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Foreword by Mrs. Chapman Catt 
Introduction by Chrystal Macmillan 
Table of Suffrage Dates 

Australia and New Zealand : 

New Zealand ... 

The Commonwealth of Australia 

South Australia 

Western Australia 

New South Wales 

Tasmania ... 












America : 

The United States 



Wyoming ... 

... ... ... 


Colorado ... 

... ... ... 



... ... ... 



... ... ... 



... ... ... 


California ... 

... ... ... 



... ... ... 



... ... ... 



... ... ... 


Alaska Territory 






British Honduras 



Europe : 

Scandinavia : 


... ... ... 


N orway 

... ... ... 



... ... ... 


Denmark ... 





The Isle of Man 



The United Kingdom 


8 7 

England and Wales, 

Scotland and Ireland 

Other Germanic Countries : 

German Empire 

Austrian Empire with Bohemia ... 

The Netherlands 

Switzerland (really of mixed nationality) 



The Latin Countries : 

France ... ... ... ... ... 122 

Belgium ... ... ... ... ... 127 

Italy ... ... ... ... ... 128 

Spun ... ... ... ... ... 129 

Portugal ... ... ... ... ... 129 

The Slavonic Countries : 

Russia ... ... ... ... ... 133 

Bulgaria ... ... ... ... ... 135 

Servia ... ... ... ... ... 135 

Bohemia (see Austria) 

Other European Countries : 

Hungary ... ... ... ... ... 136 

Roumania ... ... ... ... ... 144 

Turkey — Greece — Montenegro ... ... ... 145 


Burmah ... ... ... ... ... 146 

India ... ... ... ... ... 146 

Java ... ... ... ... ... ^ ^ 7 

v> nind ... ... ... ... ... 147 

Africa : 

The Union of South Africa ... ... ... 148 

List of Books referred to ... ... ... ... 152 

Progress of the Alliance, 1902- 1913 ... ... ... 155 

Honorary Associate Members of the Alliance ... ... 156 

Officers of the Alliance ... ... ... ... 156 

Auxiliaries in the Alliance ... ... ... ... 156 

Publications of the Alliance ... ... ... ... 158 


FOR sixty years an ever increasingly active educational 
campaign has been waged in many lands in behalf of the right of 
women to an equal voice in the Government, which they support 
by their taxes and whose laws they obey. As a direct result of this 
organised agitation, several Countries have partially or wholly 
enfranchised their women and in consequence the whole question of 
woman suffrage has been lifted from the realm of academic 
discussion to one of empirical knowledge. Intelligent doubters no 
longer ask " what will happen," but 'what has happened where 
women vote." It is to meet these enquiries that this little volume 
has been compiled and issued by the International Woman 
Suffrage Alliance. Its pages will inform those who desire to learn 
where women vote, the amount of suffrage enjoyed by women of the 
various countries, and what woman suffrage in operation has 

Carrie Chapman Catt. 


At the Sixth Convention of the International Woman Suffrage 
Alliance, held in Stockholm, in June, 1911, it was decided to publish 
a book to show that Woman Suffrage had ceased to be a mere 
academic question ; that already in many countries women have 
had conferred on them franchise and eligibility rights in the election 
of local councils and also of legislative bodies ; that contrary to the 
prophecies of the anti- suffragist, women make use of their citizen 
rights ; that no dire consequences follow, women do not become 
unsexed, nor are their homes neglected ; that the consensus of 
opinion in the countries where women do exercise these rights is 
that the extension of the vote to women has been beneficial, not 
only to the country but to the women themselves ; that legislation 
especially concerning women is more easily placed on the statute 
books of the full}' enfranchised countries ; and that opposition to the 
movement is dead. This is the book. It sets forth hard facts as 
they are to-day and the reader can see for himself how little based 
on reality are the speculations of the anti-suffragist. The book is 
intended to bring home to Members of Parliament and others in the 
different countries the growth and universality of the movement. 
It is hoped that each Auxiliary will help to distribute it as widely 
as possible, so that its contribution to the proof that success is 
inevitable may do something towards advancing the cause in every 

Of the Committee of three, appointed to carry out the work, 
Frau Marie Stritt is responsible for the articles on Finland, Norway, 
Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, the German Empire, the Austrian 
Empire including Bohemia, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Hungary ; 
Madame Maria Verone, Avocate a la Cour d'Appel de Paris, for 
France, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Russia, Bulgaria, Servia, Roumania, 
Turkey, Greece and Montenegro ; and myself for New Zealand, 
the Commonwealth of Australia, the United States of America, 
Canada, British Honduras, the Isle of Man, the United Kingdom 
of Great Britain and Ireland, Burmah, India, Java, China, the 
Union of South Africa, and Switzerland. 

An effort has been made to quote original authorities and, in 
particular, to give the exact references, dates of Acts of Parliament, 
and, wherever possible, official figures. One point may be noted in 


VI 11 

connection with the dates on which particular franchises have been 
conferred. In many cases authorities equally good show a 
decrepancy of one, two or even three years. This is often to be 
accounted for by the fact that the date given may be that at which 
the Act in question passed the legislature, or that at which it came 
into force, or it may refer to the first election at which women were 
able to put their right in practice. 

The Commitee came to the conclusion that it should be their 
aim to bring out the book in a form in which it should be intelligible 
to as many of the countries in the Alliance as possible. They, 
therefore, resolved to print three editions, an English, a French, and 
a German. Frau Stritt is responsible for translations into German. 
In this work she had the help of Fraulein Anna Brunemann, who 
kindly undertook the translations both from the French and from the 
English into German. She desires to express her warmest thanks 
for this valuable assistance. Madame Maria Verone is responsible 
for the translations into French, and in this has had the help of Mile. 
Belle, who kindly undertook the translation from German into French, 
and Mile. Jasmin, Mme. Therese Berton and Mme. Gimpel from 
English into French. She thanks these ladies for their help. I am 
responsible for the translations into English. The translation from 
German into English was kindly undertaken by Miss Sylvia Murray, 
to whom I now express my grateful thanks. 

In order to have a basis of first-hand information on which to 
build, letters were sent to the Auxiliaries of the Alliance, to some of 
their Affiliated Societies and to other responsible people. The 
enfranchised countries were asked to give information on the 
following points : — (a) the history of the establishment of the 
parliamentary franchise, of local government franchises (e.g., town 
council or school board, etc.), or of other franchises enjoyed by 
women, and whether the rights are exercised by women on the 
same terms as by men ; (b) the qualifications of a voter and for 
eligibility ; (c) the number of women eligible to vote and the 
percentage voting as compared with that of men ; (d) the effect on 
legislation ; (e) positions held by women ; (/) any facts to prove 
that the prophecies of the anti-suffragists regarding neglected homes, 
etc., are not fulfilled ; (g) statements by prominent men or by 
organisations ; (/?) parliamentary resolutions in favour ; (k) other 
franchises exercised by certain classes of the community, e.g., trade 
councils, ecclesiastical councils, etc. The countries not yet enjoying 
woman suffrage for the legislature were asked to give information on 
the following points : — (a) the history of the establishment of the 
franchise and eligibility rights which women do enjoy, if any ; (b) 
the qualifications for the vote ; (c) the number of women eligible to 
vote and the percentage voting as compared with that of men ; (d) 
any results directly attributable to women's right to vote or sit ; (e) 
the present position of the agitation for parliamentary suffrage for 
women ; if) particulars of the treatment of the question by the 


legislature ; (g) any organisations or political parties which have 
declared themselves in favour ; and (//) statements by prominent 
men in favour. 

In answer to these enquiries much valuable information has 
been received and the Committee takes this opportunity of thank- 
ing the Auxiliaries in the Alliance, their Affiliated Societies and 
others for their help towards making the work as complete as 
possible. It is impossible to mention individually all who assisted 
in this way. 

Frau Stritt reports that the material for the contributions on 
Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Bohemia, Portugal and 
Hungary, was very kindly supplied in the form of more or less 
complete connected statements by the following ladies : — Fraulein 
Annie Furuhjelm, and Fraulein Vera Hjelt, Helsingfors ; Frau 
Ezaline Boheman, Stockholm ; Fraulein Hansen, Fraulein 
Daugaard and Frau Elna Munch, Copenhagen ; Frau Ernestine von 
Furth, Vienna ; Frau Moracova Stepancova, Prague ; Fraulein 
Luise Ey, Hamburg ; and Frau Sidonie von Szegvari, Budapest. 

She desires to express her most grateful thanks to these ladies 
for their valuable assistance. For the other countries for which 
she is responsible she made reference to Jus Suffragii (1909 
to 1913): Ferdinand Buisson's Le Vote des Femmes ; Alice 
Zimmern's Women s Suffrage in Many Lands ; Aino Malmberg's 
Women's Suffrage in Finland ; Frances Maude Bjorkman's Where 
Women Vote ; Dokumente des Fortschritts, Georg Reimer, 
Berlin; Jahrbuch der Frauenbewegung, 1912 and 1913, B. G. 
Teubner, Leipzig; Centralblatt des Bundes Deutscher Frauen- 
vereine, 1910-11 and 1911-12, B. G. Teubner; Martha Voss-Zietz, 
DiePolitische Frauenbewegung, Nationalverein, Munchen. 

Madame Verone desires to thank especially the following who 
have sent her material : — Madame Mirovitch of Moscow ; Made- 
moiselle Emilia Mariani of Turin ; Madame de Reuss Ianculescu 
of Bucharest ; Mademoiselle Selma Riza of Constantinople ; Made- 
moiselle Felicie Dirickx of Antwerp. She referred also to the 
following : — Jus Suffragii ; Le Feminisme by Madame Avril de 
Sainte-Croix, Paris ; the Bulletin of the French Union for Woman 
Suffrage ; Woman Suffrage by Ferdinand Buisson ; Le Droit des 
Femmes ; Report of the French National Council of Women at 
the Toronto Congress, 1909. 

Besides the material supplied by the above-mentioned corres- 
pondents the following are the more important sources of informa- 
tion for the countries for which I was responsible. For New 
Zealand and Australia the election voting returns and the laws have 
been taken from the Statutes of each of the Colonies or from the 
excellent official yearbooks published by the different Governments. 
I wish to express my thanks to the officials in the London offices of 


the High Commissioner of New Zealand, the High Commissioner 
of the Commonwealth of Australia, and the Agents General of N 
South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western 
Australia, and Tasmania, for help and advice. The part dealing 
with the United States of America is based on the valuable 
literature sent by the National American Women's Suffrage 
\ sociation, and its affiliated State Associations. The history before 
1902 is taken for the most part from that mine of suffrage facts, the 
History of Woman Suffrage by Stanton, Anthony, Gage and Harper, 
and the part dealing with the present constitution from the States- 
man's Yearbook, London, 1912. Thanks are due to the Governors 
of Wyoming, Colorado, Idaho and Utah for statements sent for publi- 
cation. For Canada reference was made to the Legal Status of 
Canadian Women by Mrs. H. E. Edwards. Details regarding the 
qualifications of electors were kindly supplied by the Secretary of the 
1 1 igh Commissioner of the Union of South Africa. The Governor of 
British Honduras sent the particulars about the Municipal franchise 
in Belise. The Secretary of the Rangoon Municipality kindly for- 
warded the election rules of his city and the official list of municipal 
voters in which the women's names appear. The India Office, 
London, authorise the statement regarding the absence of restriction 
on the women's vote in Bombay and Burmah. The particulars 
regarding India, Burmah, Java and China, except where otherwise 
stated, are based on information gathered by Mrs. Chapman Catt on 
the spot during her visit to these countries. The facts regarding 
the United Kingdom are derived from innumerable sources but I 
should like to express my thanks more particularly to the following 
for special information, the Women's Local Government Society 
and its Secretary, Miss Kilgour, who gave invaluable criticism and 
advice, the Irish Women's Suffrage and Local Government Associa- 
tion, the London County Council, the Scotch Education Department, 
the Scottish Office, the Clerk to the City of Edinburgh, the Clerk 
to the County of Midlothian, the Church League for Women's 
Suffrage, and Councillor Eleanor Rathbone of Liverpool. The 
Statesman's Yearbook, 1912, London has supplied the particulars of 
the populations of most of the countries and it has been an invaluable 
reference regarding existing constitutions in the different countries. 
Other books referred to are given at the end. 

The history of the struggle for the franchise has points of 
similaritv in the western countries. In few have women been 
definitely excluded by statute. The laws for the most part use 
common terms. Custom alone excludes them. As soon as they 
become alive to this fact, they have tested the legality of their 
exclusion in the law courts. In the United States of America, in 
England, in Scotland, in the Netherlands, in Italy, in Portugal they 
have appealed to a broad-minded interpretation of the law, but 
without success, except in Portugal, and even there, apparently, 
women have not subsequently benefited by the favourable decision. 
In the German Empire, in the Austrian Empire and in Russia, 


women still retain certain ancient property franchises which they 
exercise by proxy. 

Now the advance is world-wide. Not only do the women of 
the western countries demand their citizen rights, but the women of 
the East have awakened independently to the same need of political 
recognition. Already in China women have voted for and been 
elected to a provisional assembly. In Burmah and Bombay women 
enjoy the municipal franchise, a right still denied to their western 
sisters of the Latin, the German, and the Slav nations. 

In summing up the rights already gained in connection with 
parliamentary and municipal elections leaving out of account the 
extremely limited franchises enjoyed by women in Russia, the 
German Empire, Austria and Bohemia, the franchises of the women 
of Java and of the Isle of Man, the following results are reached. 

The lead is being given by the English-speaking and the 
Scandinavian countries. The right to vote for members of town 
councils has been gained by women in 39 States or Countries (11 
during the present century) of which 32 are English-speaking, 
5 Scandinavian and 2 Asiatic : the right to be elected to town 
councils by 18 (13 during the present century), of which 14 are 
English-speaking and 4 Scandinavian : the right to vote for mem- 
bers of Parliament (the legislature) in 19 States or Countries (12 
during the present century) of which 17 are English-speaking and 
2 Scandinavian : the right to be elected to the Parliament or Legis- 
lature in 13 (8 during the present century), of which 11 are English- 
speaking and 2 Scandinavian. In the United States the rights to 
vote and sit in connection with the local State Legislature carry 
with them the corresponding rights with respect to the federal 
legislature. In Australia women have gained the right to vote for 
and eligibility to be elected to the Federal Parliament in addition 
to the rights they have gained for the separate State Parliaments. 
(See Table of Women Suffrage Dates.) 

It has to be noted that, seeing that in most countries property 
is largely in the hands of men, when the qualification for the vote 
is on a tax paying basis, as it is for town councils in most of the 
British Colonies and in the United Kingdom itself, comparatively 
few women are in a position to qualify, except where the husband's 
qualification at the same time qualifies his wife. It also has the 
effect of limiting the choice of women candidates when the electoral 
qualification is a condition of eligibility. 

Even the countries more backward politically, however, begin 
to show signs of progress. In Switzerland church suffrage and 
trade board suffrage has been granted in some cantons. In Italy, 
France and Belgium women vote for the members of the Conseils 
des Prud' hommes. In Germany women have recently acquired 
the right to form political associations which the women of Austria 
are still denied. 


