Women’s rights project for Madi

Dear Madi,

This is a wonderfully prepared project. There were times when men argued against women voting because they didn't feel women had the mental and emotional capacity to vote. It seems to me those men didn't have the mental capacity to understand both men and women should have equal rights to vote.

In the 1800s and early 1900s, the suffrage movement gained strength. There were women in those days who were considered very radical. It was a time when society told women their place was in the home raising children not being involved with men's politics. The suffragettes slowly gained support by clearly showing they were capable and were determined to have equal rights to vote. They were amazing women.

With such strong movements in England and the United States you might have thought those countries would be the first to allow women to vote but history tells us it was New Zealand. They allowed women to vote in 1893.

As you pointed out, South Australia was our first state to allow women to vote. At that time, Australia didn’t exist as a nation. It was up to the states to decide if women should vote. When Australia became a nation in 1901, the first election recognised the right of women to vote if their state had already allowed it. In 1902, women were given the right to stand for Federal Parliament.

Did you know the notion of democracy (where power of government rests with the people) started in Ancient Greece (Athens)? Citizens were given the right to vote on what the government did but not on the politicians. This sounds great, the right to vote over 2000 years ago but who could vote?

In those days, you had to be a citizen to vote. That meant being able to show your family had a long history in Athens. Slaves and non-citizens (even if they had been born in Athens), didn’t have the right to vote. Women weren’t even considered no matter how long a history their family might have had. I wonder if women were pushing for the right to vote back then?

Women in charge…

In 2010, Sydney had a first in government with women in every major political position. Look at this…

Sydney Lord Mayor – Clover Moore

Premier of N.S.W. – Kristina Keneally

Governor of N.S.W. – Marie Bashir

Prime Minster – Julia Gillard

Governor General of Australia – Quentin Bryce

Queen of Australia – Elizabeth II

Thank you for sharing your excellent project.

Project link...


One thought on “Women’s rights project for Madi

  1. Celia

    Thanks Ross
    Your thoughtful response to our students work is so valuable. You affirm as well as extend their thinking. Blogging is a wonderful tool and your work on commenting is highly valued.


    Celia Coffa


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