Suffrage in Australia
Suffrage in Australia refers to the right to vote for people living in Australia, including all its six component states and territories, as well as local councils. The colonies of Australia began to grant universal male suffrage during the 1850s and women's suffrage followed between the 1890s and 1900s. Today, the right to vote at federal and local levels of government is enjoyed by all citizens of Australia over the age of 18 years. Upon first white settlement in New South Wales in 1788, the appointed Governors had autocratic powers within the colony, but agitation for representative government began soon after the settlement. A legislative body, the New South Wales Legislative Council, was created in 1825, an appointed body whose function was to advise the Governor. On 24 August 1824, 5 members were appointed to the Council, which increased to 7 members in 1825, between 10 and 15 in 1829. In 1829, British sovereignty was extended to cover the whole of Australia, everyone born in Australia, including Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders, became British subjects by birth.
The first parliamentary elections in Australia took place in 1843 for the New South Wales Legislative Council under the New South Wales Constitution Act 1842. The Council had 36 members, of which 12 were appointed by the Governor and the remainder were elected; the right to vote was limited to men with a freehold valued at £200 or a householder paying rent of £20 per year, both large sums at the time. In the 1850s, limited self-government was granted to South Australia, New South Wales and Tasmania: all adult male British subjects became entitled to vote; this included indigenous people but they were not encouraged to enroll. Queensland gained self-government in 1859 and Western Australia in 1890, but these colonies denied indigenous people the vote. An innovative secret ballot was introduced in Victoria and South Australia. In 1856, under a new Constitution, the New South Wales Parliament became bicameral with a elected Legislative Assembly and a appointed Legislative Council with a Government taking over most of the legislative powers of the Governor.
On 22 May 1856, the newly constituted New South Wales Parliament sat for the first time. The right to vote for Legislative Assembly was extended to all adult males in 1858. In 1901, the six Australian colonies united to form the federal Commonwealth of Australia; the first election for the Commonwealth Parliament in 1901 was based on the electoral laws at that time of the six colonies, so that those who had the right to vote and to stand for Parliament at state level had the same rights for the 1901 Australian federal election. Only in South Australia and Western Australia did women have a vote. Tasmania retained a small property qualification for voting, but in the other states all male British subjects over 21 could vote. Only in South Australia and Tasmania were indigenous Australians theoretically entitled to vote. A few may have done so in South Australia. Western Australia and Queensland barred indigenous people from voting. In 1902, the Commonwealth Parliament passed the Commonwealth Franchise Act 1902, which established a uniform franchise law for the federal Parliament.
The Act declared that all British subjects over the age of 21 years, living in Australia for at least 6 months were entitled to a vote, whether male or female, whether married or single. Besides granting Australian women the right to vote at a national level, it allowed them to stand for election to federal Parliament; this meant that Australia was the second country, after New Zealand, to grant women's suffrage at a national level, the first country to allow women to stand for Parliament. However, the Act disqualified Indigenous people from Australia, Asia and the Pacific Islands, with the exception of Māori, from voting though they were British subjects and otherwise entitled to a vote. By this provision, Indian people, for example, were disqualified to vote; the only exception was in relation to those who were entitled under Section 41 of the Australian Constitution to a vote. Section 41 states that any individual who has gained a right to vote at a state level, must have the right to vote in federal elections.
The Solicitor-General, Robert Garran, interpreted the provision to mean that Commonwealth voting rights were granted by section 41 only to people who were State voters in 1902. The effect was not to enable those who subsequently acquired the right to vote at a State level, but who were expressly excluded from the franchise by the 1902 Act, such as Indigenous Australians, to vote at the federal level; those otherwise entitled voters who are subject to a crime which carries a penalty of over one year in prison are disqualified to vote. There was no representation for any of the territories of Australia. In the meantime, State franchise laws continued in force. In 1897, in South Australia, Catherine Helen Spence was the first woman to stand as a political candidate; the restrictions on voting by indigenous Australians were relaxed after World War II, removed by the Commonwealth Electoral Act in 1962. Senator Neville Bonner became the first Aboriginal Australian to sit in the federal Parliament in 1971.