The privilege is of such recent elate in most of the enfranchised 
countries that it is not easy to generalise as to its affects. I believe 
that the most important practical result of the political recognition 
of the citizenship of women is in the change in the point of view of 
the whole nation, once it has placed on record in its statutes its 
recognition of the value of their opinion in directing its affairs. 
The list of laws affecting the position of women and the treatment 
of children in the four American States, enfranchised before 1894 
(see under Wyoming), indicates the tendency to pass legislation 
which recognises woman as a personality and not as a chattel and 
which safeguards the lives and improves the education of the 

Particulars of special interest which may be mentioned are the 
complete election returns given under Finland, Australia and New 
Zealand ; the valuable statistics of the work of women members of 
Parliament under Finland; the resolutions of the legislature of 
Wvoming, Colorado and the Commonwealth of Australia and the 
table of international vital statistics given under Australia. The 
summary of the dates on which the various franchises have been 
extended to women are to be found in the " Table of Women 
Suffrage Dates " at the beginning of the book. 

Our efforts have been directed towards providing accurate 
information but it is inevitable that errors should have crept in. 
We ask for the assistance of the friends of women suffrage in the 
different countries in sending us their criticisms and corrections. 

Chrystal Macmillan, 

Chairman of the Committee. 

Edinburgh, Scotland. 
May 26th, 1913. 





New Zealand 

i , i.v. i alth ol 

South Ausl ralia 

rn Australia, 

'■ . South Wales 2 


I ! ( n si and 


The United States 3 * 











New Brunswick 

Nova Scotia 


British Colombia 

Prince Edward Island 


Alberta and Saskatchewan 
British Honduras— 


! Is ol 

Sen* : 


1 1 ians 

Boi , 


ii gislature 



1 1 




Vote bility 


Vote bility Kind 









L88 — 








1902 — 


i ■; 

— ■ 











19 B — 







5 es 



1893 1893 































1- -7 







Li L2 



191-2 1912 













1 93 








































(— ) Women are excluded from this right. 
(ad) On an adult basis. 
(t) On a tax paj Lng bi 

( a ) For the Legislative Council or Upper House the Franchise is on a property basis and 
women are not eligible to be elected. 

( 2 ) There are also Shire < Eor which i i have the ■ I eligibility (1905). 

( 3 ) The franchise and eligibility for the Sta iture carries with it the franc 
and eligibility for th< Federal L< gislature. 

(*) Besides the fully enfranchised States here mentioned,* fou have si 

bility and some form of tax-paying suffra omen, and sixteen States 

have some form of school suffrage but no other suffrage for woi 

( s ) Nominated. 



Boards of 




Boar. Is 

Town Councils 1 

The Legislature 








}'■; s s 









1372 2 






l- 9 


1901 ; 

1901 3 








1862 3 

I ."i 









1908 : 

1908 s 





1909 1 




Isle of Man 




England and Wall s 






: 369 







\ IS 




; DDT 













German Empire 5 


The Netherlands 

1903 7 

1903 7 











186S a 





1861 13 



yes 12 








Asia — 

Burmah (Rangoon) 









yes 10 


South Africa 









Cape Colony 









lfno 11 







Orange Free State 





(t) On a tax-paying basis. (ad) On an adult basis. 

(— ) Women are excluded from this right. 

( x ) Except where otherwise stated by footnote Town Councils only are here referred to. 

( 2 ) On this date the Urban Commune franchise was conferred. The rural Commune 
franchise was conferred 1863. 

( 3 ) This refers to communal elections. 

( A ) The communal franchise had been granted to unmarried women in 1882. 

( s ) In many German States women vote on a property qualification sometimes in 
person and sometimes by proxy for rural communes. 

( 6 ) Women are qualified to vote in some cases as tax-payers in others as large landowners 
for some of the Provincial Diets. The vote in general must be exercised by proxy. 

( 7 ) By nomination. 

( 8 ) Women have stood for election and have polled thousands of votes. No woman has 
been elected, so the question of a woman's right to be elected has not been finally decided. 

( 9 ) Women vote by proxy for Municipal and Provincial Councils. 

( 10 ) Every village elects a head man, and women vote in large numbers. 
i 11 ) As proxy for absent male parent. 

( 12 ) Unmarried women vote by proxy in communal elections. 

( 13 ) A right which women are trying to have definitely established. 



Population,' 1911 




1. Excluding Maories 




2. Maories 




School Board suffrage and eligibility granted to women 1877 

Municipal suffrage and eligibility granted to women 

ratepayers 1886 

Municipal suffrage and eligibility extended to the wives 

and husbands of ratepayers 1899 

Parliamentary suffrage, but not eligibility, granted to 
women for the Legislative Assembly by the 
Electoral Act, 1893 1893 

(The Legislative Council is a nominated body.) 

Qualifications of electors and for eligibility. 1 Electors to 
the Legislative Assembly must be male or female European adults 
who are either born or naturalised British subjects, and may be 
registered, if they have been resident one year in New Zealand 
and three months in the electoral district. Male electors only are 
eligible to be elected to the Assembly or nominated to the Legisla- 
tive Council. For Maori representation, every adult, male or 
female, resident in any Maori electoral district, of which there are 
four, may vote without being registered. 

Electors to the Municipal Councils must be freeholders of 
land of the capital value of ^"25, or ratepayers within the borough. 
British subjects who have resided for one year in New Zealand 
and three months in the registration district, may also be enrolled 
as electors, but these do not vote on any proposal relating to loans 
or rates. Any qualifications possessed by either a husband or a 
wife is deemed to be possessed by each, but no person is allowed 
more than one vote. See the Municipal Corporation Acts, 1908 and 

Number of women qualified to vote and voting. As the 
franchise, both for the Municipal Councils and for the Legislative 

1 The New Zealand Yearbook, igu. 

Assembly, is on an adult basis, the number of women qi alifi* d is 
almost as great as that of men. Complete returns are made of the 
elections to the Legislative Assembly, and the table below shows 
that the women register is as great a percentage as the men and 
that the percentage voting is almost as high. At the first election 
a higher percentage of women exercised their vote, namely 85' 18 
per cent, of women against 66'61 per cent, of men. Reference to 
the figures of the elections before 1893, shows that the introduction 
of the women's vote has apparently had the effect of increasing the 
interest in elections. 


Table Compiled from the New Zealand Official Year-Book, 1911. 

Percentage of 

Number on 
Electoral Rolls. 

Adults Regis- 
tered as 

Number who Voted. 

Percental e oi 

Vol i 












'■ i 

Total . 










IV, 11' 

' . ] ' 
















98' 02 

95' 24 




79 - 06* 






98 - 39 



1 t8,565l 








470, 173 













99" 76 












84 '43 

8-2 17 

* Excluding figures for three electorates in which there was no contest. 

1 The number on the rolls exceeded the estimated adult male population at the time 
of the election. 

1 Including informal votes. 

§ 1911 figures supplied by Mrs. Sheppard of New Zealand. 

Note. — At the general election of 1879. 53% of the men registered as electors voted ; in 1881, 
55% ; in 1884, 54% ; in 1887, 63% ; and in 1890, 74%. 

History. New Zealand may be taken as typical of what may 
be expected to result from equal suffrage seeing that it was the 
first self-governing and self-contained country to enfranchise its 
women. Conditions in Wyoming are to some extent affected by 
the United States Congress, a body elected by a preponderatingly 
male electorate. 

The first to introduce the question here was Mrs. Mary Millar, 1 
who, in 1869, addressed " An x<\ppeal to the men of New Zealand." 
Following on the granting of school suffrage and eligibility to 
women in 1877, the question of parliamentary votes was discussed 
in the Legislature in 1878, when the Progressives, then in power, 
brought in an Electoral Bill which included the franchise for 
ratepaying women. The Bill failed to pass and in the following 
year the women were dropped and the franchise was extended to 

1 The History of Women's Suffrage, Vol. IV., p. 1025. 

every male person over 21. Again immediately after the municipal 
franchise was granted to women, in 1886, a member of the Coalition 
Party, then in power, brought forward, in 1887, a Bill to extend to 
them the parliamentary franchise. This passed its Second Reading 
only to be lost in Committee. 1 

Outside the Legislature the organised campaign dated from 
1885, when the Women's Christian Temperance Union was formed. 
Through its franchise department it educated the public, agitated 
for the reform, and, with the co-operation of Franchise Leagues 
formed during the last three years of the campaign, carried it to a 
successful issue in 1893. Monster petitions signed by adult women 
had been presented to Parliament by the women's champion, Sir 
John Hall, with signatures numbering in 1891, 10,000; in 1892, 
over 20,000; and in 1893, 31,000. a 

The Progressives having been returned to power in 1890, in 
the following year, Sir John Hall, leader of the Opposition or 
Conservatives, brought in a Suffrage Bill, and, after having secured 
its second reading, he succeeded in getting the Premier to adopt it 
as a Government Measure, notwithstanding that the Cabinet were 
divided on the question. Rumour has it that the consent was given 
because of a promise the Premier had made to his wife that he 
would have the courage of his convictions on the question. It has 
also been suggested that the anti-suffragist members of the Govern- 
ment had yielded trusting to the anti-suffragist character of the 
Upper House. That chamber, however, rejected the measure by 
the small majority of two votes, the weakness of the opposition 
being attributed to the Conservative origin of the Bill. 1 

Yielding to pressure from both inside and outside the House, the 
Upper House agreed to pass the Bill subject to the condition that 
women should vote by letter. This the Government would not 
concede, and, in the meantime, the Suffrage Premier died and his 
place was taken by Mr. Seddon, an Anti -suffragist. Mr. Seddon 
w r as not on good terms with the Liquor Prohibitionists. Both 
parties thought that the women's vote would strengthen this section. 
It has been suggested that the desire of the Opposition to embarrass 
Mr. Seddon and his Government was a contributory cause in the 
success of the women. In any case the Bill conferring votes on 
women on the same terms as men passed the Upper House on 
September 8th by a narrow margin of two votes and became law 
on September 19th, 1893. 1 

Legislation.' The fact that New Zealand has been a pioneer 
in social legislation may be to some extent due to the women's vote. 
The attention paid to legislation for the direct benefit of the homes 

1 Article in The Only Way, 191 1, Edinburgh University Woman Suffrage 

2 Letter from Mrs. Sheppard of New Zealand. 

3 The Statutes of New Zealand 

and of the general well-being of the people is remarkable. The 
following laws are selected as among those whose passage may 
reasonably be supposed to have been facilitated by the women's 

1893. The Alcoholic Liquor Sale Control Act provides that 
the electors in any local area shall have the right to decide by 
referendum whether the existing number of licenses shall continue, 
or be reduced, or whether all licenses shall be abolished. 

1893. The Infant Life Protection Act provides for the 
registration of houses in which children are boarded and lays down 
penalties for child neglect. It has been several times amended. 

1894. The Married Women's Property Act gives married 
women the right to make contracts with their own money, etc., and 
obviates the necessity of a married woman re-executing her will 
after her husband's death. 

1894. The Gaming Act provides for the punishment of those 
who bet with minors or who send them betting circulars. 

1894. The Destitute Persons Act makes a husband liable for 
maintaining any children, legitimate or illegitimate, his wife may 
have at the time of the marriage, boys up to 16 and girls up to 18. 
A married woman with separate property is made liable to maintain 
her husband and children. The father of an illegitimate child is 
made liable to pay from 4s. to 20s. a week for its maintenance up to 
the age of 14, and he may be made to pay an additional ^"20 for its 
education. The mother is also liable for its maintenance. 

1894. The Legitimation Act provides that the marriage of 
parents subsequent to the birth of a child legitimatises it. 

1894. The Criminal Code Amendment Act raises the age of 
consent from 14 to 15. 

1894. The Shops and Shop Assistants Act regulates the hours 
and conditions in shops. There are many later amending Acts. 

1895. The Adoption of Children Act provides for their legal 

1895. The Animals' Protection Amendment Act. 

1895. The Adulteration Prevention Amendment Act provides 
for pure bread and full weight. 

1895. The Family Homes' Protection Act secures homes and 
prevents their sale for mortgage or debt. 

1895. The Manual and Technical Elementary Instruction Act. 

1895. The Servants' Registry Offices Act provides for the 
licensing of servants' registries. 

1896. The Criminal Code Amendment Act raises the age of 
consent from 15 to 16. 

1896. The Female Law Practitioners' Act enables women to 
practice law. 

1896. The Married Persons' Summary Separation Act pro- 
vides that an innocent wife may get a separation from her husband 
for aggravated assault. 

1898. The Inebriates' Institution Act. 

1898. The Old Age Pensions Act gives pensions of /"18 per 
annum to men and women over 65. 

1898. The Slander of Women Act makes it actionable to 
impute unchastity to a woman without having to prove special 

1898. The Divorce Act makes divorce equal as between men 
and women. 

1898. The Prevention of the Employment of Boys and Girls 
without Payment Act. 

1900. The Testators' Family Maintenance Act gives the 
Court power to provide for a widow or widower and children where 
the husband or wife has made no adequate provision in his or her 

1900. The Workers' Compensation for Accidents Act. 

1900. The Deceased Husband's Brother Marriage Act legal- 
ises marriage with a deceased husband's brother. 

1901. The Opium Prohibition Act. 

1901. The School Attendance Act makes it compulsory to 
send children to school between the ages of 7 and 14, and to educate 
blind and deaf children. 

1903. The First Offenders Probation Act. 

1904. The Divorce and Matrimonial Causes Act provides 
that the party alleged to have committed adultery with the husband 
may be made a defendant in the same way as the husband may 
have the co-respondent made a defendant. 

1904. The Midwives Act provides for the training of midwives. 

1904. The Destitute Persons Act enables a magistrate to 
make an order on an employer to pay part of a man's wages for his 
destitute wife or child. 

1904. The Workers' Compensation for Accidents Act. 

1905. The Old Age Pensions Amendment Act increases the 
pension to £lb. 

1905. The Education Act Amendment Act provides for equal 
pay for equal work in mixed schools and that at least one of the 
first three assistants shall be a woman and three out of the first six. 
In schools for boys only or for girls only, women are to be paid at 
lower rates, of which the following are typical examples : 

Boys only. Girls only. Infants. 

Head teacher in school of 201-250 pupils receives Man £265 Woman £205 £180 

, 571-000 ,, „ Man £350 Woman £300 £225 

The lowest grade of teacher receives Man £105 Woman £85 £85 

1906. The Private Hospitals Act provides for the licensing 
and inspection of such hospitals. 

1906. The Firearms Act forbids their sale to young persons. 
1906. The Juvenile Offenders Act provides that children's 
cases shall be heard at a special hour. 

1906. The Adoption of Children Act (1895) Amendment Act 

provides that no premium be paid for adoption without a magistrate's 

1906. The Habitual Drunkards Detention Act. 
L907. Sale of Food and Drugs Act. 

1907. The Infant Life Protection Act requires a licence for 
the adoption of an infant and provides that in certain cases the 
consent of the parents may be dispensed with. 

L907. Education Act Amendment Act provides for the 
education of defective and epileptic children. 

L908. The Destitute Persons Act Amendment Act makes 
grandparents responsible for maintaining their grandchildren. 

L909. The Reformatory Institutional Act establishes Institu- 
tions for inebriates and fallen women. 

1911. The Mental Defectives Act makes provision for the 
care and control of the mentally defective. 

1911. The Old Age Pensions Amendment Act makes the 
pension payable to men at 60 or to women at 55 who have two 
dependent children under 14. 

1911. The Widows' Pensions Act makes provision for the 
annual payment to indigent widows with children under 14, of from 
£\1 for one child to ^"30 for four or more. 

