100 years since the suffrage

On 14th December 1918, women were first able to vote in the UK. The vote followed the Representation of People Act, which had enfranchised around 8.4 million women. To mark 100 years of womens' suffrage, London-based portrait photographer Hilary Wood’s project ‘The 209 Women’ photography exhibition opens today in Portcullis House. The project marks this significant moment in history, whilst also increasing the visibility of women politicians and highlighting the ongoing need for gender equality across society. 
There are currently 209 female MPs sitting in the House of Commons. This is the highest female representation has ever been in UK politics, however since 1918, 4,503 men have been elected to the UK parliament - compared to just 491 women. It is hoped the exhibition will encourage other women to pursue careers in politics. 
The exhibition consists of 209 UK-based female photographers who have taken portraits of each of the women MPs across the nation. The photographers, drawn from several disciplines, have captured MPs at their desks, in St Stephen’s Hall and in the Commons Library, while others chose to be photographed in their constituencies.
Earlier this year GHS supported the project by becoming a ‘Champion of Women’ and donated to support one photographer produce their piece. The exhibition has the backing of the Royal Photographic Society and Liverpool City Council. After being displayed in Westminster until February 2019, the exhibition will travel to the Open Eye Gallery in Liverpool, to be exhibited in partnership with Culture Liverpool. We look forward to visiting in the new year!