Gamechangers of the future inspired by Greater Manchester’s suffragist movement

Youngsters are learning how to put a modern twist on campaigning for their futures thanks to the great suffragists from the past that worked hard to create change across Greater Manchester.

This International Women’s Day girls are gearing up to become game changers with a resource pack created by a Greater Manchester-based charity.

Tandem Theatre, which runs a Game Changers project, has created the resource pack that includes free downloadable learning activities for children aged nine and above inspired by the campaigning of suffragists from each of the 10 Greater Manchester boroughs.

The pack also includes workshop videos hosted by local artists including activities such as making a stencil, screen printing, sash making, poetry writing, songwriting, and the downloadable resource pack includes activities on speech writing, debating, and orderly propaganda like poetry, art and design, posters and banners, writing letters and petitions.

Frances Nutt, artistic director at Tandem Theatre, who is running the Game Changers project, said:

“The project is about learning from female activists from the past to apply that learning to campaign for their futures – this is now more relevant than ever as women have been adversely affected by the pandemic.

“Crisis times such as these often uncover ways in which our society and culture—and its biases, imbalances and injustices—cause certain groups to be negatively and dramatically impacted – like women.

“So just like the theme for this year’s International Women’s Day, we want our young women across Greater Manchester to choose to challenge situations and make change. We help them become effective campaigners and leaders of the future and build self-esteem, social skills, confidence, and raise aspirations with our new learning resources.

“We need to celebrate women’s achievement. Raise awareness against bias and take action for equality.”

Featured suffragists in the learning resources include; Mary Barnes, Bolton, Hilda Openshaw, Bury, Hannah Mitchell, Manchester, Dame Sarah Lees, Oldham, Women’s Co-op Guild, Rochdale, Eva Gore Booth, Salford, Hannah Winbolt, Stockport, Bertha Mason, Tameside, Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence, Trafford and Martha Hogg, Wigan.

The Game Changers project began in 2019 and was made possible with a grant from Heritage Lottery Fund. The project explores the movement of the ‘hidden’ female campaigners – the suffragists – and the peaceful methods they used to campaign for their right to vote – unlike the more militant and more famous suffragettes – which led to the Representation of the People Act 1918.

You can download the resource pack and watch the workshop videos here:

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