1911. The Workers' CompensationAmendment Act inter 
alia extends the benefits of the Act to domestic servants. 

1912. The Births and Deaths Registration Act requires that 
still-births shall be registered. 

1912. The Widows' Pensions Amendment Act makes the 
widow's pension payable to a wife with children under 14, whose 
husband is mentally incapable and without means, or, on the 
widow's death, to the guardian of the children on their behalf. 

1912. The Aged and Infirm Persons Protection Act makes it 
possible to appoint the Public Trustee manager of the estate of an 
aged and infirm or of an alcoholically incapable person. 

Other results of Woman Suffrage. One test of the 
prosperity of a country is the health of its people. That of New 
Zealand is remarkably good. See under " The Commonwealth of 
Australia " where international vital statistics are compared. 

Statements by Public Men. The Hon. W. Pember Reeves, 
Agent-General for New Zealand, speaking at a meeting in the 
Queen's Hall, London, on June 29th, 1899, of Women Suffrage in 
practice said : " We heard exactly the same tales about neglected 
children, abandoned husbands, vile cooking, untidy houses, a general 
falling-off of feminine grace, sweetness and charm. None of these 
evil effects have come about ; social life in New Zealand is very 
much the same as it was before, and if at election time a man finds 
that the lady next to whom he sits at dinner is able to talk in a 
practical way about the political questions of the day — that certainly 
does not make the dinner time duller or less interesting. What 
has been most striking and noteworthy of all has been the cool 
rational good mp < with which woman has applied herself in our 

part of the worl 1 to discharging her duties as ;i citizen. This she 
does very much as rational men do, and on many subjects takes the 
same point of view." 1 

Sir Joseph Ward, Prime Minister of New Zealand, wrote from 
Wellington on October 17th, 1907 (see Woman Suffrage in New 
Zealand, I.W.S.A.) : " In New Zealand we have not found that 
making a ' pencil mark on a voting paper ' once in three years has 
resulted in any loss of grace or beauty among our women, or even 
in neglect of home duties. On the contrary the women's vote has 
had a distinctly clarifying effect on the process of elections. The 
old evil memories of election day, the ribaldry, the fighting, have 
been succeeded by a decorous gravity befitting people exercising 
their highest national privilege .... when one considers the 
disabilities which particularly affect women (especially in rough and 
isolated rural constituencies) such as bad weather, distance from 
polling booths, difficulty in getting substitutes to look after home 
and children, etc., etc., this electoral return (he refers to the 82.23 
per cent, of women as compared with 84.07 per cent, of men on the 
rolls who voted at the General Election of 1905) shows that the 
possession of the franchise was appreciated at a high value." 

Among others who have testified to the success of woman 
suffrage are G. W. Russell, Chairman of the Board of Governors of 
Canterbury College, Christchurch ; the Hon. J. G. Findlay, M.L.C., 
Attorney-General and Colonial Secretary ; the Hon. Robert McNab, 
Minister of Lands ; the Hon. George Foulds, Minister of Education 
and Public Health ; Sir Robert Stout, Chief Justice ; the editors 
of The Lyttlcton Times, The Press, The Evening Star, The Otago 
Daily Times, The Evening Post and The Otago Witness, the Hon. 
R. Oliver, late Postmaster-General. 

The official Yearbook of New Zealand issued immediately 
after the first election at which women voted, reports : "A feature 
of the election was the orderliness and sobriety of the people. 
Female voters were in no way molested." 


Males Females Total 
Population, April 3, 1911 2,313,035 2,141,970 4,455,005 

Women granted the suffrage and eligibility both for the 
Senate and the House of Representatives of the 
Federal Commonwealth Parliament, on the same 
terms as men 1902 

Qualifications of electors and for eligibility to the 
Commonwealth Parliament. 2 Adult British subjects of either 

1 Reprint of speeches by National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies. 

a The qualifications of electors and the electoral returns are taken, both for 
Commonwealth and States, from the Commonwealth of Australia Yearbook, 191 1. 
Particulars regarding legislation are taken either from Official Yearbooks or 
from the Commonwealth or the States Statutes respectively. 


sex may be registered as voters, if they have lived continuously in 
Australia for six months and are eligible to be elected, if they have 
been British subjects for at least five years, and have lived in 
Australia for three years. Aboriginal natives of Australia, Asia, 
Africa and the Islands of the Pacific except New Zealand, cannot 
vote in Federal elections unless they have acquired a right to vote 
for the lower House of one of the state Parliaments. 

Qualifications of Electors and for Eligibility to the Six 
State Parliaments. Each of the Six States in the Commonwealth 
has in its State Parliament a lower house called the Legislative 
Assembly, and an upper house called a Legislative Council. 
Except the Legislative Councils of New South Wales and of 
Queensland, which are nominated bodies, the members of both 
lower and upper houses are returned by popular election, and, in 
every case, women vote on the same terms as men. 

An elector to any of the State Legislative Assemblies requires 
to be a British Subject, over twenty-one years of age, to have 
resided for in some cases six months in others one year in the 
State or in the Commonwealth and to be registered as an elector. 
Voting by post is allowed in South Australia, to electors absent 
from their districts and to women more than three miles from a 
polling station ; in Western Australia, to those who will be prevented 
by illness from voting in person or who are to be more than seven 
miles from a polling station on polling day ; in Queensland, to any 
woman and to men absent from their polling district. Voting by 
post is also possible in Tasmania but I have not been able to 
ascertain whether it obtains in the other two States. Among those 
disqualified from voting in Queensland are the habitual drunkard, 
the man who has against him an unsatisfied order for the mainten- 
ance of wife or children, legitimate or illegitimate, and the man who 
has been convicted of having committed an aggravated assault on 
his wife within twelve months. 

Women are eligible to be elected to the Legislative Assembles 
in South Australia and Queensland only. 

The voters for the four elected St<rte Legislative Councils are 
qualified on a property basis. In South Australia and Western 
Australia occupiers of dwelling houses of the annual value of £\1 
and £2.5 respectively are qualified to vote as well as owners and 
leaseholders, but in Victoria and Tasmania the right is limited to 
the owners and leaseholders with the addition of university 
graduates, lawyers, doctors, clergymen, and naval and military 
officers. Men only are eligible for election, and, except in New 
South Wales and Queensland, they require to be of thirty years or 

Qualifications of electors and for eligibility to the 
Municipal Councils of each of the States. Women are eligible 
to vote for Municipal Councils in every State on the same terms as 
men, but in no case are they eligible for election. In New South 
Wales the Local Government Shires Act, which, in 1905, set up 

Shire Councils, provided that women should be eligible to be 
elected to these Councils, but in the following year a consolidating 
Local Government Act restricted this right to males. In every 
State the owership or occupation of rateable property in the area 
constitutes a voter's qualification. In Tasmania a voter may 
according to his qualification exercise as many as six votes, in 
Queensland and Victoria as many as three. 

Number of women qualified to vote and voting. Since 
the qualification of an elector to both Houses of the Federal 
Parliament ami to the Lower Houses or Legislative Assemblies of 
the State Parliaments is on an adult basis, the number of women 
qualified to vote is almost equal to that of the men. For the 
elections to the Upper Houses of the State Parliaments or 
Legislative Councils, on the other hand, and also for the Municipal 
Councils, since the qualification is one of property, comparatively 
few women are qualified. 

Full returns are given of the elections to both Houses of the 
Federal Parliament and also to the Lower Houses of the State 
Parliaments (see tables below). They show that over 1,000,000 
Australian women are enfranchised and further afford a complete 
refutation of the statement that the women of Australia do not 
use their vote. Taking into consideration that men are largely 
in the majority in Australia it is evident by referring to the figures 
that women are enrolled in as great a percentage as men. The 
average percentage of women voting at the last election for the 
Commonwealth Senate, in 1910, is 56.17 per cent, as against 
67.58 per cent, of men. Two general remarks may be made, first, 
that since women secured the Federal vote the percentage not only 
of women voting, but of men voting, has steadily increased 
throughout Australia, second, that the percentage of the women's 
votes, for both the Federal Houses in 1910 stands at a figure higher 
than the percentage of men voting either in 1903 or in 1906 for 
every state except Tasmania, a creditable result considering the 
novelty of the women's vote. It is interesting to notice that it is 
not in South Australia where women have had the State Franchise 
since 1894 that the percentage is highest, but in Victoria where the 
struggle was long drawn out. 62.32 per cent, of the Victorian women 
voted at the Federal House of Representatives election in 1910, as 
against 48.47 per cent, of the South Australian women. 

Turning to the votes for the State Legislative Assemblies we 
find that in Queensland the women have always voted in large 
numbers, the figures for 1912 being 75.92 per cent, of men and 75.02 
per cent, of women ; in Western Australia the figures are 67 per 
cent, of men and 66 per cent, of women ; in Victoria the returns 
are not made separately and in the other three States the women's 
percentage comes within from 7 per cent, to 17 per cent, of that of 
the men. I have not been able to get any figures for the Municipal 
elections and the only returns available for a body elected on a 
property basis, and at the same time giving separate figures for 


men and women, are those of the Legislative Council of South 
Australia, where, at the last election, the percentage of women 
voting was 57.91 as compared with 67.59 of men. 

So far no woman has been elected to any of the legislative 
bodies for which they are eligible, but, in 1903, and again in 1910, 
Miss Vida Goldstein stood Tor the Federal Senate, and, on the latter 
occasion, though not successful, she polled 53,000 votes, a remarkable 

History. 1 Before the proclamation of the Commonwealth of 
Australia on January 1st, 1901, the six Colonies had each its own 
Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly with complete 
autonomy. The Commonwealth Act set up a Commonwealth 
Parliament consisting of the Senate and the House of Representa- 
tives, with power to deal with finance, defence, post, census, con- 
ciliation, etc., and with authority to assume control of railways, 
marriage, currency, etc., other matters being left to the State 
li latures. Before Federation, South Australia in 1894, and 
West Australia in 1899, had admitted their women to citizenship, 
and, when the Federal Parliament came to decide the question of 
qualification for the Federal Franchise, it resolved that it should be 
based on the most democratic franchise then in existence in 
Australia. This was in South Australia where there was adult 
suffrage for both sexes and where women were not excluded from 
eligibility. No doubt the fact that women already exercised the 
franchise in these two Colonies, being thus included in the electorate 
to which the question of Federation was submitted by referendum, 
had influence in enabling the first Commonwealth Parliament to 
pass the Act whereby all the adult women of Australia, secured the 
right to vote for the Federal Parliament. The other States soon 
followed. New South Wales in 1902, Tasmania in 1903, Queensland 
in 1905 and Victoria in 1908, extended the vote to women for their 
respective State Parliaments. There was not in any State difficulty 
in passing the women suffrage measures through the lower House; 
obstruction was met chiefly in the upper House. 

Legislation in the Federal Parliament. 1902. The Public 
Service Act provides that men and women in the public service of 
the Commonwealth shall receive equal pay for equal work. In the 
lowest grades of the public service the salary of £\li> is paid to 
workers at the age of 21. 

1908. The Invalid and Old Age Pensions Act, 1908, provides 
pensions of 10s. a week for those over 65 or for those incapacitated 
from work at 60. A man or woman is disqualified if he or she 
deserts wife or husband. A woman is not disqualified if she marries 
an alien. Husbands who have neglected their wives are ineligible. 
Since December, 1910, the Pension has become payable to women 
from the age of 60 years and to invalids from the age of 16 years, 
if permanently in d from work. The original Act 

1 Woman S In Australia, by Vida Goldstein. 

! 1 



AND 13th APRIL, 1010. 


Ele itora 
l !nro*Ued.* 

Klectors to whom ballot 

[ill !> 1 Hie issued. 

Pi i i [eof Voters 
to Electors Enrolled. 









The S;: . 

New South A\ lie 
Victoria ... ... j 


South Australia ... -j 

Western Australia 

Tasmania - 






I 1903 

- 1006 









158 436 



























994.484 809,102 
L.114,187 005,375 
1,186,783 1,071,699 










1 7 1 ,033 

222,86 I 
































383 13 

512 02 

31.',. is" 


46 ,535 



L70, 3-J 



L10 I 3 


52.*; 12 

83,! 93 









: C90 






51 "14 


62 19 






1! 5f 




on' 10 


3, r "96 






54 5 ; 





53 - 09 




r 10 

67 '58 


61 15 



The House op Representatives.* 










New South Wales 




21 6,150 






1 1010 








61 '84 








48 70 



101 ::; 




171 ,999 




56 '73 

1 1010 







62 *32 








64 '64 




■ 1908 









1 1910 









( 1903 









South Australia ... 







47 '10 



1 1010 








55 '33 










Western Australia 








2 1*12 


1 1910 









i 1003 


OS, 753 

2 . 19 




i l 










17 i.) 



t 1903 

















Commonwealth ... 



899,4!: 1 



OS'S, 553 

57 '35 









56 '93 


* For the House of Representatives the number of Electors enrolled in contested 
divisions only is given. 


superseded Old Age Pensions Acts which had been in force in 
Victoria and New South Wales since 1901 and in Queensland 
since 1908. 

1912. The Maternity Allowance Act, 1912, No. 8, provides 
for the payment, on application, to every woman who gives birth to 
a living child, whether or not it is legitimate, of a sum of five pounds. 
The allowance is not increased for multiple births. 

1912. The Immigration Restriction Act makes compulsory 
the medical examination of immigrants whether they travel first, 
second or third class and provides for the rejection of those 
suffering from certain diseases. 

1 ( J12. The Public Service Workers Compensation Act gives 
to Employees of the Commonwealth Government compensation for 
accident or in case of death payments to dependents. 

Resolutions in the Federal Parliament. 1. In December 
1906 both Houses passed the following resolution without dissent : — 

(i) That this House testifies to the facts that after 16 years' 
experience of Women's Suffrage in various parts of Australia, 
and 9 years' experience in the Commonwealth, the reform has 
justified the hopes of its supporters. 

(2) As foreseen by its advocates its effects have been : (a) To 
gradually educate women to a sense of their responsibility in 
public affairs; (b) to give more prominence to social and 
domestic legislation. 

(3) That the Australasian experience convinces this House that to 
adopt Women's Suffrage is simply to apply to the political sphere 
that principle of Government that secures the best results in the 
domestic sphere — the mutual co-operation of men and women 
for the general welfare. 

2. The following resolution was passed in the Australian 
Senate by a unanimous vote on November 17th, 1910, and a rider 
to the effect that a copy be cabled to the British Prime Minister, 
was carried by eleven votes to four : 

That this Senate is of opinion that the extension of the suffrage to the 
women of Australia for States and Commonwealth Parliaments 
has had the most beneficial results. It has led to the more 
orderly conduct of elections, and at the last Federal flection the 
women's vote in a majority of the States showed a greater pro- 
portionate increase than that cast by the men. It has given a 
greater prominence to legislation particularly affecting women 
and children, although the women have not taken up such 
questions to the exclusion of others of wider significance. In 
matters of defence and Imperial concern they have proved 
themselves as far-seeing and discriminating as men. Because 
the reform has brought nothing but good, though disaster was 
freely prophesied, we respectfully urge that all nations enjoying 
representative government would be well advised in granting 
votes to women. 

A similar resolution was passed unanimously a few days later 
by the House of Representatives. 