Julia Gillard became the first female Prime Minister of Australia in 2010. Traditional Aboriginal society had been governed by councils of elders and a corporate decision making process, but the first European-style governments established after 1788 were autocratic and run by appointed governors - although E
Women's rights are the rights and entitlements claimed for women and girls worldwide, formed the basis for the women's rights movement in the nineteenth century and feminist movement during the 20th century. In some countries, these rights are institutionalized or supported by law, local custom, behavior, whereas in others they are ignored and suppressed, they differ from broader notions of human rights through claims of an inherent historical and traditional bias against the exercise of rights by women and girls, in favor of men and boys. Issues associated with notions of women's rights include the right: to bodily integrity and autonomy. Women in ancient Sumer could buy, own and inherit property, they could engage in commerce, testify in court as witnesses. Nonetheless, their husbands could divorce them for mild infractions, a divorced husband could remarry another woman, provided that his first wife had borne him no offspring. Female deities, such as Inanna, were worshipped; the Akkadian poetess Enheduanna, the priestess of Inanna and daughter of Sargon, is the earliest known poet whose name has been recorded.
Old Babylonian law codes permitted a husband to divorce his wife under any circumstances, but doing so required him to return all of her property and sometimes pay her a fine. Most law codes forbade a woman to request her husband for a divorce and enforced the same penalties on a woman asking for divorce as on a woman caught in the act of adultery; the majority of East Semitic deities were male. In ancient Egypt women enjoyed the same rights under the law as a men, however rightful entitlements depended upon social class. Landed property descended in the female line from mother to daughter, women were entitled to administer their own property. Women in ancient Egypt could buy, sell, be a partner in legal contracts, be executor in wills and witness to legal documents, bring court action, adopt children. Women during the early Vedic period enjoyed equal status with men in all aspects of life. Works by ancient Indian grammarians such as Patanjali and Katyayana suggest that women were educated in the early Vedic period.
Rigvedic verses suggest that women married at a mature age and were free to select their own husbands in a practice called swayamvar or live-in relationship called Gandharva marriage. Although most women lacked political and equal rights in the city states of ancient Greece, they enjoyed a certain freedom of movement until the Archaic age. Records exist of women in ancient Delphi, Thessaly and Sparta owning land, the most prestigious form of private property at the time. However, after the Archaic age, legislators began to enact laws enforcing gender segregation, resulting in decreased rights for women. Women in Classical Athens had no legal personhood and were assumed to be part of the oikos headed by the male kyrios; until marriage, women were under the guardianship of other male relative. Once married, the husband became a woman's kyrios; as women were barred from conducting legal proceedings, the kyrios would do so on their behalf. Athenian women could only acquire rights over property through gifts and inheritance, though her kyrios had the right to dispose of a woman's property.
Athenian women could only enter into a contract worth less than the value of a "medimnos of barley", allowing women to engage in petty trading. Women were excluded both in principle and in practice. Slaves could become Athenian citizens after being freed, but no woman acquired citizenship in ancient Athens. In classical Athens women were barred from becoming poets, politicians, or artists. During the Hellenistic period in Athens, the philosopher Aristotle thought that women would bring disorder and evil, therefore it was best to keep women separate from the rest of the society; this separation would entail living in a room called a gynaikeion, while looking after the duties in the home and having little exposure with the male world. This was to ensure that wives only had legitimate children from their husbands. Athenian women received little education, except home tutorship for basic skills such as spin, weave and some knowledge of money. Although Spartan women were formally excluded from military and political life they enjoyed considerable status as mothers of Spartan warriors.
As men engaged in military activity, women took responsibility for running estates. Following protracted warfare in the 4th century BC Spartan women owned between 35% and 40% of all Spartan land and property. By the Hellenistic Period, some of the wealthiest Spartans were women. Spartan women controlled their own properties, as well as the properties of male relatives who were away with the army. Girls as well as boys received an education, but despite greater freedom of movement for Spartan women, their role in politics was just as the same as Athenian women. Plato acknowledged that extending civil and political rights to women would substantively alter the nature of the household and the state. Aristotle, taught by Plato, denied that women were slaves or subject to property, arguing that "nature has distinguished between the female and the slave", but he considered wives to be "bought", he argued that women's main economic activity is that of safeguarding the household property created by men.
