Processions celebrating womens’ right to vote floods through Edinburgh

The Western Isles banner in the Processions parade in Edinburgh. Picture by Lesley Martin.
The Western Isles banner in the Processions parade in Edinburgh. Picture by Lesley Martin.

Islanders joined the sea of women who took to the streets of Edinburgh on Sunday to celebrate 100 years since the first women in Britain secured the right to vote.

The parade in the heart of Scotland’s capital city was part of ‘Processions’, a mass participation artwork taking place simultaneously in the capitals of the UK to mark the achievements of the women’s suffrage movement.

Those marching wore the suffragette colours of green, violet and white and were choreographed to appear as a moving suffragette flag.

Participants gathered at the Meadows before heading off through the city, ending by marching down the Royal Mile to the sounds of a piper playing Flower Of Scotland and past the Scottish Parliament.

Those taking part spanned all ages and many carried banners.

The Western Isles banner featured the slogan ‘No Woman is an Island’, another banner slogan featured in the parade was ‘Deeds Not Words’, which was also the title of a recent play about the history of women’s sufferage in the Outer Hebrides.

Political parties and other organisations, including the Girl Guides and the Scottish Women’s Institute, also took part in the parade.

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop said: “Processions is a great opportunity to celebrate the centenary of some women getting the vote, an important milestone in our country’s history.

“As we mark this anniversary, and while we have come a long way since 1918, this event also offers an occasion for us all to reflect on the challenges and opportunities that still lie ahead.

“Equality for women is at the heart of the Scottish Government’s vision for an equal Scotland and our Programme for Government set out our ambitions, including legislating for gender balance on public sector boards, creating a new Advisory

Council on Women and Girls, and piloting a returners project to help women back in to the workplace after a career break.

“Our goal for all women and girls - in Scotland and around the world - is that they have a fair chance to succeed in life.”