Movie showing will highlight women’s suffrage movement

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In conjunction with Women’s History Month (October) and the provincial elections, the Pictou County Women’s Centre will be hosting a viewing of Iron Jawed Angels starring Hilary Swank, Frances O’Connor, Julia Ormond and Anjelica Huston.

Iron Jawed Angels

The 2004 drama details the American women’s suffrage movement during the 1910s. The viewing will take place at North Nova Education Centre on Oct. 7 at 6 p.m. Admission is free and snacks will be provided.

Katie Williams, community development coordinator at the Pictou County Women’s Centre said they’re really hoping to stress the importance of voting.

“A lot of people, not just women, but everybody, don’t really think about it,” Williams said. “I know that quite often we take our right to vote for granted.”

She said women had to fight hard for the right to vote and it’s important that women take advantage of that right.

“People think one vote doesn’t make a difference but it truly does,” she said.

She said she also hopes to see some of the North Nova students themselves come out, so they can learn a little more about the suffrage movement.

Women's suffrage groups existed since 1870s however it was during the First World War that it became difficult to ignore women's arguments. Women were serving in war, taking over factories and offices for the men, keeping families together while men were overseas, working in voluntary organizations that support the war effort.

There were three stages in which women got the federal vote. Women’s voting rights began with the Military Voters Act of 1917 which allowed nurses and women in the armed services to vote. Next was the Wartime Election Act, which lengthened the vote to women who had husbands, sons or fathers serving overseas. As of January 1, 1919, all women over 21 were allowed to vote.

Provincially speaking, women in Nova Scotia gained the vote in 1918.

Organizations: Pictou County Women, North Nova Education Centre

Geographic location: North Nova, Nova Scotia

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