Aberdeen ,

Conversation Café and civic reception for suffragettes

An influential academic from Robert Gordon University (RGU) will join forces with the Aberdeen Women’s Alliance and Aberdeen City Council to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of women gaining the vote and International Women’s Day.

Professor Sarah Pedersen, Professor of Communication and Media in RGU’s School of Creative and Cultural Business, will run a Conversation Café alongside members of the Aberdeen Women’s Alliance on Saturday 3 March in the Aberdeen Town House.

The café will offer the public the opportunity to learn more about Aberdeen’s own suffragette – Caroline Phillips – and will include a talk from Professor Pedersen on her own research into the Scottish suffragettes.

Over the past year, Professor Pedersen has toured the country giving a series of lectures on her Heritage Lottery Funded project focusing on the correspondence and work of Caroline Phillips, not only a suffragette but one of the North-east’s first women journalists.

Professor Pedersen said: “This year marks the centenary of women gaining the vote in the UK and many people do not realise how active the campaign for women’s suffrage was in the North-east of Scotland – instead thinking of the suffragettes as a London or Manchester-based movement.

“It has been a pleasure to spread the stories of suffragettes in this area and share with people the unique correspondence of Caroline Phillips, which shed a fascinating light on the times and the activities going on.”

The Conversation Café and Professor Pedersen’s talk will take place between 1-3pm on Saturday, with check-in beginning at 12:30pm. All attendees will receive a copy of the edited collection of Caroline Phillips’ letters.

The event will be followed by a civic reception to celebrate the anniversary of women gaining the vote, but also in honour of International Women’s Day, which lands on Thursday 8 March.

The Lord Provost of Aberdeen Barney Crockett said: “As honorary secretary of the Aberdeen branch of the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU), otherwise known as the Suffragettes, Caroline Phillips met and corresponded with many of the leaders of the movement and was involved in the organisation of militant action in Aberdeen.

“What better way to mark the 100th anniversary of women gaining the vote and International Women’s Day than celebrating Aberdeen’s very own suffragettes.”

Professor Pedersen and the Aberdeen Women’s Alliance will run a similar event at Glasgow Women’s Library on Saturday 10 March.


The image is of a postcard written by Caroline Phillips to Mrs Pankhurst, 14 December 1907.
Photograph and Digital Image © Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums. Not for reproduction or publication.