According to Aristotle the la
Seneca Falls Convention
The Seneca Falls Convention was the first women's rights convention. It advertised itself as "a convention to discuss the social and religious condition and rights of woman". Held in Seneca Falls, New York, it spanned two days over July 19–20, 1848. Attracting widespread attention, it was soon followed by other women's rights conventions, including the Rochester Women's Rights Convention in Rochester, New York, two weeks later. In 1850 the first in a series of annual National Women's Rights Conventions met in Worcester, Massachusetts. Female Quakers local to the area organized the meeting along with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, not a Quaker, they planned the event during a visit to the area by Philadelphia-based Lucretia Mott. Mott, a Quaker, was famous for her oratorical ability, rare for non-Quaker women during an era in which women were not allowed to speak in public; the meeting comprised six sessions including a lecture on law, a humorous presentation, multiple discussions about the role of women in society.
Stanton and the Quaker women presented two prepared documents, the Declaration of Sentiments and an accompanying list of resolutions, to be debated and modified before being put forward for signatures. A heated debate sprang up regarding women's right to vote, with many – including Mott – urging the removal of this concept, but Frederick Douglass, the convention's sole African American attendee, argued eloquently for its inclusion, the suffrage resolution was retained. 100 of 300 attendees signed the document women. The convention was seen by some of its contemporaries, including featured speaker Mott, as one important step among many others in the continuing effort by women to gain for themselves a greater proportion of social and moral rights, while it was viewed by others as a revolutionary beginning to the struggle by women for complete equality with men. Stanton considered the Seneca Falls Convention to be the beginning of the women's rights movement, an opinion, echoed in the History of Woman Suffrage, which Stanton co-wrote.
The convention's Declaration of Sentiments became "the single most important factor in spreading news of the women's rights movement around the country in 1848 and into the future", according to Judith Wellman, a historian of the convention. By the time of the National Women's Rights Convention of 1851, the issue of women's right to vote had become a central tenet of the United States women's rights movement; these conventions became annual events until the outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861. In the decades leading up to 1848, a small number of women began to push against restrictions imposed upon them by society. A few men aided in this effort. In 1831, Reverend Charles Grandison Finney began allowing women to pray aloud in gatherings of men and women; the Second Great Awakening was challenging women's traditional roles in religion. Recalling the era in 1870, Paulina Wright Davis set Finney's decision as the beginning of the American women's reform movement. Starting in 1832, abolitionist and journalist William Lloyd Garrison organized anti-slavery associations which encouraged the full participation of women.
Garrison's ideas were not welcomed by a majority of other abolitionists, those unwilling to include women split from him to form other abolitionist societies. A few women began to gain fame as speakers on the subject of abolition. In the 1830s, Lydia Maria Child wrote to encourage women to write a will, Frances Wright wrote books on women's rights and social reform; the Grimké sisters published their views against slavery in the late 1830s, they began speaking to mixed gatherings of men and women for Garrison's American Anti-Slavery Society, as did Abby Kelley. Although these women lectured on the evils of slavery, the fact that a woman was speaking in public was itself a noteworthy stand for the cause of women's rights. Ernestine Rose began lecturing in 1836 to groups of women on the subject of the "Science of Government" which included the enfranchisement of women. In 1840, at the urging of Garrison and Wendell Phillips, Lucretia Coffin Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton traveled with their husbands and a dozen other American male and female abolitionists to London for the first World's Anti-Slavery Convention, with the expectation that a motion put forward by Phillips to include women's participation in the convention would be controversial.
