Well done, sister suffragette!

Today is International Women’s Day.

It’s also the Centenary of Women’s Suffrage in Victoria.

New Zealand came first with the whole women-voting thing, in 1893, followed by South Australia in 1902.

In Victoria, the issue was kicked off in 1891 when Premier James Munro said that he’d introduce a bill for Women’s suffrage if ordinary women demonstrated they wanted the right. They did. They created the Monster Petition, with 30 000 signatures, in six weeks. The petition was 260 metres long, and several attendants were needed to carry it into Parliament. For some strange reason it took 19 bills and 17 years to actually give women the voting stamp of approval, but that’s what happens when all the politicians are men.

The UK gave women the vote in 1918, but it had restrictions until 1928.

The US did it in 1920.

Italy gave women the nod in 1948, as did Belgium, Israel, Iraq and South Korea.

Switzerland didn’t have women’s suffrage until 1971, nor Lichtenstein, until 1984.

The most recent nation to grant their women the right to vote was the United Arab Emirates. There are still restrictions, which will be lifted by 2010.

We’ve come a long way, but while you’re munching on your purple-iced cupcake and admiring your fancy new blue stockings, spare a thought for the women in the world who are still disenfranchised.

Posted at 10:44am on 7 March 2008 • Filed under , Permanent link

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