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It's amazing to know that women in Ireland (and the UK) were not allowed to vote until February 1918 - one hundred years ago. Even then, only women who were over 30, who owned property, or who had a university qualification could vote - while the same Act of Parliament granted voting rights to every man over the age of 21.
The activists who had pushed for this change were known as "Suffragettes" or "Suffragists" depending on how militant they were. The title came from the word "suffrage" which means the right to vote. In Ireland one notable woman who worked towards women's suffrage was Hannah Sheehy Skeffington. Watch this video where her granddaughter re-enacts a protest at Dublin Castle.
Talk with your child about how women still need to fight for important things like equal pay and equal representation in government and in the top levels of many institutions. It's about equality for all people regardless of gender, race, or social background.
See if you can get this book by Irish author Anna Carey from the library or a book shop. It's about a Dubin school girl called Mollie who gets involved in the suffragette movement. Historical novels and films are great for helping us imagine ourselves into history. Have a look at this animated video made by the BBC.
It’s important to encourage whatever reading your child is doing at this age. Children have their own interests and hobbies so they will be more inclined to read information about these subjects. Having comics, papers or magazines around the house will make it easier for your child to get into reading. Your child might find it appealing to read online and you might like that the book can be read by an automated voice. E books can be looked at when you are on the move, making sure that your child is careful with your computer or phone.
Your child might like to read a section of the newspaper or a magazine – the sports, fashion or cooking sections - depending on their interests. They might like to read a short piece from a newspaper and underline facts with a pen and opinion with a pencil. You can then talk about the difference between fact and opinion (there are good examples in sports writing). Encourage your child to read instructions for mending bikes, building models and playing new games.
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