Statements by Prominent Men. The Honourable Andrew 


Fisher, Premier of the Commonwealth of Australia, in reply to a 
deputation from the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies 
in London on June 2nd, 1911, said they had heard in Australia and 
New Zealand questions as to whether the extension of the franchise 
to women would deteriorate the women in general and lead to 
domestic unhappiness. He did not think so. It had a good effect" 
on industrial legislation. He thought it had a good effect on the 
women themselves. In a general sense it had made elections much 
more like what they ought to be, making polling day more like an 
ordinary church gathering than the rowdy entertainment he had 
seen in more than one country {The Morning Post, 3/6/'ll). 

The Right Honourable Sir Edmund Barton, 1 the First Premier 
of the Commonwealth, said that in no case "had the usually 
predicted evils resulted ; the Hon. John A. Cockburn, the former, 
and the Hon. A. Kirkpatrick, 2 the present Agent-General for South. 
Australia, and Mr. Walter James, 1 Agent-General of Western 
Australia, have all testified to its having no evil effects on domestic 
relations; Professor M. R. E. MacNaghton, 1 formerly of Tasmania 
and later of McGill University, speaks of the women as being in 
favour of all that goes to build up a good national character ; Mr. 
Waddell, 3 Colonial Secretary of New South Wales, and a one-time 
opponent, confessed he had been mistaken, and Sir William Lyne, 
Premier of New South Wales, speaking in London in 1911, said 
women had purified Parliaments ; the Hon. John Murray 2 of 
Victoria, one of the representatives to the Imperial Conference in 
London in 1911, that it had enlarged women's knowledge of public 
questions, without lessening their interest in their home work ; the 
Bishop of North Queensland, writing in The Times of April 10th, 
1912, pointed out that it is now recognised that women's vote is a 
very effective deterrent of notoriously bad-living candidates being 
put up for election in all the States ; the Bishop of Tasmania 1 said 
it had not affected the balance of Parties. 3 

Results of Women's Suffrage. Besides formal legislation, 
details of which are given with respect to each State separately, 
the fact that Australia is one of the healthiest countries in the 
world, may be taken as one indication of its good government. 
From column 6 of the following table, it will be seen that the death 
rates in Australia and in New Zealand are as low as in any part of 
the world ; lower than in any European country, and lower than in 
Ontario (Canada), or in the United States Registration Area. The 
Infant Mortality figures (column 8) are even more remarkable. 
The average for the Commonwealth is 75 and for New Zealand 68. 
The only countries whose rates are at all comparable with these are 
Sweden with 72 and Norway, another enfranchised country, also 
with 72. These figures compare favourably with the returns for 

1 National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies leaflets. 

2 Colonial Statesmen and Votes for Women, published by Women's Freedom 

8 Woman Suffrage in Many Lands, Alice Zimmern. 


the German Empire where 178 of every 1,000 children bom, die 
before they are twelve months old ; with those of the United States 
Registration Area where the figure is estimated as between 140 and 
150; or with those of France, where, notwithstanding the fact 
that so much public attention has been given to the question, the 
infant mortality stands at 120. So many false prophecies are made 
about the effect of enfranchising women, especially in their domestic 
relations, as, for example, that they will not marry, that they will cease 
to have children, and so many arguments are adduced resting on 
premises which have no basis in fact, that it may be useful to set 
down the actual figures for reference. It is not easy to see that 
any definite deduction can be made regarding a high or a low birth 
rate or marriage rate. The number of people annually married per 
thousand of the population (column l) in New Zealand and 
Australia is higher than in most European countries, and birth rate 
per thousand of the population (column 3) is rather higher than in 
England and Wales. The birth rate per thousand wives between 
the ages of 15 and 45 (column 4) is the same in Australia as in 
England and Wales, while this corrected birth rate both in New 
Zealand and Norway is higher. The natural increase (column 7), 
that is the birth rate less the death rate, shows that because of the 
low death rate in Australasia and notwithstanding the low birth rate 
of that country, the excess of births over deaths per thousand is 
greater in Australasia than in most of the countries of Europe. 
Comparing Australia with Canada, another sparsely populated 
country with a British population, shews that notwithstanding that 
the marriage rate in Ontario (Canada) is 20.7 as against 16.7 in the 
Commonwealth, the excess of births over deaths per thousand (the 
natural increase, column 7) is 16.3 in Australia as compared with 
only 10.9 in Ontario (Canada), the difference being accounted for 
probably to a great extent by the high death rate among infants in 
Ontario (Canada), namely 123 as against 75 for the Commonwealth. 

Column 5 shows the illegitimate birth rate and columns 9 and 
10 give respectively the proportion of male to female births and of 
males to females in the population. It is not apparent that any 
general conclusions can be drawn from these columns but they may 
prove useful in refuting false statements. 

Equal pay for equal work. Besides the fact that the 
principle of equal pay for equal work is in practice for Common- 
wealth civil servants, the following decisions indicate the trend of 
public feeling in Australia. In The Age of June 25th, 1912, it is 
reported that the President of the Arbitration Court gave the 
following decisions between workers and employees in the fruit 

1 come to the conclusion that in the case of pickers, men and 
women, being on a substantial level, should be paid on the same 
level of wages; and the employers will then be at liberty, freely 
to select whichever sex and whichever person he prefers for the 
w rk. All this tends to greater efficiency of work, and to true 



Columns 1 to 8 inclusive (except for the countries of Portugal, Jamaica, the 

(J nited States, Ceylon and Commonwealth) compiled from the 73rd Annual Report of 

the Registrar General of Births, Deaths and Marriages in England and Wales (1910). 



















8 -°£ 


S 38 

** cd ** 

.2 ee a 

2 p 



CD r-1 

43 0> 

c£ rl 

2 to 





5 aj 
rH »0 . 

3 s9 


o **o 

4=1 £ T-t 

^ Juo 

43 co 
;-. CD 


5 3 "2 

rl Art 

u ° a 


cd f< tiai 
B 8 ^ 

rH . 


— r-t 

CD - 

43 tfl 

03 S 
«h *H 

•" •—' 
43 ~ 







-^ o 

i- 1 









43 r H 







? * 

£ co *"1 

g cd co 

o d " 

5<~ 9 

a 8- 

CD !- d 
rl > r-* 

- " J c 

£ O C 


■**" Q **-< 

S C to 

cfl 'r-"~ a 

frj 43 CSJ 43 

a 9 ® 43 


New Zealand 




243 '2 







Commonwealth (1) 











New South Wales 



27 '83 



















South Australia 

































Western Australia 

15 - 5 


27 '99 
























•.'.-,()• 7 





















27 '5 








England & Wales 

































German Empire 
























23 '0 










15 '5 












46 '2 











41 '9 



17 '2 






Portugal (1) 


































































•2:i 3 








24 '8 


24 '3 











9 - 8 







Canada (Ontario) 












11 '5 





















United States 
(Registration Area) 








circa ! 
§145 1 








— ■ 


















3 ipan 




■ — 














* The ye?r next preceding of which record is available. t The whole country. 

-t Including Northern Territory. (1) Official Year-book of the Co'irvmonwealth of 

§ Tlw, American Year-book, 1911. Australia, 1912. 

(a) The Seiu Zealand Official Year-book, 1911. 


and healthy competition ; not competition in a Dutch Auction 
by taking lower remuneration but competition by making 
oneself more useful to the employer." 

The same paper in its issue of October 18th, 1912, records a 
decision of the commercial clerks Wages Board which provides 
that equal pay for equal work shall be given to men and women, 
namely, to typewriters £2-5 and to stenographers £l-Z. The 
President of the women's section of the Union said it shewed that 
chivalry was not dead, it was the greatest advance in modern 
industrial legislation. 

Industrial Laws. 1 Throughout Australia the number of hours 
of work of women in factories is limited to forty-eight and in New 
Zealand to forty-five, there is no corresponding restriction with 
respect to males, except those under 16. Shop hours for men and 
women are limited to fifty-six per week in Western Australia and 
throughout the rest of Australia and New Zealand for women to 
fifty-two and in New Zealand for men to fifty-two per week. 
With the exception of Western Australia the payment of premiums 
to employers are forbidden and a minimum wage for workmen 
(including women) has been established as follows : 4s. a week 
in N.S.W., South Australia and Tasmania ; 5s. in Queensland 
and New Zealand ; and 2s. 6d. in Victoria. Wages Boards and 
local option with regard to the liquor traffic are in operation in 
every State. The normal age for admitting children to factories is 
13 in Victoria and South Australia; 14 in N.S.W., Queensland, 
Western Australia and Tasmania, and 16 in New Zealand, although 
where a child has passed a certain standard it may sometimes be 
admitted at an earlier age. 


Males Females Total 
Population, April 3rd, 1911 207,358 201,200 408,55s 

Municipal suffrage but not eligibility granted to women 1880 2 

School Boards of advice are elected by the parents of 
children at school, one vote being given to each 
household, which mav be cast by either the father or 
the mother 1892 s 

Destitute Boards are nominated bodies on which women 

have been placed since 1897 

The franchise and eligibility for the South Australian 
Legislative Assembly and the franchise but not 

1 The Commonwealth of Australia Yearbook, 191 1. 
* History 0] Woman Suffrage, Vol. IV., p. 1027. 
3 Letter from Dorothy Vau^han, Norwood, South Australia. 


eligibility for the Legislative Council granted to 
women on the same terms as to men by the Consti- 
tution Amendment Act, 1894 1894 

The following figures regarding the South Australian State 
Parliamentary elections have been kindly supplied by Miss Dorothy 
Vaughan, Norwood, South Australia. 

The percentage of votes cast to the number on the roll were as 
follows : 

House of Assembly Legislative Council 

Year Men Women Year Men Women 









Electors on Rolls. 

Electors -who Voted. 

Percentage of Electors 




Males. Fern. 





Legislative Council (Property Qualification). 






































67 59 



Legislative Assembly (Adult Qualification). 









* Official Year-book of the Commonwealth of Australia, 1912. 
\ This column has been added. 

61 - 06 

History. A Bill proposing Parliamentary votes for women 
with property was introduced in 1885 and rejected. In the following 
year, 1886, the Women's Suffrage League, including both men and 
women, was formed, and it continued to fight strenuously till the 
Bill was ultimately passed. In 1890 the Bill was again introduced 
and rejected. In 1891 it passed the Lower House but was 
rejected by the Legislative Council. In 1893 the first Government 
Bill was introduced and this too was thrown out. In 1894 a Bill 
giving adult suffrage for the House of Assembly and imposing a 
property qualification for the Legislative Council passed both 
Houses, and women voted for the first time in South Australia in 

Legislation. 1895. The Homestead Act makes it impossible 



for a man or woman to let the homestead without the consent 
of the wife or husband and makes it impossible for a man or woman 
to will away the homestead from the widow or widower. 

1895. State Children's Act provides for a State Children's 
Council, the registering of children removed from their normal 
guardians, the licensing and inspection of foster mothers and of 
lying-in homes. 

1896. The Married Women's Protection Act enables a 
respectable woman to secure a separation and maintenance order, 
with the custody of her children, from a husband who has been 
cruel or neglected to provide for her or her children, or has deserted 
her, or has committed adultery. 

1896. The Licensed Victuallers further Amendment Act 
makes it illegal to supply liquor to children under 15. 

1897. The Indecent Advertisements Act for the suppression 
of such advertisements. 

1897. The Gaming further suppression Act. 

1898. The Free Libraries Act gives powers to local authorities 
to establish free libraries. 

1898. The Married Women's Property Amendment Act- 
enables married women to enter into contracts to bind their separate 
property, but not such property as there is a restraint from anticipa- 
tion upon and makes it cease to be necessary for a married woman 
to re-execute her will after the death of her husband. 

1898. The Affiliation Law Amendment Act makes it possible 
to recover ^"10 for confinement expenses from the father of an 
illegitimate child. The order may be made even without the request 
of the mother, and either before or after the birth of the child. 

1898. The Legitimation Act, 1898, provides that the subse- 
quent marriage of the parents of an illegitimate child shall 
legitimatise the child, if no impediment to the marriage existed at 
the time of its birth. 

1898. The Health Act, 1898, makes provision among other 
things, for the prevention of the contamination of milk, for the 
destroying of insanitary houses, for the provision of hospitals. 

1899. The Police Act Amendment Act, 1898-9, provides for 
the punishment of a male person who lives on the earnings of a 
prostitute or who persistently solicits for immoral purposes. 

1899. The Children's Protection Act, 1899, raises the age of 
consent from 16 to 17 years, and imposes penalties for neglecting 
children or for placing before children immoral documents. 

1899. The Birds' Protection Act. 

1900. The Early Closing Act, 1900. 

1900. The State Children's Amendment Act, 1900, requires 
that the father of an illegitimate child shall pay moneys to the 
Children's Council and empowers Justices to enforce compliance 
with maintenance and other orders. 

1900. The Factories Amendment Act, 1900, sets up Wages 
Boards to determine minimum wages. 


1903. The State Children's Further Amendment Act, 1903, 
gives power to issue a warrant for desertion on the father of an 
unborn child. 

1904. The Children's Protection Amendment Act, 1904, 
provides a penalty for giving or selling tobacco to a child. 

1907. The Suppression of Brothels Act, 1907, provides that 
a contract to let premises may become null and void if the premises 
are used as a brothel. 

1908. The Bread Amendment Act, 1908. 
The Inebriates Act, 1908, provides for the detention of 





The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1909. 
The State Children's Amendment Act, 1909, provides, 
that, should an aileged father bring proof that some other man might 
be the father of the child, the magistrate may order that every man 
so proved to be a possible father of an illegitimate child shall be 
liable in case of the non-payment for the maintenance of the child. 

1911. The Footwear Regulation Act, 1911, requires that 
other materials shall not be sold as leather. 

1911. The Female Law Practitioners Act, 1911, enables 
women to practise as barristers, attorneys or solicitors. 


Males Females Total 
Population, April 3rd, 1911 161,565 120,549 282,114 

Municipal franchise granted to women but not eligibility. 
(The Municipal Corporations Act, 1906, consolidated 
Local Government Acts) 1871 

The franchise but not eligibility for the Western 
Australian Legislative Council and Legislative 
Assembly granted to women on the same terms as 
to men by the Constitution Acts Amendment Act, 
1899 1899 

(Note. — No returns are given for the Legislative Council.) 

The Legislative Assembly.* 

Electors on Eoll. 

Votes Recorded. 

Percentage Voting in 
Contested Electorates. 

























* Official Tear-book of the Commonwealth of Australia, 1912. 
1 The History of Woman Suffrage, Vol. IV. 


History. The Honorary Secretary of the Women's Service 
Guild reports that Women's Suffrage was gained more easily in 
this colony than in any other because they had broad-minded men 
at the head of affairs who saw no terrors in giving equal rights to 
all. 2 In 1893, the question, when introduced into the House of 
Assembly by Mr. Cockworthy, was lost by only one vote ; again in 
1897 it was lost by two votes. 1 The only organised body working 
at that time was the Women's Christian Temperance Union, but in 
1899 the Women's Franchise League of Western Australia was 
formed and in the same year the Bill passed into law. 1 It was a 
non-party measure but was introduced and passed as a Government 
measure by the then Premier, Sir John Forrest. 2 

- Since 1899 a woman doctor has been appointed to examine 
women civil servants candidates, and women have been placed on 
Hospital Boards and on the University Senate. 2 The women of 
the country are remarked on by strangers for their upright and 
independent manner, and find that their claims have now more 
chance of being attended to. 2 

Legislation. 1 899. Seats for Shop Assistants Act. 

