Dundee Women’s Festival continues with talk from councillors

© DC Thomson
Councillors Lynne Short and Anne Rendall before their talk at Dundee Women's Festival.

Dundee Women’s Festival ploughed on despite the weather preventing a key opening speaker from making an appearance.

Lesley Riddoch was scheduled to appear for the opening lecture on Sunday but had to cancel due to the arduous weather conditions created by the beast from the east.

© Supplied
Broadcaster Lesley Riddoch

The talk, titled “Women and Land — Our Secret History”, sold out in advance but had to be called off when the journalist was not able to make it across the Tay.

That did not stop the organisers kicking off the festival with a more informal ‘glass of wine and cake’ event.

This was then followed by a screening of Angry Inuk, a documentary by Inuit campaigner Alethea Arnaquuq-Baril defending the Inuit seal hunt.

Prue Watson, chair of the board, said: “We were disappointed that Lesley couldn’t come but that’s fair enough. She sent us a picture of her lane and it was absolutely covered in snow.

“We put on some cake and wine for the people that made the journey. It gave them a chance to talk about the festival and it seemed to be enjoyed by all. The documentary was very interesting as well.

“We are doing our best and we’re hoping to keep going. There are some events that are outside and are more difficult to say if they will be affected. We just hope it is going to stop snowing.

“We have got quite a good mixture of events so it should be a good fortnight.”

One of the biggest events yesterday was the ‘1 in 3 Councillors’ talk, which addressed that only a third of councillors in Scotland are female. In Dundee the figure is even lower — one in four.

SNP councillors Lynn Short and Anne Rendall discussed their respective journeys into politics, hoping that other women will see it as a possible vocation.

Ms Short said ahead of the event: “More than 50% of people in Dundee are women so it’s really important that they are better represented. I am a single parent so I think it’s really important that every part of society is represented.

“It is difficult to be representative if the population isn’t represented. There is something not connecting Dundee women to politics.

“I think it’s important to encourage as many women as we can. It’s a really good job and I’ve enjoyed my time as a councillor.”

The year’s festival is celebrating the 100th anniversary of women getting the vote in the UK.

Other events in the programme include V&A Design Champions and Dark Dundee: Witch Hunt, which both take place on Tuesday.

Updates on any further disruptions will be posted on the event’s Facebook page.