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Woman suffrage in Australia : a gift or a struggle?

Author: Audrey Oldfield
Publisher: Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1992.
Series: Studies in Australian history.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
In 1902 when New South Wales women celebrated the granting of their right to vote, suffragist Rose Scott told the male politicians present that their names would be remembered 'not only in the history of Australia but in that of the world', while the names of the women would be forgotten. Her words have held true for the best part of this century, until the publication of this book. Woman Suffrage in Australia tells  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Audrey Oldfield
ISBN: 0521403804 9780521403801 0521436117 9780521436113
OCLC Number: 24630580
Description: xiv, 263 pages : illustrations ; 26 cm.
Contents: Pt. I. The Campaigns --
1. Introduction. 2. South Australia, 1894. 3. Western Australia, 1899. 4. The Commonwealth Vote, 1902. 5. New South Wales, 1902. 6. Tasmania, 1903. 7. Queensland, 1904. 8. Victoria, 1908 --
Pt. II. Synthesis and Beyond. 9. The Politicians and the Women. 10. The Arguments and the Issues. 11. 'The Knife without the Blade': The Gift Theory and the Legacy. 12. Australian Suffragists and Suffragettes in Britain and America.
Series Title: Studies in Australian history.
Responsibility: Audrey Oldfield.
More information:

Abstract:

The story of the struggle for female enfranchisement in Australia, from the first stirrings to the Commonwealth granting the vote in 1902.  Read more...

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   schema:description "In 1902 when New South Wales women celebrated the granting of their right to vote, suffragist Rose Scott told the male politicians present that their names would be remembered 'not only in the history of Australia but in that of the world', while the names of the women would be forgotten. Her words have held true for the best part of this century, until the publication of this book. Woman Suffrage in Australia tells the story of the struggle for female enfranchisement from the first stirrings of the movement in 1880, as it gained momentum and South Australian women were given the vote in 1894, to the success of the suffragists' campaigns when the vote was granted in 1902 by the Commonwealth. The book discounts the argument that the women's vote was a gift from benevolent politicians which happened to coincide with Federation by pointing out that there were six state legislatures which conceded female suffrage only after vigorous campaigning by their women. From 1884 when the first suffrage society was formed, until 1908 when the last state vote was granted, they lobbied politicians, presented petitions, held public meetings and fought for their voices to be heard in newspapers. During these years the women's claims were widely ridiculed: their opponents argued that any government elected by women would be a 'petticoat government' and many men called the suffragists 'freaks of nature', 'old frumps' and 'gawks', attacking not only their right to representation but also to any demonstration of independent thought. The author analyses the parliamentary behaviour of men who opposed the vote for women and studies the evolving electoral systems. The book is not just the story of the vote, however. The study of the various suffrage struggles is set in the context of constitutional changes and political circumstances and the social and economic position of women in a new nation. Audrey Oldfield also tackles the difficult question of why there were so few women in parliament after the vote was granted, a question which forces us to consider the current situation. To chronicle the woman suffrage movement is to chart the development of the wider women's movement, for the suffrage issue united many disparate women's groups. The author considers the international ramifications of the victory of Australian women in attaining the vote, comparing their struggle with that of the suffragists in the United States and the United Kingdom, where women had to campaign until 1918 and 1920 respectively. This book fills a long-standing gap in Australian history and will be of interest to all students of Australian politics as well as readers in women's studies and comparative feminism."@en ;
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