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The Women Who Wouldn't Wheesht

Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781408720707

Price: £22

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On the 25th anniversary of the Scottish Parliament, this book captures an important moment in contemporary history: how a grassroots women’s movement, harking back to the suffragettes and second wave feminists of the 1970s and 1980s, took on the political establishment – and changed the course of history.

Through a collection of over thirty essays and photographs, some of the women involved tell the story of the five-year campaign to protect women’s sex-based rights. Author J.K. Rowling explains why she used her global reach to stand up for women. Leading SNP MP Joanna Cherry writes of how she risked her political career for her beliefs. Survivors of male violence who MSPs refused to meet are given the voice they were denied at Holyrood. Ash Regan MSP recounts what it was like to become the first government minister to resign on a question of principle since the SNP came to power in 2007. Former prison governor Rhona Hotchkiss charts how changes in prison policy in Scotland led to the controversy over Isla Bryson.

It is the story of women who risked their job, reputation, even the bonds of family and friendship, to make their voices heard, and ended up – unexpectedly – contributing to the downfall of Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first woman first minister.

Above all, it is the story of the women who wouldn’t wheesht.


A courageous book . . . of major, political and social significance
Morning Star
A genuinely fantastic book
Hadley Freeman
Probably the most important political work to come out of Scotland this century
Kevin McKenna
A must-read
Sonia Sodha
This is what feminism looks like