Celebrating International Women’s Day: The Orcadian Suffragists

As part of the events to celebrate International Women’s Day, The Orkney News’ short Animation ‘A Gude Cause Maks A Strong Erm‘ will be showing at the Phoenix Cinema, Pickaquoy Centre, Kirkwall.

The theme of this year’s Women’s Day is #BalanceforBetter “a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women – while also marking a call to action for accelerating gender balance.” The Orcadian suffragists were right there in the midst of the action to achieve not only votes for women but equality of  pay and opportunity.

A Gude Cause Maks A Strong Erm is a short animated film telling the story of the Orcadian Woman’s Suffrage Society. Campaigning for women to have the right to vote took place from the latter half of the 19th Century up to the start of the First World War. Orcadian suffragists  were part of that activism.

Researched and scripted by Fiona Grahame the animation by Martin Laird is stylised to make some reference to the world of 20th century art.  The artist Stanley Cursiter was associated with the Orcadian Woman’s Suffrage Society, having designed its banner and married Phyllis Hourston, one of its members.  The design of characters and locations was derived from period photos.

The narration by Orcadian Kim Foden is upbeat and enthusiastic. The original score by James Watson sets the perfect tempo  for  the flow of the animation.

The animation was made possible with an award from the Scottish Government’s Centenary Fund which supported projects celebrating 100 years of some women gaining the right to vote.


Poster for A Gude Cause Maks A Strong Erm - the story of the Orcadian Woman's Suffrage Society. Showing at Picky cinema from 5th to 9th of March to coincide with International Women's Day.

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