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100 Portraits. 100 Women. 100 Firsts. In one city.

RISE is proud to announce the latest addition to our programme as we host a very special exhibition celebrating 100 women who achieved the ‘first’ in their field of expertise.

The First Women exhibition is heading to St George’s Hall from Wednesday 19 June until Tuesday 27 August and features 100 striking images captured by internationally acclaimed photographer Anita Corbin.

The FREE exhibition will feature portraits of celebrities, personalities and unsung heroines who have made history with their achievements.

The project has taken more than a decade to collate, and the showcase includes portraits of:

The Rt. Hon. Baroness Betty Boothroyd OM PC – the first woman speaker of the House of Commons.

Nicola Adams – the first woman in the world to win an Olympic Gold medal in boxing.

Bellatrix – the first UK woman to become world champion beatboxer.

Janice Long – the first woman to present BBC’s Top of the Pops.

Dame Stella Rimington DCB – first female Director General of MI5.

Commander Karen Dalton-Fyfe RM – first woman to command a naval base.

Michelle Parker – the first professional blacksmith to be appointed as a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths – in their 700 year history.

Pauline Clare – the first woman to become a Chief Constable in the police service.

Deta Hedman – the first woman to defeat a man in a televised UK major open darts championship.

Carolynn Sells – first woman to win the Manx Grand Prix TT motorcycle race.

The aim of the exhibition is to provide inspiration and insight for a new generation of women, helping them gain an understanding and what can be achieved – regardless of gender.

Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for culture, tourism and events, Councillor Wendy Simon, said: “First Women is a real celebration of women and equality, and is a fantastic showcase of what can be achieved.

“It covers such a huge variety of areas, from the worlds of art, performance and the military services right through to sport, journalism and politics.

“It’s a fascinating snapshot of the culture of the past decade and we are hugely proud to be hosting this important and influential showcase.  Through our RISE programme, we aim to shine a spotlight on the debate around gender and equality, and celebrate those women who have broken the mould and now lead the charge for future generations.

“I encourage people to head to St George’s Hall to see this incredible collection of images, and we hope it inspires women, young and old, to achieve their goals.”

Photographer and Creative Director of the First Women Exhibition, Anita Corbin, said: “From ages 18 to 102-years old and in fields of expertise covering everything from beatboxing to bomb detection, I wanted to create an impressive visual archive documenting female ability and achievement, fantastic role models, in order to celebrate the impact women have had on our society over the last 100 years.”