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Gavin Newlands MP calls on everyone in Paisley and Renfrewshire North to learn about the fight for w

Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, would like to invite constituents across Renfrewshire to visit an important new exhibition which tells the story of the fight for women to have their say in Parliament.

As we celebrate 100 years since some women gained the right to vote, the hard-fought battle to make this happen is detailed in Voice and Vote: Women’s Place in Parliament.

The exhibition tells the hidden “her-story” of the UK Parliament: the campaigning, the protests and the achievements. It also examines where we are today, and shows that anyone can make change happen and exercise their democratic rights.

Gavin Newlands MP said: “It is important for the people to be able to come and hear the story of this hidden history. Not only should we remember those who fought for the democratic rights we have today, but I would urge everyone to make their voices heard in our democracy today.

“I was proud to be able to attend the exhibition with my 8-year-old daughter to show her the long battle women faced to get the vote and hopefully inspire her to ensure that she demands equality throughout her life.”

Among the items in this innovative exhibition are re-creations of lost historical spaces of the Palace of Westminster, rare and previously unseen historic objects, pictures and archives from the Parliamentary collections and elsewhere.

Visitors will delve into the past and discover what women would have experienced in: The Cage, The Tomb, The Chamber and The Ventilator.

Melanie Unwin, Co-Curator of the Voice and Vote exhibition, said: “This innovative exhibition immerses visitors in lost historical spaces, and shows the barriers that women had to overcome to participate in democracy. For the first time, we have recreated the sounds and atmosphere of the uncomfortable spaces which women were confined to – to show the magnitude of what campaigners and early women MPs achieved despite the limitations placed on them. Revealing this hidden history should help inspire us all to make use of the rights that women of generations past have dedicated their lives to.”

Rare historic exhibits from around the country, some of which have never been on public display before, help to tell the story of the battle for women to gain the right to vote.

Mari Takayanagi, Co-Curator of the Voice and Vote Exhibition, said: “We have been working on the Voice and Vote exhibition since 2014 and we’ve made some fantastic discoveries along the way. In particular we’ve delighted to display for the first time items from private collections which beautifully illustrate the story of women and Parliament. The exhibition helps people relive the fight, struggles and sacrifices made by the early suffrage pioneers, and remind us all of the importance of what they fought for.”

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