In London, the proposal was rebuffed after a full day of debate. Mott and Stanton became friends in London and on the return voyage, together planned to organize their own convention to further the cause of women's rights, separate from abolition concerns. In 1842 Thomas M'Clintock and his wife Mary Ann became founding members of the Western New York Anti-Slavery Society and helped write its constitution; when he moved to Rochester in 1847, Frederick Douglass joined Amy and Isaac Post and the M'Clintocks in this Rochester-based chapter of the American Anti-Slavery Society. In 1839 in Boston, Margaret Fuller began hosting conversations, akin to French salons, among women interested in discussing the "great questions" facing their sex. Sophia Ripley was one of the participants. In 1845, Fuller published The Great Lawsuit. In the 1840s, women in America were reaching out for greater control of their lives. Husbands and fathers directed the lives of women, many doors were closed to female participation.
State statutes and common law prohibited women from inheriting property, signing contracts, serving on juries and voting in elections. Women's prospects in employment were dim: they could expect only to gain a few service-related jobs a
Women's suffrage is the right of women to vote in elections. Beginning in the late 1800s, women worked for broad-based economic and political equality and for social reforms, sought to change voting laws in order to allow them to vote. National and international organizations formed to coordinate efforts to gain voting rights the International Woman Suffrage Alliance, worked for equal civil rights for women. Women who owned property gained the right to vote in the Isle of Man in 1881, in 1893, the British colony of New Zealand granted all women the right to vote. Most independent countries enacted women's suffrage in the interwar era, including Canada in 1917. Leslie Hume argues that the First World War changed the popular mood: The women's contribution to the war effort challenged the notion of women's physical and mental inferiority and made it more difficult to maintain that women were, both by constitution and temperament, unfit to vote. If women could work in munitions factories, it seemed both ungrateful and illogical to deny them a place in the polling booth.
But the vote was much more than a reward for war work. Extended political campaigns by women and their supporters have been necessary to gain legislation or constitutional amendments for women's suffrage. In many countries, limited suffrage for women was granted before universal suffrage for men; the United Nations encouraged women's suffrage in the years following World War II, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women identifies it as a basic right with 189 countries being parties to this Convention. In ancient Athens cited as the birthplace of democracy, only adult, male citizens who owned land were permitted to vote. Through subsequent centuries, Europe was ruled by monarchs, though various forms of parliament arose at different times; the high rank ascribed to abbesses within the Catholic Church permitted some women the right to sit and vote at national assemblies – as with various high-ranking abbesses in Medieval Germany, who were ranked among the independent princes of the empire.
Their Protestant successors enjoyed the same privilege into modern times. Marie Guyart, a French nun who worked with the First Nations peoples of Canada during the seventeenth century, wrote in 1654 regarding the suffrage practices of Iroquois women, "These female chieftains are women of standing amongst the savages, they have a deciding vote in the councils, they make decisions there like the men, it is they who delegated the first ambassadors to discuss peace." The Iroquois, like many First Nations peoples in North America, had a matrilineal kinship system. Property and descent were passed through the female line. Women elders could depose them; the emergence of modern democracy began with male citizens obtaining the right to vote in advance of female citizens, except in the Kingdom of Hawai'i, where universal manhood and women's suffrage was introduced in 1840. In Sweden, conditional women's suffrage was in effect during the Age of Liberty. Other possible contenders for first "country" to grant women suffrage include the Corsican Republic, the Pitcairn Islands, the Isle of Man, Franceville, but some of these operated only as independent states and others were not independent.
In 1756, Lydia Taft became the first legal woman voter in colonial America. This occurred under British rule in the Massachusetts Colony. In a New England town meeting in Uxbridge, she voted on at least three occasions. Unmarried white women who owned property could vote in New Jersey from 1776 to 1807. In the 1792 elections in Sierra Leone a new British colony, all heads of household could vote and one-third were ethnic African women; the female descendants of the Bounty mutineers who lived on Pitcairn Islands could vote from 1838. This right was transferred; the seed for the first Woman's Rights Convention in the United States in Seneca Falls, New York was planted in 1840, when Elizabeth Cady Stanton met Lucretia Mott at the World Anti-Slavery Convention in London. The conference refused to seat Mott and other women delegates from the U. S. because of their sex. In 1851, Stanton met temperance worker Susan B. Anthony, shortly the two would be joined in the long struggle to secure the vote for women in the U.
