Isle of Man News - POSTED Tue 25-09-2018

Island hosts UK suffragette flag

by TH

Island hosts UK suffragette flag  - picture

The Isle of Man is hosting the UK suffragette flag – as part of the Suffragette Flag Relay.

It’s currently touring the United Kingdom on a one-year campaign linked to the centenary of the Representation of the People Act 1918.

That year marks the first time some women could vote in the UK.

By 1918 some women in the Isle of Man could already vote in general elections – by 1919 all women who were resident here could vote.

President of Tynwald Steve Rodan says: “Giving women householders the vote in 1881 was the first in a long line of extensions to the franchise, all of which can be summarised by the principle of ‘no taxation without representation’.

"I am proud to have made my own contribution to the development of the Isle of Man’s democracy when I successfully moved an amendment to the Registration of Electors Bill 2006. This lowered the voting age to 16 years old, making us the first country in western Europe to do so.

"The ability to influence government-introduced legislation in this way is a great strength of our consensus democracy and parliamentary system."

To celebrate enfranchisement and promote the positive changes for equality, the Suffragette Flag will be visiting Island secondary schools and Members of Tynwald will talk to 16 and 17-year-olds to examine these topics.

University College Isle of Man will be hosting an interactive display highlighting worldwide democratic issues.

The Suffragette Flag will also be the focus of an activity session with members of Girl Guiding Isle of Man supporting the Vote 100 Girl Guiding badge.

Karen Walker is the Chair of Girl Guiding Isle of Man – she said: "Girl Guiding IOM is proud to be part of the Suffragette Flag journey and share the story of Manx women’s suffrage.

"We recognise the important to remember those who fought for the right to vote so that we value the democratic rights we enjoy today and the right to vote for our representatives in Tynwald.

"We are committed to educating and supporting young people in the Isle of Man to acknowledge that gender should never be a barrier to achieving all to which they aspire."

When the Suffragette Flag is not touring the Island, it will be on public display in the Tynwald Library with a small exhibition celebrating Women's Suffrage in the Isle of Man.

The Tynwald Library is located on the ground floor of Legislative Buildings and is open to the public from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

"Girl Guiding IOM is proud to be part of the Suffragette Flag journey and share the story of Manx women’s suffrage."

Karen Walker, Chair of Girl Guiding Isle of Man

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