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North East hosts national organisation’s 100th anniversary celebration of votes for women

Guy Oppermann, MP for Hexham, addressing the conference

A national organisation devoted to gender equality and promoting change, held its national AGM in Newcastle this month and celebrated the 100th anniversary of votes for women.

The National Council of Women of Great Britain (NCW), originally founded as the National Union of Women Workers in 1895, promotes confidence, public speaking skills and debate among young women, developing the next generation of inclusive leaders who will create a world in which it is no disadvantage to be a girl.

The NCW’s Annual Meeting has taken place for over 100 years. This year, it was held at the Royal Station Hotel, Newcastle and welcomed over 50 delegates as well as a number of schools from the areas in which its youth division operates including York, Nottingham and London.

Dr Andrena Telford, president of the NCW, said: “It was so encouraging to see the interaction between our older and younger members. The young members enjoy being part of an influential national organisation and are excited by our links to international groups.”

Speakers at the event included Guy Oppermann MP, Professor Ron Beadle of Gateshead Council, Veronica Jones of Northumberland County Council and Baroness Joyce Quin, all of whom contributed to the theme of ‘Beyond the Ballot: Women and Parliament’.

Visitors also heard from Marion Anderson, who introduced some of the personalities and activities of Newcastle’s suffrage movement and the work it did to help bring the vote to women.

Dr Telford continued: “It’s an exciting time for us; the world has come a long way since women were given the vote and we are looking to bring our constitution into line with a different type of membership and different lifestyles for women.

“We plan to increase our membership, to open new branches as far as possible and to use modern technology to keep in closer contact with our individual members.”

The NCW is holding a training session on November 17th in Derby for young women members, led by Barbara Maddison, the prime instigator of the youth division.