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Women MPs honoured by University photographers

Monday 10 December 2018

TWO University colleagues are part of a trailblazing photography exhibition celebrating women in politics.

The exhibition in Parliament will showcase photographs of all 209 female MPs – and opens on Friday, December 14 - 100 years to the day that the first women cast their votes in the 1918 general election.

It has been backed by Helen Pankhurst, great granddaughter of suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst.

Caroline Edge, programme leader in photography at the University of Salford and her fellow lecturer Elizabeth Wewiora, who is also head of engagement at the Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool, are among those behind the lens.


Caroline and Liz were invited to photograph Liz McInnes and Jo Platt, Members of Parliament for Heywood and Middleton and Leigh respectively.

Caroline’s image of Liz McInnes (below) was inspired by admiration for the MP for Heywood’s commitment to the NHS backed by her professional background as a biochemist.

And Caroline admits: “I also asked for Liz because her constituency was also my old patch where I learned my trade as a photographer for the Rochdale Observer and Middleton Guardian.

She says she considered a number of backgrounds but opted for a plain one of red bricks.

“Our northern towns are built from them, and we should celebrate the strong women who have helped make our

industrial towns into communities."

Elizabeth’s image of Jo Platt reflects the same sense of industry and community.

“I was really lucky to work with Jo,” says Elizabeth. “She’s the first female MP for Leigh ever and she wanted a location she felt represented her area and her work best.

“We went for Spinners Mill, a place of yesterday’s industry which is currently being regenerated for tomorrow’s economy.”


209 Women is delivered in partnership with Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool City Council, The Royal Photographic Society and The Sorority.

Helen Pankhurst said: “The exhibition will for once put women centre stage, acting as a reminder to never leave women out of the equation, on behalf of all citizens but particularly the 51% of the population who have been so unequally represented.”

‘209 Women’ will be displayed at Portcullis House, Houses of Parliament, from 14th December to February 2019. After that, it will travel North to Open Eye Gallery in Liverpool.

Hilary Wood, founder and curator, said: “Since 1918, 4,503 men have been elected to the UK parliament - compared to just 491 women. This exhibition will bring visibility to those women that are part of making the fundamental changes to women’s equality.”

Find out more

Gareth Hollyman, Senior Press & PR Officer (Science)

0161 295 6895