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Telling the stories of the women who built Scotland

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Youth groups will research and publish the stories of the women who built Scotland

Youth projects across Scotland are turning detective to uncover the amazing stories behind some of the country’s forgotten heroines.

Over the next few months, 40 young people from five different groups will research and publish the stories of the women who have built the nation.

As part of the new research project, which is being funded by Heritage Lottery, YouthLink Scotland is launching a nationwide campaign, #scotswummin, to encourage people to highlight the achievements of women locally and nationally, from all walks of life, and sign a pledge for equality on

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has lent her support to the campaign.

She said: “Women have made an enormous contribution across medicine, arts, law, every walk of life and it’s really important that we celebrate these achievements, for their own sake but also to inspire the next generation.

“I am a huge supporter of the #scotswummin campaign that is being led by young people because it’s so important that we give women and young girls the same opportunities in life as men and young boys.

“Equality across all areas of society is a real passion of mine and I hope that we see greater progress towards genuine equality in all walks in life.”

Falkirk girls Julia Doroszko and Amy Rose Lumsden, aged 14, are both involved in the project: “We didn’t know about any women in my town who’ve made history, so interviewing local people for #scotswummin is an eye-opening experience.

“It’s amazing the stories we’re hearing about strong, influential women like Granny Mackay, a forgotten lady who helped deliver hundreds of babies during the 1920s. But locally her lifegiving contribution has not been recognised! We’re going to make it our #scotswummin mission to discover and celebrate her legacy.”

Lisa Gallacher, joint project lead at YouthLink Scotland, said: “There has been very little research or importance put on the many women in Scotland who have shaped our nation.

“This project is an exciting opportunity to uncover the stories of fascinating women and celebrate their contribution to society. It is important we empower our young women today with a renewed understanding of feminism and equality, something the youth work sector has a proud history of in Scotland.”

As part of the Heritage Lottery £91,300 grant, YouthLink Scotland will also examine youth work’s contribution to the Women’s Movement since 1850.

The final report will be launched at an exhibition at Glasgow Women’s Library on 4 August.