1900. The Criminal Law Amendment Act, inter alia makes 
better provision for the protection of boys and girls from indecent 
assault. Girls are protected up to 17 from guardians and school 

1900. The Slander of Women Act makes it unnecessary for 
a woman to prove special damage to render words imputing 
unchastity to her actionable. 

1900. An Act for compensating the families of persons killed 
by accident. 

1902. The Summary Jurisdiction (Married Women) Act, 
makes desertion a ground for separation and maintenance. 

1902. Early Closing Act. 

1902. Indecent Publications Act, for suppressing such 

1902. The Police Act Amendment Act provides for the punish- 
ment of those who keep, or manage, or assist, or of those who are 
the landlords or tenants of premises used for the purposes of 
prostitution, and of men living on the earnings of prostitutes. 

1903. The Bread Act provides for full weight of loafi and a 
standard quality of bread. 

1903. An Act which makes husbands and wives inhert from 
each other on the same terms in cases of intestacy. The survivor 
gets the first ^"500 and in addition half of the remainder if there are 
no children, and one-third of the remainder if there are children. 

1904. The Factories Act limits the hours of work of women 
and boys in factories to forty-eight per week, forbids the work of 
women between 6 at night and 7 in the morning, and makes 
provision for health and safety in factories. 

1 History of Women's Suffrage, Vol. IV., p. 1029. 

2 Letter from Secretary of Women's Civil Service Guild, 1912. 


1907. The State Children's Act provides for control and 
inspection of boarded-out infants, the registration of maternity 
homes, the establishment of children's courts, and the supervision 
of neglected children up to 18 years of age. 

1912. In April an Act was passed amending the divorce law, 
removing many disabilities under which women were placed, and 
establishing the principle of equality. 


Population, April 3rd, 1911 

Males Females Total 
857,698 789,036 1,646,734 

Municipal suffrage but not eligibility granted to women 1867 1 

Suffrage for the New South Wales Legislative Assembly 

granted to women on the same terms as to men by 

the Women's Franchise Act, 1902, but not eligibility 1902 

The Legislative Council is nominated, not elected. 

The Local Government Shires Act, 4905, establishes 
Shire Councils with votes and eligibility for both 
men and women 1905 

The Local Government Act, 1906 (a consolidating Act), 
provides that women as well as men shall be eligible 
to vote for Shire and Town Councils. Males only 
are made eligible to be elected, so apparently women 
lost their right of eligibility to Shire Councils 
acquired in 1905. Husband and wife may not vote 
in respect of the same property. 1906 


(Note. — The Legislative Council is a Nominated Body). 

The Legislative Assembly.* 

Percentage of Electors 

Electors Enrolled. 

Electors who Voted- 

Voting in Contested 















80 - 38 


















— ■ 











72' 13 

































Official Year-book of the Commonwealth of Australia, 1912. 
1 History of Woman Suffrage, Vol. IV., p. 1029. 


History.' Equal suffrage for women was proposed as a clause 
in the Electoral Bill of 1890, by Sir Henry Parkes, but the women 
were ultimately dropped. In the following year, 1891, the N.S.W. 
Womanhood Suffrage League was formed, and in July of that year 
a resolution, promoted by Sir Henry in the Legislative Assembly, 
Avas lost by fifty-seven votes to thirty-four. On November 18th', 
1894, a resolution was ultimately carried in favour of the principle! 
a clause to the effect that " the time had now arrived," having been 
dropped. A change of Government in 1899 placed a suffragist at 
the head, and a Government measure was introduced in 1901, but 
was lost by nineteen votes to twenty-two. In the following year, 
however, two months after the Federal franchise had been conferred 
on women, on August 14th, 1902, the Bill passed into law. 

Legislation. 1904. The Infants' Protection Act, 1904, 
provides for the control of children up to 7 years in licensed and 
inspected homes, and for maternity proceedings in connection with 
the enforcement of maintenance for illegitimate children. 

1905. The Liquor (Amendment) Act forbids the employment 
of barmaids under 21, and closes licensed premises during elections. 

1905. The Moneylenders' and Infants' Loan Act, makes the 
sending of moneylending circulars to infants a misdemeanour. 

1905. The Neglected Children and Juvenile Offenders Act 
constitutes children's courts, regulates street trading by children, etc. 

1906. The Free Education Act abolishes fees in primary and 
superior schools. 

1906. The Gaming and Betting Act makes those who bet 
with persons under 21 liable to a fine of ^"100. 

1907. The Invalidity and Pensions Act provides that persons 
who are permanently incapacitated may, subject to certain restric- 
tions as to income, etc., receive a pension of ^"26 a year. 

1908. The Minimum Wage Act. 

1908. The Police Offences (Amendment) Act makes it illegal 
for a man to solicit for immoral purposes and gives power to 
suppress indecent publications. 

Note. — It is "solicitation" and not " persistent solicitation " 
that is made illegal, so that the Act is stronger than that 
in force in the United Kingdom. 

1908. The Prisoners' Detention Act provides for the detention 
of certain persons in lock hospitals so long as the doctor shall so 

Note. — -This tends to be a dangerous type of power where 
women have no control over administration. It is to be 
hoped that the women watch closely the working of this 

1908. A Pure Food Act. 

1909. The Factories and Shops Amendment Act provides 

! History of Woman Suffrage, Vol. IV., p, 1029. 


that persons under 16 and females of any age may not undertake 
certain kinds of work near moving machinery. 

1910. Crimes (Girls' Protection) Act, raises the age of consent 
from 16 to 17, and makes those who employ girls under 18 in 
brothels liable to a penalty of five years' imprisonment. 


Population, April 3rd, 1911 

Males Females Total 
97,591 93,620 191,211 

Women granted the vote but not eligibility to Municipal 

Councils 1884 1 

The franchise but not eligibility granted to women for 
the Tasmanian Legislative Council and Legislative 

Assembly on the same terms as men by the 
Constitution Act, 1903 1903 

(Note. — No returns for the Legislative Council are given.) 

Legislative Assembly.* 

Electors on Roll. 

Votes Recorded. 

Percentage Voting in 
Contested Electorates. 











1 1906 








51 '46 

57 - 2 

* Official Year-book of the Commonwealth of Australia, 1912. 

I Manhood Suffrage, Act 64 Vict. No. 5. 

t Universal Adult Suffrage, Act 3 Ed. VII. No. 13. 

History. In 1885 a Bill giving votes to unmarried women 
ratepayers passed its second reading in the Lower House. Later 
several Woman Suffrage Bills passed the Lower House, supported, 
as in the other States, by the Women's Christian Temperance 
Union. It was not, however, till the year after the granting of the 
Federal franchise to women that State Suffrage for women was also 

Legislation, 1903. The Public Health Act, 1903, no. 37, 
provides for the suppression of infection, the setting up of public 
hospitals, pure food, infant life protection, etc. 

1904. The Legal Practitioners Act, 1904, no. 14, enables 
women to practice as barristers, solicitors, etc. 

1 History of Woman Suffrage, Vol. IV., p. 1033. 


1904. The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1904, no. 21. 

1905. The Legitimation Act, 1905, no. 3, provides that the 
subsequent marriage of parents shall legitimatise a child. 

L905. The 1 [ealth Kate Act, 1905, no. 29, gives local authori- 
ties power to levy a health rate up to Gil. in the pound. 

1905. The" Youthful Offenders, Destitute and Neglected 
Children's Act, 1905, no. 39, sets up children's courts. 

L906. The Young Persons' and Women's Detention Act, 1906, 
no. 7, provides for their detention pending trial otherwise than in a 
common gaol. 

Note. — Rather dangerous powers of discipline in Rescue 
Homes seem to be given to the Governor. But deten- 
tion in such homes cannot be longer than for period of 

1906. The Distribution of Intestate's Property Act, 1906, 
no. 17, provides for equality between husband and wife where there 
is no will. Where there are no children and no will the whole of 
the property goes to the survivor. 

1906. Opium Smoking Prohibition Act, 1906, no. 6. 

1907. The Deserted Wives and Children Maintenance 
Amendment Act, 1907, no. 22, provides that in certain cases the 
expense of bringing back a deserting husband shall be borne by the 

1907. The Infant Life Protection Act, 1907, no. 51, inter 
alia makes mothers as well as fathers responsible for the 
maintenance of an illegitimate child. 

1907. The Smoking by Juveniles Prevention Act, 1907, no. 4. 

1908. The Free Education Act, 1908, no. 17, abolishes fees 
in primary State schools. 

1909. The Summary Jurisdiction (Married Persons) Act, 
1909, no. 26, gives a respectable married woman power to get a 
separation order from her husband for assault, desertion, cruelty, 
drunkenness or adultery. 

1910. Notification of Births Act, 1910, no. 64. 

1910. The Offences against the Person Act, 1910, no. 4, 
raises the age of consent to 16. 

1910. The Interstate Destitute Persons' Relief Act, 1906, 
no. 55, makes it possible to enforce a maintenance order in other 

1911. The Midwives Act, 1911, no. 26. 

1911. White Phosphorous Matches Prohibition Act, 1911, 
no. 4. 

1912. The Offences against the Person Act, 1912, increases 
the time within which an action for indecent assault on a young girl 
may be raised from fifteen days to three months. 

1912. The Testator's Family Maintenance Act, 1912, no. 7, 
gives power to the Court where a husband or wife has not properly 
provided for the surviving spouse in his or her will, to make 
suitable-c; rovision out of the deceased's property. 



Males Females Total 
Population, April 3rd, 1911 329,506 276,307 605,813 

Municipal franchise but not eligibility for women 

established 1886 1 

The franchise but not eligibility for the Queensland 
Legislative Assembly granted to women by the 
Elections Act, 1905 1905 

The members of the Legislative Council are nominated for life. 


(Note. — The Legislative Council is nominated.) 
The Legislative Assembly.* 

Electors Enrolled. 

Electors who Voted. 

Percentage of Electors 
Voting in Contested 





















113,915 1 II 

91,735 ! II 
4,050 f 

205,650 1 II 
12,989 1 






71 '61 


* OfficuM Year-book of the Commonwealth of Australia, 1912. 

t The returns did not in every case separate the male from the female vote. These 
percentages are taken from the cases in which the figures were separated. 

I Figures for 1912, given by Miss M. A. Ogg, Sec, Queensland Women's Electoral 
League. Letter of July 26th, 1912. 

II The upper figure gives those casting their votes in person, the lower figure gives the 
number of absent voters, who have voted by post. 

History. 1 In 1895, the year after the starting of the Queens- 
land Women's Franchise League, it was able to report that petitions 
with 11,000 signatures had been presented to the Legislative 
Assembly, thirty of whose members had expressed themselves in 
favour. The question was never a party measure, and although 
many candidates at the General Election of 1897 declared them- 
selves in favour, the Bill was not carried till eight years later. 

Legislation. 1905. The Infant Life Protection Act provides 
for the licensing of homes taking infants. 

1906. The Native Animals' Protection Act, 1906, no. 5. 

1906. The Industrial and Reformatory Schools Amendment 

1 The History of Women's Suffrage, Vol. IV., p. 1032. 


Act, ! 306, no. 6, raises the age of a neglected child from 15 to 17 
years, and includes among neglected children girls under 17 who 
solicit in the street. 

1906. The Succession Act, 1906, no. 24, provides that the 
estate of a married woman dying intestate shall be distributed 
between her husband, children and next of kin in the same way as 
that of a man dying intestate is distributed among his wife, children 
and next of kin. 

1907. The Children's Court Act, 1907, no. 3, establishes 
children's courts. 

1907. The Poor Prisoners' Defence Act, 1907, no. 4. 

1908. The Old Age Pensions Act, 1908, no. 6, provides that 
no woman who has married an alien shall in consequence be 
deprived of her old age pension, which is £'2£> a year. 

.1909. The Workers' Dwellings Act, 1909, no. 10, to enable 
the Government to assist persons in receipt of small incomes to 
provide house for themselves. 

1910. The Margarine Act, 1910, no. 9. 

The present programme of the Queensland Women's Electoral 
League for the State includes equal pay for equal work, amendments 
of the laws of succession in regard to the provision to be made for 
surviving husband, wife or children, equal divorce law, amendment 
of state children's laws, and of the liquor laws, and a chair of 
domestic science. 


Males Females Total 
Population, April 3rd, 1911 655,591 659,960 1,315,551 

Women granted the franchise but not eligibility for 

Municipal Councils, Boroughs Statute Act, 1869 1869'' 

Franchise but not eligibility granted to women for the 
Victorian Legislative Council and Legislative 
Assembly by the Adult Suffrage Act, 1908 1908 

History. Notwithstanding that the struggle for the enfran- 
chisement of Australian women began in Victoria, the women of 
that State were the last to acquire full citizen rights, and that not 
till thirty-nine years after the question was raised in the country. 
At the General Election of 1894, the efforts of the Women's Suffrage 
Society, which had been established in the eighties, to secure a 
majority were so successful that the Prime Minister introduced a 
Government measure in the following year. This Bill passed 
through the Assembly only to be lost in the Council by the narrow 
majority of two votes. Later Bills passed the Assembly in 1897, 

1 Ths History of Woman Suffrage, Vol. IV., p. 1031 




Electors on Roll. 


Males and 

Voters in Contested 


Mnlcs and 
F( males. 

Percentage Voting in 
Contested Districts. 


Males and 

Legislative Council. 

















34 - 58 











2 10,520 









Legislative Assemely. 









— ■ 























1911 : 




* Official Year-book of the Commonwealth of Australia, 1912 + Not Contested. 

* The great increase in the number registered is due to an extension of the franchise 
which came into force after the Electoral Act, 1910. 

'98, '99, 1900, '01 with increasing majorities, only to be thrown out 
in the Council. 1 Since 1903, private members' Bills only were 
brought in, but, in 1908, the demand for a Government measure 
was at last successful and the Premier, Sir Thomas Bent, a declared 
opponent, finally capitulated on September 18th, 1908. 2 The Bill, 
introduced in the Lower House on October 14th, was carried by 
forty-five votes to nine. It came before the Council on October 
25th, but as supporters of the suffrage were dissatisfied with the 
personnel of the Cabinet, a reconstruction of the Ministry took place 
before it finally passed through the Legislative Council without a 
division on November 18th, 1908. 2 

The Women's Political Association, of which Miss Vida 
Goldstein is the enthusiastic President, has now on its programme 
a demand for equal Federal and Divorce laws, the retention of 
married women's nationality and political status throughout the 
Empire, equal pay for equal work, equal parental rights, complete 
civil and legal equality of men and women, the protection of boys 
and girls to the age of 21 against the vicious and depraved, the 
protection of child wage-earners, etc. 

Legislation. 1909. The Factories and Shops Act raises the 

1 History of Woman Suffrage, Vol. IV., p. 103 1. 

2 Jus Suffragii, Dec, 1908, and Jan., 1909. 


age at which boys may be employed in factories from 13 to 14, 
and girls from 14 to 15. 

L909. The Infants' Relief Act, 1909, makes contracts with 
infants {i.e., those under 21) for money payments except for 
necessities void. 

1910. The Wrongs Act, 1910, provides that in an action 
brought by a parent in cases of seduction it shall not be necessary 
to pnn e less of service. 

1910. The Residence Areas Holders Act, 1910, enables 
widows of intestate husbands in certain cases to be registered as 
holders of small residence areas. 

