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Browsing Posts published on March 11, 2018



This evening, I am reporting on a piece of Scotland’s social history as manifested in a recently erected statue in Govan, part of Glasgow.
The statue was erected to commemorate Mary Barbour, a leading radical female social pioneer of the early 20th century who was an inspirational campaigner, activist and local government representative.
Mary was a key figure in the 1915 Rent Strikes, which exposed and protested against landlords who took advantage of the wartime economy to increase rents for workers, evicting those who could not pay. This was a time when Britain was engaged in the WW1 conflict and women were not granted limited voting rights until late 1918. At the time Govan was at the heart of Britain’s  commercial and military shipbuilding industry.
Mary’s campaign proved successful in forcing a change in legislation governing rented accommodation, which was the main source of housing for working people at the time.
Mary continued to campaign vigorously to improve housing and social conditions for working people. She was elected as one of the first woman councillors for Glasgow in 1920, and appointed the first woman Baillie (civic officer) of the City of Glasgow in 1924. 

The statue was unveiled to coincide with International Women’s Day.

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