Our Project Officer Amy tells us who Scotswummin are and what we plan to do.
Watching the Women’s Marches over the weekend was a wonderful reminder of how far we’ve come and the power of the collective roar of women across the world. It was also, however, a stark reminder of the uncertain times we are living in and the need for women’s voices to be heard.
Scotswummin is a celebration of the contribution of awesome women in Scottish communities, historically or in the present, who have perhaps been forgotten - or (most likely) not been widely heard of. Along with Glasgow Women’s Library, we are providing early career youth workers from five youth groups across Scotland with training in youth-led research, youth work skills and heritage, curating and exhibiting skills. The purpose of this is to provide them with the skills, knowledge and confidence to support young people to research and celebrate women in their community.
As part of this training programme, we are taking the youth workers on a number of visits to heritage sites. So far this has included the National Records of Scotland and the National Library of Scotland. We hope this will inspire them to engage with heritage and to use this inspiration in their youth work practice.
At the National Library of Scotland, we were given a tour of the library including the vaults. This was a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at how heritage is collected and looked after, as well as a way of bringing heritage to life. This was particularly the case when the political curator at the Library allowed us to hold petitions sent to stop suffragettes being force-fed in prison. Holding the documents in our hands was a reminder of the awful oppression women have and continue to suffer, and the importance of making sure these stories are not forgotten.
We have some more training dates for our youth workers over the coming months, including visits to Glasgow Women’s Library and the People’s Palace, Glasgow. As the youth workers now work directly with young people in their communities and share with them their learning from the training and heritage visits, I excitedly wait for what they uncover. The research will be led by young people, based on their interests, and so we don’t know where that might take them... Watch this space!