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Thousands take part in Edinburgh parade to mark women’s vote centenary

The Processions event was one of four taking place in each of the UK’s capital cities to celebrate women’s suffrage.

Thousands of women took to the streets in Scotland’s capital to celebrate 100 years since the first women in Britain secured the right to vote.

The Edinburgh parade was part of Processions, a mass participation artwork taking place simultaneously in the capitals of the UK to mark the achievements of the women’s suffrage movement.

The women and girls on the march wore suffragette colours of green, violet and white and were choreographed to appear as a moving suffragette flag.

The Edinburgh participants gathered at the Meadows before heading off through the city, ending by marching down the Royal Mile to the sounds of a piper playing Flower Of Scotland and past the Scottish Parliament.

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Female MSPs Linda Fabiani and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in the Garden Lobby of the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh, wore scarves in the colours of the suffragettes (Jane Barlow/PA)

Those taking part spanned all ages and many carried banners covering a range of causes.

These included embroidered banners thanking the “sister suffragettes”, others proclaiming the suffragette slogans “Equality for Women” and “Deeds Not Words” and some simply stating “100 years”.

Modern political causes were also in evidence, with banners for the WASPI women fighting for pension equality.

Political parties were among the groups taking part in the parade, which was open to women and girls and those identifying as such, and other organisations involved included the Girl Guides and the Scottish Women’s Institute.

The event was produced by Artichoke and commissioned by 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary.

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop said: “Processions is a great opportunity to celebrate the centenary of some women getting the vote, an important milestone in our country’s history.

“As we mark this anniversary and while we have come a long way since 1918, this event also offers an occasion for us all to reflect on the challenges and opportunities that still lie ahead.

“Equality for women is at the heart of the Scottish Government’s vision for an equal Scotland and our Programme for Government set out our ambitions, including legislating for gender balance on public sector boards, creating a new Advisory Council on Women and Girls, and piloting a returners project to help women back in to the workplace after a career break.

“Our goal for all women and girls – in Scotland and around the world – is that they have a fair chance to succeed in life, no matter their gender.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon called the event a “spectacular tribute”.

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