1910. The Education Act makes it possible to provide medical 
attendance and food for children, etc. 

1910. The Factories and Shops Act limits the weights to be 
lifted by girls under 18 to 251bs., limits the number of days overtime 
for women and girls to twenty-five instead of forty and raises tea 
money from 6c/. to Is. 



Males Females Total 

Population, 1910 47,332,122 44,640,144 91,972,266 

Number of women having full suffrage and eligibility 1,737,500 

Nine States and one Territory have full equal suffrage and 
eligibility for women for all local, state and federal elected 
bodies, and the right to vote for, or stand to be elected to, 
any official position, including that of President. 1 

School. Muni- Lej;isla- School. Muni- Lcgisla- 


ture, etc. 


ture, etc 

































Washington, 1890, 1910, 1910. Alaska, 1913. 

Four States have school suffrage and eligibility and some 
form of taxpaying suffrage for women. 





New York, 


1901 (?). 



1909. 2 





1887, 3 


New Hampshire 

1878 5 






1880 5 



New Jersey 


1887 8 


1900 s 



1907 s 





Rhode Island 

? r > 


New Mexico 


Sixteen States have some form of school suffrage, but no 4 
other suffrage. 

North Dakota 
South Dakota 

1 Dates, except where otherwise stated, before 1900, taken from The History 
of Woman Suffrage, Vol. IV. ; after 1900, from Jus Suffragii. 

2 Revised Constitution of 1909, Art III., Sec. 4, gives taxpaying women the 
right to vote on public expenditure. Letter to Author from A. M. Boutell, 
Michigan Equal Suffrage Association. 

3 Facts and Dates to Remember. Pub. by the National American Woman 
Suffrage Association. 

4 Women have been eligible to sit on the Nevada School Board since 1887. 

5 Facts and Dates to Remember. Pub. by The National American Suffrage 

6 The American Year Book, 1911, gives Rhode Island as one of the states 
having some form of Woman Suffrage. 

7 Letter to Author from Antonio Lucero, Secretary to the State of New 
Mexico, Santa Fe. 

8 i890 is given as the date by the Legislative Reference Librarian of Bismarck, 
North Dakota, in a letter to the author. 

9 Since 1890, women have voted for School Trustees {History of Woman 
Suffrage, Vol. IV.). 



Qualification of electors and for eligibility. 1 In the nine 
States in which women have full equal adult suffrage the qualification 
of the elector is that he or she shall be a citizen of the United States 
of 21 years of age and shall have resided the requisite time in the 
State. In some States it is sufficient to have expressed the intention 
of becoming a citizen. Wyoming and Utah demand twelve months 
residence ; Oregon, Kansas and Idaho not more than six months. 
Wyoming has a further condition that electors must be able to read. 
Colorado admits to eligibility for election to either House of the 
State Legislature only citizens who are over 25 years of age, and 
who have resided twelve months in the district where they seek 
election. In certain of the Southern States regulations are in force 
which have the effect of excluding many negroes from the vote but 
these do not apply to any of the women franchise States although 
they may be a factor in the future. 1 

Senators of the Upper House of the Federal Congress must 
be over 30 years of age and have resided nine years in the States. 1 
Members of the Federal House of Representatives are elected by 
those who are qualified as electors in each State, must be over 25 
years of age and have been citizens of the United States for seven 
years. 1 

The qualification of electors to School Boards and Taxpayers 
Boards varies, sometimes involving the occupancy of taxed property 
in the district. 

Legislative steps necessary to secure full equal suffrage. 1 
Two methods of attacking the problem are open to the women of 
the United States. 

First, each State has itself the power to admit the women of 
its own State to the suffrage, carrying with it the right to vote for 
both Houses of Congress, as the Federal Legislature is called. 
Each State has a separate machinery for altering its constitution. 
In the majority of States it is necessary that both Houses of the 
State Legislature shall vote in favour of the question being sent to 
a referendum of the electors. In some States, New York for 
example, both Houses of two successive Legislatures must agree 
to sending the question to the referendum. In a few States a 
petition signed by a certain percentage of the electors (the initiative) 
is sufficient to ensure that a referendum shall be taken, e.g., Oregon 
and Arizona (q.v.). The Constitutions of some States require that 
at certain definite intervals a Convention shall be set up to make 
suggestions as to alterations in the Constitution. Any suggested 
alterations must then be submitted to the electors for ratification or 

The sitting of these Conventions provides a special opportunity 
for trying to ensure that one of the questions submitted shall be 
Woman Suffrage. In Ohio, for example, where such a commission 
must be appointed every twenty years, the suffragists were suocess- 

1 The States?iiau , s Year Book, 1912. 


ful, in 1912, in having their question put to the electors, although 
they lost the referendum vote by 249,420 votes in favour, to 336,875 
against (majority 87,455). 

The question may also arise when a Territory seeks to be 
admitted as a State into the Union. Then, too, a Constitutional 
Convention draws up a suggested Constitution which must be 
agreed to by the United States Congress and also by a referendum 
of the electors of the Territory (see Wyoming, Utah, Washington). 

The second method, which, if successful, would have the effect 
of admitting women throughout the states by one enactment is that 
of adding an amendment to the Constitution of the United States. 
This was the method adopted when the negro was admitted to the 
franchise by the addition of the 14th and 15th amendment to the 
Constitution which forbade his exclusion on account of colour or 
previous condition of servitude. The conditions are not easy. They 
require that two-thirds of both Houses of Congress or two-thirds of 
the State Legislatures shall vote for the appointment of a Conven- 
tion to make proposed alterations in the Constitution which shall 
be valid when ratified by the Legislatures of three-fourths of the 
states or by Conventions in three-fourths thereof. 1 As soon, 
therefore, as three-fourths of the individual states have admitted 
women, it will be possible for these states to take steps to compel 
the other states to enfranchise their women. 

History. Definite organisation for woman suffrage had its 
origin in the refusal of the World's Anti-Suffrage Convention in 
London in 1840, to recognise the women delegates from the United 
States. The movement made steady progress till attention was 
diverted by the Civil War. When the negro was enfranchised the 
women sought to be included. To add woman suffrage, however, 
was to jeopardise negro suffrage and it was the women who were 
sacrificed. That was in 1868. 

The first State Legislature to pass a measure enfranchising 
women was that of New Jersey, where from 1790 to 1807 women 
had the right to vote, since the Franchise Acts used the expression 
he and she " when referring to electors. Following on an address 
given in 1855, in Omaha, the capital of Nebraska, by Mrs. Bloomer, 
of bloomer costume fame, a bill passed the Lower House of that 
Legislature in 1856. It was read twice in the Upper House but 
the end of the session prevented its third reading. By 1900 four 
states had granted full equal suffrage, while thirteen different 
states had voted by referendum on the question. In 1911 bills for 
woman suffrage were introduced into twenty-two state legislatures 
and five voted for their submission to the electors. 1912 was a 
remarkable year. Of the six states in which the question was 
submitted to the electors, victories fall to be recorded in three, 
Arizona, Kansas and Oregon ; in Ohio and Wisconsin, the vote was 
adverse ; in Michigan, the figures show the small adverse majority 

1 The Statesman's Year Book, 1912. 


of 762 (247,373 ayes to 248,135 noes). The honesty of this figure 
is questioned. With the victories of 1912 the number of enfran- 
chised women is nearly 2,000,000 ; the whole of the important 
Pacific Coast line now borders suffrage states and nearly one-fourth 
of the area of the United States lias enfranchised womi D. 

The women of the United States have a valuable privilege in 
that they are allowed to appear in person to plead their cause before 
the State Legislatures Constitutional Conventions and Committees 
of the Congress. In no year since 1866 have they failed to plead 
before the Congress Committees, an incidental advantage being that 
their speeches are printed and sent free in thousands all over the 

Decisions of the Courts. Under the 14th amendment enfran- 
chising the negro Susan B. Anthony registered and voted but was 
prosecuted and sentenced to a heavy fine. 

The women of Wyoming exercised their voting rights by an 
enactment of the Territorial legislature. In Utah, however, after 
having voted for seventeen years, in 1887, the women were deprived 
of their right given by the Territorial Legislature, when the 
Edmund Tucker law of the United States declared the women's 
vote in Utah illegal. It was a law court decision also which 
deprived the women of the State of Washington of their vote 
granted by the Territorial Legislature. In Kansas, women enjoyed 
the Municipal franchise for years before becoming full citizens, 
while with regard to a similar law in Michigan (1893) the Supreme 
Court decided that " the Legislature had no authority to create a 
new class of voters." These examples show that, as elsewhere, the 
double standard of logic for women brings in its train the usual 


Males Females Total Total, 1910 

Population, 1900 58,184 37,347 92,531 152,056 

Full equal suffrage and eligibility for women 1 1869 

Number of women eligible to vote 34,000 2 

Percentage who vote 80 to 90 2 

History. 3 Wyoming can never be deprived of the honour of 
being the first self-governing State to enfranchise its women and 
that by an Act of the first legislature of the Territory in 1869. The 
doubt of the Governor as to whether he should sign the Bill was 

1 Constitution of Wyoming, Art. VI., Sects. 1 and 2 quoted by Reuterskjold 
Bilorgna, p. 50. 

2 Where Women Vote, Bjorkman. 

3 History of Woman Suffrage, Vol. IV., p. 994- 


dispelled by a body of women who came to his house intimating 
that they would wait until he did so. The woman who initiated 
the movement was Mrs. Esther Morris, a native of New York, she 
was shortly after appointed a Justice of the Peace and practised 
successfully. Two years later a bill to repeal this law passed the 
legislature but was vetoed by the Governor. When, in 1889, the 
Territory applied to Congress to be recognised as a State, every 
effort was made to induce the Wyoming men to cut out the women. 
This they absolutely refused to do. " We will remain out of the 
Union a hundred years rather than come in without Woman 
Suffrage." So on June 27th, 1890, the first free State was admitted 
into the American Union. 

Women in Official Positions. 1 Women are eligible to all 
positions, though they have not in this State been ambitious to hold 
office. The practice of appointing them to juries, except in special 
cases, has fallen into disuse. They have served as members of the 
legislature, as State Superintendents of Schools, as County Clerks, 
Recorders, Treasurers, Justices of the Peace, etc. Two women sit 
in the present House of Representatives. 2 

Legislation. The following laws passed since 1869 may be 
taken as those in which women may be considered specially 
interested. 3 

"Acts providing that men and women teachers shall receive 
equal pay when equally qualified (Revised Statutes of Wyoming, 
Section 614); raising the age of protection for girls to 18 (Same, 
Section 4964) ; making child neglect, abuse or cruelty illegal 
(Same, Section 2281) ; forbidding the employment of boys under 
14 or girls of any age in mines, or of children under 14 in public 
exhibitions (Same, Section 2289) ; making it unlawful to sell or give 
cigarettes, liquor, or tobacco to persons under 16 (Laws of 1895, 
Chapter 46, Section 4) ; establishing free public kindergartens 
(Same, Chapter 50, Section l) ; forbidding the adulteration of candy 
(Laws of 1897, Chapter 39). (This Act is incorporated in a Pure 
Food Bill, covering drinks, drugs and illuminating oils. Laws of 
1903, Chapter 82, page 102) ; making it illegal to licence gambling 
(Laws of 1901, Chapter 65, page 68) ; and providing for the care 
and custody of deserted orphan children, or children of infirm, 
indigent or incompetent persons (Laws of 1903, Chapter 106, 
page 134)." 

Mrs. F. M. Sheik, of Wheatland, President of the Wyoming 
State Federation of Women's Clubs, said in a letter to Miss Amy 
F. Acton, of Boston, September 12th, 1904 : 

" The women of this State have always voted since the Territorial 

1 Where Women Vote, Bjorkman. 

2 The Woman's Journal, January 25th, 1913. 

3 Fruits of Equal Suffrage, I. Published at the National Suffrage Headquarters, 
505, Fifth Avenue, New York. 


days, and it will be hard to find an)'(hing they have nol had a hand in. . 
We have not a good law that the women have not worked for. " 

The " Revised Statutes of Wyoming, 1899," also include the 
following : 

Sec. 5532. The County Commissioners may sue the reputed 
father of a bastard if it becomes chargeable ; Sec. 5065 and 5066. 
Prostitutes and those consorting with them are made liable to fine 
and imprisonment ; Sec. 2166. A married woman, if her husband 
drinks or gambles, so that she and her family are deprived of the 
necessaries of life, may have a notice served to the keepers of the 
houses where he drinks and gambles forbidding them to serve him ; 
4864, mothers may inherit from their illegitimate children ; 4862, 
subsequent marriage of parents legitimatises a child ; 4858, 
inheritance as between husband and wife is the same. 

The Compiled Statutes, 1910, Sec. 5739, provides that a 
surviving mother whether re-married or not may be the guardian of 
her child. 1 Here too there is compulsory education with instruction 
in physiology and hygiene up to the age of 16, and tobacco is 
forbidden to children under 18, and women physicians and matrons 
are placed in certain institutions having women and children in 
custody. 1 

Laws in force in Wyoming, Colorado, Utah and Idaho. 2 
In each of these four states where Women's Franchise has been in 
practice for some considerable time the following laws are in force : 
A wife's earnings and personal property not received from her 
husband are in her sole control ; spouses' interest in each other's 
real estate {i.e. land and houses) is equal ; professions and all public 
offices are open to women ; equality of inheritance for both sexes ; 
divorce for same causes to husband and wife, though wife can also 
receive separate maintenance or divorce for non support ; wife and 
minor children entitled to homestead and to a certain allowance out 
of husband's estate, which has priority over other debts ; women 
privileged to make a will at 18 years of age; free schools from 
primary grade through State University for Women ; free kinder- 
gartens ; alcoholic drinks forbidden to minors ; no children under 
14 to work in mines ; dependent children in family homes ; indecent 
exhibitions, pictures or exposure for sale or gift of indecent literature 
forbidden ; gambling and prostitution forbidden ; age of consent 
or 21 years. 

Resolutions of the Legislature. In 1893 the House of 
Representatives passed unanimously the following resolution 3 : 

Be it resolved by the second legislature of the State of Wyoming — 
That the possession and exercise of suffrage by the women of 
Wyoming for the past quarter of a century has wrought no harm 
and has done much good in many ways — that it has largely aided 

1 Guardianship of Children, C. W. McCulloch. 

2 Mayors of Five States, by C. W. McCulloch. 

3 America and Woman Suffrage, Borrowman Wells. 


in banishing crime, pauperism, and vice from this Stale, and that 
without any violent or oppressive legislature — that it has secured 
peaceful and orderly elections, good government and a remark- 
able degree of civilisation and public order ; and we point with 
pride to the facts that, after nearly twenty-five years of woman's 
suffrage, not one county in Wyoming has a poor-house, that our 
goals are almost empty, and crime, except that committed by 
strangers in the State, almost unknown; and as the result of 
experience we urge every civilised community on earth to 
eniranchise its women without delay. 

Resolved :— That an authenticated copy of these resolutions be 
forwarded by the Governor of the State to the Legislature of 
every State and Territory in this country, and to every legislative 
body in the world : — and that we request the Press throughout 
the civilised world to call the attention of its readers. 

Similar resolutions were passed in a number of the years 
following, and in 1901 the legislature, as a whole, unanimously 
adopted a resolution recommending the reform to the other States. 

