Thursday, November 22, 2007

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France Indonesia Iran Latin America Nicaragua Norway U.K. U.S.A. Lists Feminists  Literature Topics The term women's suffrage refers to an economic and political reform movement aimed at extending suffrage — the right to vote — to women. The movement's origins are usually traced to the United States in the 1820s. In the following century it spread throughout the European and European-colonised world, generally being adopted in places which had undergone latter colonisation than that in Europe and the eastern United States. Today women's suffrage is considered an uncontroversial right, although a few countries, mainly in the Middle East, continue to deny many women the vote.

The suffrage movement was a very broad one which encompassed women and men with a very broad range of views. One major division, especially in Britain, was between suffragists, who sought to create change constitutionally, and suffragettes, who were more militant. There was also a diversity of views on a 'woman's place'. Some who campaigned for women's suffrage felt that women were naturally kinder, gentler, and more concerned about weaker members of society, especially children. It was often assumed that women voters would have a civilising effect on politics and would tend to support controls on alcohol, for example. They believed that although a woman's place was in the home, she should be able to influence laws which impacted upon that home. Other campaigners felt that men and women should be equal in every way and that there was no such thing as a woman's 'natural role'. There were also differences in opinion about other voters. Some campaigners felt that all adults were entitled to a vote, whether rich or poor, male or female, and regardless of race. Others saw women's suffrage as a way of cancelling out the votes of lower class or non-white men.

Suffrage movements

Women's suffrage by country
The first election for the Parliament of the newly-formed Commonwealth of Australia in 1901 was based on the electoral provisions of the six states, so that women who had the vote and the right to stand for Parliament at state level (in South Australia and Western Australia) had the same rights for the 1901 Federal election. In 1902, the Commonwealth Parliament passed its own electoral act that extended these rights to women in all states on the same basis as men. However, the Commonwealth legislation excluded all Aboriginal men and women from the Commonwealth franchise, which in theory some of them had enjoyed in 1901 (state Parliaments generally had property qualifications for the franchise, which in practice few Aboriginals would have met). This was not corrected until 1962, through an amendment to the Commonwealth Electoral Act (it was not an outcome of the 1967 referendum that gave the Commonwealth Parliament the power to legislate specifically on Aboriginal matters).

New Zealand

Main article: Women's suffrage in the United Kingdom United Kingdom

Main article: History of women's suffrage in the United States United States
Further information: Timeline of women's suffrage

Bhutan — One vote per house. Although this applies to both men and women, in practice it currently prevents many more women from voting than men. If the new proposed constitution is voted and ratified, then no restrictions will apply by 2008.
Vatican City — No suffrage for women. The only elections ever held there are Papal conclaves, which involve only (male) Cardinals. Women's suffrage denied or conditioned

Main article: Anti-suffragism See also

Baker, Jean H. Sisters: The Lives of America's Suffragists. Hill and Wang, New York, 2005. ISBN 0-8090-9528-9.
"Woman suffrage" in Collier's New Encyclopedia, X (New York: P.F. Collier & Son Company, 1921), pp. 403-405.
Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary (New York: Merriam Webster, 1983) ISBN 0-87779-511-8

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