S. In 1868 Anthony encouraged working women from the printing and sewing trades in New York, who were excluded from men's trade unions, to form Working Women's Associations; as a delegate to the National Labor Congress in 1868, Anthony persuaded the committee on female labor to call for votes for women and equal pay for equal work. The men at the conference deleted the reference to the vote. In the U. S. women in the Wyoming Territory could vote as of 1869. Subsequent American suffrage groups disagreed on tactics, with the National American Woman Suffrage Association arguing for a state-by-state campaign and the National Woman's Party focusing on an amendment to the U. S. Constitution. In 1881 the Isle of Man, an internally self-governing dependent territory of the British Crown, enfranchised women property owners. With this it provide
United States Declaration of Independence
The United States Declaration of Independence is the statement adopted by the Second Continental Congress meeting at the Pennsylvania State House in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on July 4, 1776. The Declaration announced that the Thirteen Colonies at war with the Kingdom of Great Britain would regard themselves as thirteen independent sovereign states, no longer under British rule. With the Declaration, these new states took a collective first step toward forming the United States of America; the declaration was signed by representatives from New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia. The Lee Resolution for independence was passed on July 2 with no opposing votes; the Committee of Five had drafted the Declaration to be ready. John Adams, a leader in pushing for independence, had persuaded the committee to select Thomas Jefferson to compose the original draft of the document, which Congress edited to produce the final version.
The Declaration was a formal explanation of why Congress had voted to declare independence from Great Britain, more than a year after the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War. Adams wrote to his wife Abigail, "The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America" – although Independence Day is celebrated on July 4, the date that the wording of the Declaration of Independence was approved. After ratifying the text on July 4, Congress issued the Declaration of Independence in several forms, it was published as the printed Dunlap broadside, distributed and read to the public. The source copy used for this printing has been lost and may have been a copy in Thomas Jefferson's hand. Jefferson's original draft is preserved at the Library of Congress, complete with changes made by John Adams and Benjamin Franklin, as well as Jefferson's notes of changes made by Congress; the best-known version of the Declaration is a signed copy, displayed at the National Archives in Washington, D.
C. and, popularly regarded as the official document. This engrossed copy was ordered by Congress on July 19 and signed on August 2; the sources and interpretation of the Declaration have been the subject of much scholarly inquiry. The Declaration justified the independence of the United States by listing 27 colonial grievances against King George III and by asserting certain natural and legal rights, including a right of revolution, its original purpose was to announce independence, references to the text of the Declaration were few in the following years. Abraham Lincoln made it the centerpiece of his policies and his rhetoric, as in the Gettysburg Address of 1863. Since it has become a well-known statement on human rights its second sentence: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life and the pursuit of Happiness; this has been called "one of the best-known sentences in the English language", containing "the most potent and consequential words in American history".
The passage came to represent a moral standard. This view was notably promoted by Lincoln, who considered the Declaration to be the foundation of his political philosophy and argued that it is a statement of principles through which the United States Constitution should be interpreted; the Declaration of Independence inspired many similar documents in other countries, the first being the 1789 Declaration of United Belgian States issued during the Brabant Revolution in the Austrian Netherlands. It served as the primary model for numerous declarations of independence in Europe and Latin America, as well as Africa and Oceania during the first half of the 19th century. Believe me, dear Sir: there is not in the British empire a man who more cordially loves a union with Great Britain than I do. But, by the God that made me, I will cease to exist before I yield to a connection on such terms as the British Parliament propose. By the time that the Declaration of Independence was adopted in July 1776, the Thirteen Colonies and Great Britain had been at war for more than a year.
