The lack of female representation is no laughing matter, but this new podcast is making people smile.
The struggle for voting rights isn’t normally seen as a barrel of laughs, but I guffawed during Jessica Hynes surreal suffragette comedy Up the Women at a special screening a few weeks ago. Similarly, Bridget Christie’s A Bic For Her contained impressive economic and socio-political analysis but left me cackling so much I couldn’t breathe when I saw it back in 2014.
For me, stories, particularly if they’re funny, are the best way to put across a social message. That’s why I set up 100 Voices For 100 Years, a project that promotes stories written and told by women, 100 years after (some) women got the right to vote. Every day, over 100 days, you can listen to a new piece by a female-identifying writer on the theme “something I have achieved” on our website or subscribe to our podcast on iTunes.
The project was launched on 6th February 2018 to coincide with the centenary of the Representation of the People Act which granted certain women the right to the vote in the UK. 100 years on, women’s voices are being heard, but you only have to read a few articles on this website to see that female comics, writers and presenters are still not as visible (or audible) as they should be, despite the wealth of female talent out there.
Through the project, a diverse range of storytellers – bestselling authors, award-winning poets, journalists, theatre-makers, musicians, bloggers and emerging writers – are given a platform to share their stories. From crafting a one-woman show, surviving cancer or buying a motorbike, the stories are as varied as the women involved in the project.
We’ve been featured on The Pool, been longlisted for the literary world’s Oscars The Saboteur Awards and will be broadcast on the Women’s Radio Station.
We are still seeking contributors, especially from under-represented voices. If you have a story you’d like to share you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or find us on social media @100voicesfor100years
I am hopeful that the more we highlight the talent that exists and support each other, the further we’ll get.
Then we’ll all be laughing.