Statements by Prominent Men. Every Governor, including 
the Territorial Governors, who were appointed by the President 
and therefore not dependent on votes, has testified to its good 
results. 1 Among those who have testified in favour may be 
mentioned the Hon. John M. Kingman, late Judge of the United 
States Supreme Court, Ex-Chief Justice H. V. S. Groesbeck, and the 
Hon. W. S. Collins, President of the Big Horn Comet Irrigation 
Company. 2 The present Governor, Hon. John M. Carey, has 
kindly sent, on January 17th, 1913, the following for use in this 

" After watching the operation of Woman's Suffrage for many 
years in this state, during which time she has had equal opportuni- 
ties to vote and hold office, I say, without hesitation, that she has 
exercised her privileges wisely and well. So satisfactory has it 
been to the people of Wyoming that I do not believe one per cent, 
of the male population would vote to deprive her of the political 
privileges she enjoys. She votes and takes an interest in public 

" Our elections are quiet ; we never have any difficulty at the 
polls. Our public meetings are as free from noise and confusion as 
any public lecture or theatrical entertainment. Whenever a woman 
appears in a public place she is treated with profound respect ; 
when she approaches the polls the men stand back, raise their hats, 
and give her every opportunity to exercise her rights and duties 
without confusion or interference. 

" I do not believe there should be any discrimination between 
the sexes so far as suffrage is concerned. I am heartily in favour 
of women having the right to vote and hold office in this republic 
and in every limited monarchy." 

1 Where Women Vote, Bjorkman. - Testimony from Wyoming. 



Males Females 
Population, 1900 295,332 244,368 
School Suffrage 

Full equal suffrage and eligibility 
Number of women eligible to vote 1 
Percentage who vote 1 

Total Total, 1910 
539,700 799,024 




75 to 85 

Number of women voting. No full official returns are made 
giving the male and female votes separately. The following official 
figures of a large number of the more populous cities and counties 
Avere supplied by the then Governor. " Precinct 14, Ward 8, is a 
" well-to-do residential district with a large percentage of profes- 
" sional people ; Precinct 7, Ward 10, is a wealthy fashionable 
" neighbourhood; and Precinct 1, Ward 15, is an average section in 

a working class district. 

Elections of 1906 2 


Counties 3 
Cities ' 






131, 20S 

















Election of 1908 (Denver) 

Registered. Voting. 

Percentage of 
who voted. 
Men. Women. 

78.8 74.5 
96 83.2 
77 G8.G 

Percentage of 
who voted. 

Ward 8, Precinct 14, 
Ward 10, Precinct 7, 
Ward 14, Precinct 1, 
Denver City 




















A curious accusation has been brought against the woman vote 
in Colorado, namely, that the vote of the "' bad women " is 
detrimental. Figures go to show that this vote does not amount to 
more than one-third of one per cent, of the women's vote, so it is 
absurd to suggest that it counterbalances that of the other women. 

History." In 1877, the year after woman had gained theSchool 
suffrage, an amendment seeking to give women full equal suffrage 

1 Where Women Vote, Hjorkman. ' 2 Equal Suffrage, Sumner, pp. 103 and 107. 
n Nine counties are here included. 4 Nine cities are here included. 

5 Measuring up Equal Suffrage, Creel and Lindesay. 
u History of Woman Suffrage, Vol. IV., p. 509 etscq. 


was lost and for some years little progress was made. Following 
on the presentation of a petition to the legislature, in 1891, a Bill 
passed, in 1893, through the House by 34 votes to 27 and the 
Senate by 20 votes to 10. The party in power at the time, the 
Populists, had a woman suffrage plank in their programme and were 
supported by individuals in the other parties. The anti-suffragists 
made an unsuccessful attempt to have the Bill declared uncon- 
stitutional, because it was not in the form of a constitutional 
amendment, but they did succeed in having the ballot printed in a 
rather confusing way. The suffragists defended themselves by using 
a leaflet instructing the voters exactly where to place their cross, 
with the result that the poll, in November, 1893, showed a favourable 
majority of 6,347; for the suffrage 35,798, against 29,451. When 
the question was again put to the electors as the constitutional 
amendment that the word " male " should be struck out of the 
constitution, the majority in favour after the seven years of woman 
suffrage in practice rose to 17,000. 

Y/cmen in Official Positions. Women are eligible to all 
official positions. During the first fifteen years of enfranchisement 
nine had been elected to the House of Representatives. 1 Other 
positions occupied by women are those of magistrates, sheriffs, 
jurymen, city treasurers, clerks and auditors, aldermen, etc., etc. 
To the House of Representatives of 1911 four women were elected, 
the largest number so far to have sat in one House. 1 At the state 
election of 1910, 43 of the 62 County Superintendents of Schools 
were women. In all sixty-three women were, in 1910, elected to 
offices of power and responsibility. 1 At the 1912 election four 
women were elected to the House and one for the first time in 
Colorado to the State Senate. 

Legislation. A special woman's non-party legislative Com- 
mittee representative of the important women's societies passes in 
review every Bill and intimates to the Legislature whether the Bill is 
endorsed or condemned by it. 2 The following laws passed between 
1893 and 1908 may be taken as illustrative of the legislation in 
which women are specially interested. 1 

" Establishing a State Industrial Home for Girls, three of the 
five members of the Board of Control to be women (Laws of 1897, 
page 68) ; Removing the emblems from the Australian ballot — the 
nearest approach to adopting an educational qualification for 
suffrage (Laws of 1899, pages 177, 178) ; Establishing the 
indeterminate sentence for prisoners (Same, page 233) ; Requiring 
one woman physician on the board of the insane asylum (Same, 
page 259) ; Establishing parental or truant schools (Laws of 
1891, page 364) ; Providing for the care of feeble-minded (Same, 
page 177); For tree preservation (Same, page 185); For the 

1 Equal Suffrage in Colorado, 1893-1908. Published by the Colorado Equal 
Suffrage League. 

2 Ham f ton's Magazine, April, 1911. 


inspection of private eleemosynary institutions by the State Board 
of Charity (Laws of 1891, page 364) ; Requiring in the public 
schools lessons in the humane treatment of animals (Same, page 
362) : Making the Colorado Humane Society a State Bureau of 
Child and Animal 1 'rotection (Same, page l ( il) ; Establishing 
juvenile courts (Laws of 1903, page 179); Making education 
compulsory for all children between the ages of 8 and 16, except 
those who are ill or who are taught at home, and those who are 
over 14 who have completed the eighth grade, or whose parents 
need their help and support, and those children who must support 
themselves (Same, page 418); Making father and mother joint 
heirs of deceased child (Same, page 469) ; Providing that union 
high schools may be formed by uniting school districts adjacent 
to a town or city (Same, page 425) ; Establishing a State 
Travelling Library Commission, to consist of five women from the 
State Federation of Women's Clubs, appointed by the Governor 
(Same, page 252) ; Providing that any person employing a child 
under 14 in any mine, smelter, mill, factory or underground works 
shall be punished by imprisonment in addition to a fine (Same, 
page 310) ; Requiring joint signature of husband and wife to every 
chattel mortgage, sale of household goods used by the family, or 
conveyance or mortgage of a homestead (Same, chapter 75, page 
153) ; Forbidding children of 16 and under to work more than six 
hours a day in any mill, factory, store or other occupation that may 
be deemed unhealthful (Same, page 309) ; Providing " that no woman 
shall work more than eight hours a day at work requiring her to be 
on her feet (Laws of 1903, page 310) ; Making it a criminal 
offence to contribute to the delinquency of a child (Same, page 
298) ; Making it a misdemeanour to fail to support aged or infirm 
parents (Same, chap. 148, page 372) ; Prohibiting the killing of 
doves except in August (Same, chap. 112, page 232); Abolishing 
the binding out of girls committed to the Industrial School (Same, 
chap. 1 15, page 248). " J 

Women have been instrumental in securing the following laws 
in 1909. 2 Providing for the examination of the Eyes, Ears, Teeth 
and Breathing Capacity of School Children; Declaring the School 
for the Mute and Blind an Educational Institution, thus relieving 
them from the stigma of receiving public charity ; a Factory 
Inspection Bill, requiring three inspectors, one of whom must be a 
woman ; Creating a State Board of Immigration ; Appropriating 
Five Thousand Dollars for the Free Distribution of Diphtheria 
Antitoxin ; Creating a Home for the Feeble-minded and making an 
Appropriation therefore ; Authorising the Donation of State Lands 
for State Charitable or Philanthropic Institutions; Validating the 
Wills of Married Women ; Making it a felony to live on the 
earnings of a prostitute ; the Teachers' Pension Act, etc. ; in the 
session of 1910 laws dealing with child labour; raising the age of 

1 Woman Suffrage in Colcrad), 1893-1908, C.E.S.A. 

2 Woman Suffrage in Colorado, L908 L912. 

delinquency for girls ; compelling a man to support his wife and 
children ; providing teaching of the adult blind ; making non- 
support an extraditable offence ; pure food, etc. 1 

In addition to the Acts of the Legislature women were 
instrumental in ensuring the placing of drinking fountains and 
garbage receptacles in the streets ; the forbidding of spitting in 
public places; their influence has further helped to enforce the 
existing laws prohibiting child labour, requiring seats for shop 
assistants ; forbidding the sale of Liquor to minors and of tobacco to 
persons under 16 a (see also under Wyoming). 

Resolution of the State Legislature in January, 1899. The 
Colorado State Legislature passed, by a vote of 45 to 3 in the 
House and 30 to 1 in the Senate, the following resolution : 

Whereas, Equal suffrage has been in operation in Colorado for five 
years, during which time women have exercised the privilege as 
generally as men, with the result lhat better candidates have 
b( en selected for office, methods of election have been purified, 
the character of legislation improved, civic intelligence increased, 
and womanhood developed to greater usefulness hy political 
responsibility ; therefore, 
Resolved, by the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring, 
That in view of these results the enfranchisement of women in 
every State and Territory of the American Union is hereby 
recommended as a measure tending to the advancement of a 
higher and better social order. 
That an authenticated copy of these resolutions be forwarded by 
the Governor of the State to the Legislature of every State and 
Territory, and the Press be requested to call public attention to 
them. 3 

Statements by Prominent Men. Enquiries have been made 
regarding this experiment in Colorado as being the State more 
nearly resembling in general conditions old established states than 
are Wyoming, Utah and Idaho. To answer these enquiries and 
to rebut certain misrepresentations regarding the working of woman 
suffrage the following statement was issued in 1898, signed by the 
Governor, three ex-Governors, both United States Senators, two 
ex-Senators, both Members of Congress, the Chief Justice, the two 
Associate Justices of the Supreme Court, three Judges of the Court 
of Appeals, four Judges of the district court, the Secretary of State, 
the State Treasurer, the State Auditor, the Attorney General, the 
Mayor of Denver, the President of the State University, the 
President of Colorado College, and the Presidents and Officers of 
numerous Women's Club. 

" We, citizens of the State of Colorado, desire as lovers of 
truth and justice, to give our testimony to the value of equal 
suffrage. We believe that the greatest good of the home, the State, 
and the nation is advanced through the operation of equal suffrage. 
The evils predicted have not come to pass. The benefits claimed 

1 Woman Suffrage in Colorado, 1908-1912. 

2 Woman Suffrage in Colorado, 1893-1908, C.E.S.A. 

3 History of Woman Suffrage, Vol. IV.. p. 531. 


for it have been secured or are in progress of development. A 
very large proportion of Colorado women have conscientiously 
accepted their responsibilities as citizens. In 1894 more than half 
the total vote for Governor was cast by women. Between 85 and 
90 per cent, of the women of the State voted at that time. The 
exact vote of the last election has not yet been estimated, but there 
is reason to believe that the proportional vote of the women was as 
large as in previous years. The vote of the good women, like that 
of the good men, is involved in the evils resulting from the abuse of 
our present political system ; but the vote of women is noticeably 
more conscientious than that of men, and will be an important 
factor in bringing about a better order." 1 

In 191 1, as the result of an attack upon the workings of equal 
suffrage in Colorado, the men of the State formed the Colorado 
Equal Suit rage Aid Association, in order to supply accurate informa- 
tion and to correct misrepresentations. 1 Its President is ex-Governor 
Alva-Adams, and its Vice-President and Secretary are Hon. I. N. 
Stevens and Hon. Omar E. Garwood, both leading lawyers. On 
the Executive Committee are United States Marshall Dewey C. 
Bailey, Congressman John H. Martin, District Attorney George A. 
Carlson, ex-Judge Grant L. Hudson, Judge Harry C. Riddle, 
Congressman Edward T. Taylor, Congressman A. W. Rucker, 
District Attorney Walter M. Morgan, Deputy City Auditor Joseph 
J. Vich Roy, Dr. Barton G. Aylesworth, formerly President of the 
Colorado Agricultural College, and the Hon. W. W. Garwood, a 
leading lawyer. 

The Hon. John J. Shafroth has kindly forwarded to me a 
printed statement of his views from which the following is extracted. 

' For fourteen years, active Anti-Suffrage Associations in New 
York and Massachusetts have been diligently gathering every scrap 
of evidence against it they could find. So far as appears by their 
published literature, they have not yet found, in all our enfranchised 
States put together, a dozen respectable men, in or out of office, 
who assert over their own names and addresses that it has had any 
bad results." 1 

The Inter-Parliamentary Union, an international body, said 
that Colorado has the sanest, the most humane, the most progressive, 
the most scientific laws relating to the child to be found on any 
statute book in the world. (Note that the laws referred to practically 
all came into operation since the adoption of equal suffrage.)"' 

The Moseley Commission from England when it visited 
Colorado reported the Colorado schools to be among the best in the 
land. 3 

Judge Lindesay reports that the fear of the women's vote 
prevents the selection of candidates of bad moral character. 

1 Where Women Vote, Bjorkman. 

2 Measuring up Equal Suffrage, Creel and Lindesay. 
:i Woman Suffrage in Colorado, 1893-1908, C.E.S.A. 


Points of Interest. The death-rate in Colorado (1910) is 
13.8 as against 15 for the whole Registration area of the United 
States. 1 The percentage of illiterates, in 1900, 4.2 as against 10.7 
for the whole United States. 2 The Report of the Commissioner of 
Education for 1901-02 gives Colorado as the State which levies the 
highest rate for education purposes. 


Males Females Total Total, 1910 

Population, 1900 93,367 68,405 161,772 325,594 

Full equal suffrage and eligibility 1896 

Number of women eligible 68,000' 

Percentage, who vote 75 to 85 8 

History. 1 In 1887, three years before Idaho became a State, 
a woman suffrage bill was rejected, as it was feared it might 
endanger the acceptance of the State Constitution. In 1893, a 
constitutional amendment was lost by only two votes. The 
following year the Republican Party were returned to power pledged 
to woman suffrage. The next year the Senate decided unanimously, 
and the House by 33 to 2, to submit the question to a referendum. 
This was carried in 1896, by the sweeping majority of 5,844 ; 12,126 
ayes to 6,282 noes, at the small expense of $2,500. The decision 
was attacked unsuccessfully in the law courts on the plea that it 
required a majority of all the electors. At the following election, 
in 1898, 40 per cent, of the total vote was cast by the women 
and three were elected to the Legislature, a creditable result in a 
State where men so greatly out-number women. 

