proud of what Swansea University has done to achieve equality, for example as one of only 13 universities to hold an institutional Athena Swan Award recognising the advancement of gender equality.
“This publication gives us the chance to celebrate the work which I, and colleagues, have been doing to develop best practice for equality, diversity and inclusivity. It is important to use all our talents to increase the visibility of women in academia.
“However, we must never lose sight of what still needs to be done and the challenges that lie ahead.
“If we show girls and young women what others have achieved before them, and how women now and throughout history have changed the world, we can inspire and create a society where girls contribute equally to building a better world.
“We need to use this important anniversary as a focus for change.”
Professor Lappin-Scott was among the guests at a special event to launch the book being held at Westminster Abbey this week.
Voice & Vote is published by St James’s House in partnership with History of Parliament Trust, a research project that is creating a comprehensive account of parliamentary politics in England, then Britain, from their origins in the 13th century. The Trust is regarded as one of the most ambitious, authoritative and well-researched academic projects in British history.
St James’s House is an award-winning custom publisher that has produced official publications for The Queen’s 90th Birthday, the Thames Diamond Jubilee, the Prince Philip Trust Fund, the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force.
St James’s House CEO, Richard Freed said: “Equality is one of the most important values underpinning our society, and we are extremely excited to be producing this official commemorative album for the History of Parliament Trust.”
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