Relations had been deteriorating between the colonies and the mother country since 1763. Parliament enacted a series of measures to increase revenue from the colonies, such as the Stamp Act of 1765 and the Townshend Acts of 1767. Parliament believed that these acts were a legitimate means of having the colonies pay their fair share of the costs to keep them in the British Empire. Many colonists, had developed a different conception of the empire; the colonies were not directly represented in Parliament, colonists argued that Parliament had no right to levy taxes upon them. This tax dispute was part of a larger divergence between British and American interpretations of the British Constitution and the extent of Parliament's authority in the colonies; the orthodox British view, dating from the Glorious Revolution of 1688, was that Parliament was the supreme authority throughout the empire, so, by definition, anything that Parliament did was constitutional. In the colonies, the idea had developed that the British Constitution recognized certain fundamental rights that no government could violate, not Parliament.
After the Townshend Acts, some essayists began to question whether Parliament had any legitimate jurisdiction in the colonies at all. Anticipating the arrangement of the British Commonwealth, by 1774 American writers such as
Women's Rights National Historical Park
Women's Rights National Historical Park was established in 1980, covers a total of 6.83 acres of land in Seneca Falls and nearby Waterloo, New York, United States. The park consists of four major historical properties including the Wesleyan Methodist Church, the site of the Seneca Falls Convention, the first women's rights convention; the Elizabeth Cady Stanton House, the homes of other early women's rights activists are on display. The park includes a visitor center and an education and cultural center housing the Suffrage Press Printshop; the Visitor Center lobby houses a large, life-size bronze sculpture, The First Wave, which consists of twenty figures representing women and men who attended the first Women's Rights Convention. Nine of the sculpture's figures represent actual participants and organizers of the convention: Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Mary Ann M'Clintock, Martha Wright, Jane Hunt, Frederick Douglass, James Mott, Thomas M'Clintock, Richard Hunt; the other eleven figures represent the "anonymous" women and men who participated in the 2-day convention, which took place on July 19 and 20, 1848, which drew over 300 people.
Many of the participants signed a "Declaration of Sentiments," the convention's defining document, which declared that "all men and women are created equal." The Votes For Women History Trail, created as part of the federal Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, is administered by the Department of the Interior through the Women's Rights National Historical Park. The Trail is an automobile route that links sites throughout upstate New York important to the establishment of women's suffrage. Sites on the trail include: Susan B. Anthony House in Rochester Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester Antoinette Louisa Brown Blackwell Childhood Home in Henrietta M'Clintock House in Waterloo The Women's Rights National Historical Park itself List of monuments and memorials to women's suffrage Timeline of women's suffrage Timeline of women's suffrage in the United States Women's suffrage Women's suffrage in the United States Official website The M'Clintock House: A Home to the Women's Rights Movement, a National Park Service Teaching with Historic Places lesson plan "Writings of Elizabeth Cady Stanton", broadcast from Women's Rights National Historical Park from C-SPAN's American Writers
National Women's Hall of Fame
The National Women's Hall of Fame is an American institution created in 1969 by a group of people in Seneca Falls, New York, the location of the 1848 women's rights convention. The National Women's Hall of Fame inducts distinguished American women through a rigorous national honors selection process involving representatives of the nation's important organizations and areas of expertise. Nominees are selected on the basis of the changes they created that affect the social, economic or cultural aspects of society. Induction ceremonies are held every odd- numbered year in the fall, with the names of the women to be honored announced earlier in the spring during March, Women's History Month; the Hall was hosted by Eisenhower College until 1979, when the organization rented out a historic bank building in the Seneca Falls Historic District and renovated it to house the Hall's permanent exhibit, historical artifacts, offices. The Hall is located at 76 Fall Street, near the Women's Rights National Historical Park, established at the site of the 1848 Convention.
In 2014 the organization's board undertook a $20 million capital campaign to fund the development of a new location for the Hall at the 1844 Seneca Knitting Mill, associated with the abolitionist movement and with the birthplace of women's rights. The move will quadruple the available space to 16,000 square feet, including exhibit space and meeting space for conferences, wedding receptions and community events; the site is in view of the Wesleyan Chapel. Brief biographies of the women who will next be inducted National Women's Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls "List View of inductees". Official website