Womens Suffrage Movement In Australia

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Women’s Suffrage Australia, DRAFT Elizabeth Albans Women’s suffrage was one of the first milestones to achieve gender equality. In 1902, the newly established Australian Parliament, passed the Commonwealth Franchise Act 1902, which enabled women to vote in the federal election and stand for the federal election. The suffragettes fought for equality, the right to make decisions and argued against the view that women were intellectually inferior to men. However, not everyone agreed with the changes the suffragettes wanted to bring. They argued that women were equal but different, already had indirect power and could not fulfil the duties of a citizen. Suffragettes…show more content…
South Australia was the first colony that gave women the vote. In 1895 a bill was passed to allow all women, include Indigenous women to vote. In 1899 women in Western Australia were eligible to vote, in 1902 women in New South Wales were franchised, in 1903 Tasmanian women could vote, in 1905 women in Queensland were eligible to vote and finally, in 1908, women in Victoria were franchised (The Northern Territory was a part of South Australia at this point, and the Australian Capital Territory had not been established yet). Suffragettes’ in Victoria fought 24 years for their vote. Even though all women could vote in federal elections in 1902, bills had to be passed in each individual state from women to be able to vote in their state…show more content…
It was an enormous social change for women to take part in public decision making, and gave them a voice to abolish unjust laws. The suffragettes in Australia argued that they were intelligent enough to vote, that it was unfair for them to be taxed without representation, and that they were equal to men therefore should have equal rights. In contrary, the suffragettes’ opponents alleged that women already had indirect power through manipulating their husbands and father’s voting choices at the ballot box, that women were equal but different and that women could not fulfil the duties of citizenship therefore should not vote. The suffragettes encouraged people to sign their petition, as well as held meeting and debates in order to gain supporters. Women in Australia used civil methods of protest, and didn’t adapt the more radical methods used by suffragettes in other countries. The outcome of the suffragettes’ protest was nearly ten years of legislation changes enabling women’s voting rights and the beginning of women in parliament. One of the most outstanding pieces of legislation passed was the Commonwealth Franchise Act in 1902 allowing all women (excluding Aboriginal women in Queensland and Western Australia) in Australia to vote. Women’s suffrage in Australia changed the social view people had on women and encouraged other countries to franchise

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