Women in Official Positions.' All offices are open to women 
and they have been elected to the House of Representatives and to 
various county and city offices. In 1900 the Legislature passed a 
bill exempting women from jury service, but this was vetoed by the 
Governor, in response to a protest from the women themselves. It 
is not customary for women to serve, however, except in special 

Legislation. The following laws are among those passed 
since the granting of the suffrage : 

Law making gambling illegal (Idaho Laws of 1899, page 389) ; 

1 The United States Year Book, 1911. 

2 Abstract of the 12th Census, U.S.A., of 1900, p. 75. 

3 Where Women Vote, Bjorkman. 

i History of Woman Suffrage, Vol. IV. 


raising the age of protection for girls to eighteen (Same, page 167) ; 
establishing libraries and reading rooms, and authorising a tax for 
their maintenance (Code of 1901, Section 994), requiring at least 3 
per cent, of school fund appropriated each year to be applied to 
maintain school libraries, the books to be chosen from a list com- 
piled by the State Board of Education (Same, Section 1065); 
establishing a State Library Commission, consisting of the President 
of the Slate University, the State Superintendent of Public 
Instruction, the Secretary of State and the Attorney General (Laws 
of 1903 ; House Pill 164); providing for a Department of Domestic 
Science in the State University (Same, page 438); Senate Bill 110 ; 
and for a course of lectures on domestic science in the Academy of 
Idaho (Laws of 1903 ; page 51, House Bill 52); establishing an 
Industrial Reform School (Same, page 95, House Bill 97); and 
giving a married woman the came right to control and dispose of 
her property as a married man (Same, page 345, Senate Bill, 35). 1 

They have also been instrumental in securing the passage of 
measures prohibiting the employment of children in certain industries, 
in creating a juvenile court and a State Humane Society, and in 
prohibiting persons of lewd lives, both men and women, from 

The Idaho State Federation of Women's Clubs has prepared 
for introduction into the next Legislature, bills providing for equal 
guardianship of children ; medical inspection of school children ; 
instruction in sex hygiene in the public schools ; the closing of 
houses of prostitution, and making venereal diseases reportable. 

J. PI. Hawley, a prominent lawyer of Boise, wrote in August, 
1904 : that many of the laws would not have passed without the 
advocacy of the women and that for some of them the women are 
absolutely responsible. See also under Wyoming. 

The administration of the law also is materially affected by the 
fact that women are voters. After the passing of the anti-gambling 
law certain District Courts declared it to have been illegally enacted 
and it was feared its benefits would be lost. The women of the 
city of Caldwell, however, secured the passing of an anti-gambling 
ordinance which could not be declared illegal. The gambling 
interests organised a petition to the Mayor and Council asking to 
have the ordinance set aside, but the women had organised a 
remonstrance, signed by most of the women in the city. The 
Council unanimously agreed to postpone the petition, whereas two 
years before the women had had equal suffrage, a petition they had 
presented on a moral question had been thrown aside. A remark 
made by one of the councillors brings out the change of the attitude 
of the public mind to enfranchised women. Referring to the last 
clause of the petition, " and we will ever pray," he said : — " When 
before did gamblers e\ ei pray and our mothers demand ? " 

Statements by Prominent Men. The Hon. T. M. Haines, 

' Fruits of Equal Suffrage, II. 


the present Governor, kindly wrote as follows (January 16th, 1913) 
for this publication : "It has, in general, been most satisfactory. 
" A large majority of women not only vote but vote intelligently, and 
" their participation in no sense disqualifies them for their household 
and other duties. Many of our most prominent and cultured women 
"have taken a leading part in advocating reforms which have been 
" of the utmost value to the people of our state." 

Among others who have testified are Ex-Governors J. II. 
Hawley, B. Brady, F. W. Hunt, United States Senators W. E. 
Borah, Weldon B. Heyburn, Ex-Congressman Burton, E. French, 
Ex- Attorneys. H. Hays, Ex-JusticeRalphP.Quarlesof the Supreme 
Court, Rev. C. E. Helman, Rev. M. Pramblet, Rev. J. C. Cowden, 
Rev. C. A. Quin, etc. 1 The consensus of opinion is that it has 
the effect of securing the selection of better men as candidates ; 
that the women are more independent voters ; that no righteous 
cause need fear the women's vote. 


Males Females Total Total, 1910 
Population, 1909 141,687 135,062 276,749 373,449 

Equal suffrage during Territorial Days 1370-1877 3 

Full equal suffrage and eligibility 1896 2 

Number of women eligible 55,500 :! 

Percentage of women eligible who Yote 85 to 90 3 

History. 2 It is not the fault of the men of Utah that this state 
did not immediately follow Wyoming. In 1870, the Territorial 
Legislature of Utah granted women the suffrage without eligibility. 
Under this Act they voted for seventeen years till they were 
deprived of the right by the Edmunds Tucker Law of the United 
States, which declared the women's vote in Utah to be illegal. 
Suffragists from all parts of the States petitioned the President to 
refuse to assent to the measure, but without success. This roused 
the women of Utah to remarkable activity. Their non-party work 
induced both Parties at the election of 1894 to put Woman Suffrage 
on their programme. The following year the Convention which 
drew up the State Constitution added a woman suffrage clause 
which was ratified by the male electorate by 28,618 ayes to 2,687 
noes, a truly remarkable evidence that the practice of women's 
suffrage breaks down opposition. The State was formally admitted 
to the Union in 1896. 

Number of Women Yoting. The following official returns 

1 Testimony from Idaho. a History of Woman Suffrage, Vol. IV. 

3 When Women Vote, Bjorkman. 


were made at the request of the Governor for sixteen of the most 
populous counties at the election in 1900. 1 

Men Women Total 









Did not vote 



In five of the counties the percentage of women voting was 
greater than that of the men. Women cast nearly 50 per cent, of 
the vote notwithstanding that by the census males constitute 51 
per cent, of the population. 1 

Women in Official Positions." Women are eligible to all 
State Offices. One woman was elected to the first State Senate and 
several have been elected to the House of Representatives. In the 
present House there are four women. 3 They have been appointed 
in considerable numbers as county clerks, treasurers, recorders, 
auditors, assessors and county superintendents of schools. They 
have the right to sit on juries but have also the privilege of exemp- 
tion in the same way as lawyers, editors and ministers, so that they 
do not customarily serve. 

Legislation. Of legislation introduced by women members 
and carried into law was a Bill brought into the House in 1897 by 
Mrs. Barthe forbidding women to wear large hats in places of 
public entertainment. In the Senate, Dr. Martha Hughes Cannon 
succeed in passing measures to educate the deaf, mute and blind ; 
another, requiring seats for women employees ; another, regulating 
the sanitary measures of the State. The following are some of the 
laws in which the women's vote was certainly a contributory 
factor : — 

Laws providing that women teachers in the public schools 
shall receive equal pay with men for equal work, when holding 
certificates of the same grade (Revised Statutes of Utah, Sec. 1853 ; 
Laws of 1896, page 85; 1897, page 132); raising the age of 
protection for girls to 18 (Same, Sec. 4,221 ; Laws of 1896, page 
87) ; establishing free public libraries in cities and towns (Laws of 
1899, page 121) : requiring in all schools and educational institutions 
supported wholly or partly by public funds, systematic instruction 
in physiology and hygiene, including the effects of stimulants and 
narcotics (Same, Sec. 1829 ; Laws of 1897, page 127) ; creating a 
State Art Institute (Laws of 1899, page 47) ; providing a course of 
free lectures every year at the capital, on sanitary science, hygiene 
and nursing (Laws of 1903, Chapter 102); for a curfew bell at 
9 p.m. to keep children under 14 off the streets (Same, Chapter 89) ; 
making it a misdemeanour for any minor under 18 to buy, accept, 
or have in his possession cigarettes, tobacco, opium or any other 

1 History of Woman Suffrage, Vol. IV., p. 952. 
Where Women Vote, Bjcrkman. :1 The Woman's Journal, December 28th, 1912. 


narcotic (Laws of 1903, Chapter 135, page 186) ; providing for the 
protection of dependent neglected or ill-treated boys under 14 and 
girls under 16, and for the punishment of persons responsible for 
their care who neglect or ill-treat them (Same, Chapter 124) ; and 
requiring the establishment of kindergartens in all school districts 
having a population of 2,000 or more (Same, Chapter 1 14, page 130). ' 

Writing of these Acts in 1904 the President of the Utah 
Federation of Women's Clubs said : l " The bills that relate to 
women and children have generally been presented by some 
woman's organisation, usually a federated club. The club having 
the matter at heart asks the endorsement of every other federated 
club in the State. Some attorney is asked to draw up the bill, and 
then someone friendly to the bill is asked to present it. When the 
bill is up before the Senate or House, the halls are thronged with club 
women interested in its passage. We have found little difficulty in 
getting the bills through the Legislature." 

Other measures are in force prohibiting traffic in women ; 
prohibiting the employment of children in certain industries ; 
prohibiting the employment of women for more than a nine hours' 
day or fifty-four hours a week ; providing for medical examination 
of school children ; authorising boards of health to take certain 
steps to protect the public against venereal disease ; providing for 
sanitary inspection of slaughter houses and other places where 
foodstuffs are prepared ; forcing wife deserters to pay a certain sum 
for the support of their families ; women have practically the same 
rights over their independent property as men. 2 See also under 

Statements of Prominent Men. Governor Heber M. Wells 
says that the influence of women in politics has been distinctly 
elevating; Governor John C. Culter that it is an integral part of 
civil life and that women have been broadened and bettered intel- 
lectually and socially ; U.S. Senator George Sutherland, a one-time 
opponent, that its practical operation has converted him. 3 The 
present Governor writes that he has never heard a complaint that 
the ballot causes women to neglect their homes or quarrel with their 
husbands (Jan. 23rd, 1913). Of the Mayors of Utah who were 
asked whether they recommended woman suffrage in cities, every 
one of the thirty-seven who replied answered ' Yes." 4 

Points of Interest. In the official abstract of the Census of 
1900 on page 75, the percentage of illiterates in Utah is given as 3.1, 
whereas the average for the United States is so high as 10.7. The 
American Year Book of 1911 gives the average death-rate in the 
registration area of the United States as 15 per thousand; that of 
Utah is so low as 10.8, indicating a remarkably high level of health 
in the community. Utah has the largest proportion of home owners 
of any State in the Union. 

1 Fruits of Equal Suffrage, II. 2 Where Women Vote, Bjorkman. 

s Testimony from Utah. * Mayors of five States, McCulloch, 



Male Female Total Total, 1910 

Population, 1900 304,178 213,925 518,103 1,141,990 

Suffrage exercised by women for the Territorial 

legislature 1883-1887 1 

School suffrage, granted to women 1890 1 

Full equal suffrage and eligibility 1910 

Number of women eligible' 170,000 

Percentage eligible who vote 2 85 to 95 

History. Before Washington became a state the women in 
the Territory were enfranchised in 1883. The technical form of the 
law was declared illegal by the courts in 1887, but the legislature 
immediately re-enacted it in the correct form (1888). A further 
objection was then taken to it on the ground that the Territory had 
no power to enfranchise its women, and on this point, following that 
strange double standard of logic for women, the court decided (1888) 
that the law was unconstitutional, notwithstanding that the Act of 
Congress which had set up the Territory provided that at elections 
subsequent to the first, all persons should be allowed to vote upon 
whom the Territorial Legislature might confer the elective franchise. 

When the Territory became a State on November 5th, 1889, 
the voting on the Woman Suffrage Amendment was, in favour 
16,521; against 35,913; majority against, 19,392. Not till 1897 
did the Legislature again decide to send the question to a referendum. 
By a mean trick at the very end of the Session, when the Bill was 
supposed to have been signed, it was discovered that the true Bill 
had been stolen and a worthless substitute had received the signature. 
There was time and no more to have the mistake rectified. The 
vote on this occasion showed an advance, being for the women 
20,658 ; against 30,540 ; majority against, 9,882. 1 The measure 
finally passed in 1910 by a vote of three to one. The women at 
once registered in large numbers and had their first great triumph 
when they succeeded in unseating the Mayor of Seattle, who, in their 
opinion, was not occupying his post in the best interests of the 
State. Washington has (March, 1913), two women members of its 
House of Representatives/ 

1 History of Woman Suffrage, Vol. IV. 2 Where Women Vote, Bjorkman. 

3 Woman's Journal, January 25th, 1913. 



M ile Female Total Total, 1910 
Population, 1 1900 820,531 664,522 1,485,053 2,377,549 
Full equal suffrage and eligibility October 10th, 1911 

Number of women eligible 2 670,967 

Percentage of women eligible who vote 2 90 to 99 

History. The Women's Suffrage Society formed in this State 
in 1870, had its question first submitted to a referendum in 1896, 
when it was defeated by 26,744 votes; 110,355 ayes to 137,099 
noes. s Victory was registered on October 10th, 1911, by the 
favourable majority of 4,000. 2 The addition of this important 
State more than doubled the number of women voters in the United 

Number of Women Ycting. 4 The first election at which 
women voted was in the town of Los Angeles, the second city in 
the state with 325,000 inhabitants. The election was in November, 
soon after the declaration of the women's triumph ; 82,546 women, 
not only suffragists but antis, enrolled, and, although there were 
30,000 more men than women registered, more than half the total 
vote was cast by women. In the town of Santa Barbara, where 
men also out-number women, 500 more women than men registered, 
95 per cent, of all who were eligible. 


Male Female Total Total, 1910 
Population, 1900 71,795 51,136 122,931 204,354 

School Board suffrage and eligibility for women 1885 5 

Full equal suffrage and eligibility November 5th, 1912 

Number of women eligible to vote, about 50,000 

History. In 1899 a Woman Suffrage Bill passed the House 
of the Territorial Legislature by ten votes to five only to be blocked 
in the Council. 6 At one time the Bill passed both Houses only to 
be vetoed by the Governor. The Constitution adopted in 1911, 
when Arizona was admitted into the Union, omitted woman suffrage. 
The women, however, at once availed themselves of the new 

1 The Statesma/i's Year Book. 

2 Where Women Vote, Bjorkman. 

8 History of Women's Suffrage, Vol. IV., pp. 478 and 492. 

4 Jus Suffragii, December, 1911, and January, 1912. 

5 Letter from Frances W. Munds. Arizona Equal Suffrage Central 

fi History of Woman Suffrage, Vol. IV. 


powers of initiative and referendum and in two months had secured 
700 more than the necessary 15 per cent, of electors to demand a 
referendum. The fact that Roosevelt's Progressive Party had 
adopted woman suffrage was the effective lever which made each 
of the four parties also include woman suffrage in their programmes. 
All the Labour organisations passed woman suffrage resolutions, 
and the support of the head of the Western Miners' Federation 
helped to carry 95 per cent, of the Labour vote. 1 November 5th, 
1912, showed a sweeping victory with a vote of two to one in every 
county; 13,442 ayes to 6,202 noes. 2 One city election has since 
been held, at which women registered and voted in large numbers. 1 


Male Female Total Total, 1910 

Population, 1900 3 768,716 706,779 1,470,495 1,690,949 

Limited school suffrage and eligibility for women 1861 

Town Council and Town School Board suffrage 
and eligibility for women with the right to vote 
on the issue of bonds for school purposes 1887 4 

Bond suffrage for women 1903 5 

Full equal suffrage and eligibility for women Nov. 5th, 1912 

Number of women eligible, about 400,000 


Number of Women who vote in Municipal Elections. No 

complete returns are available but the following figures show that 
a large number of women vote. 

Voters at Municipal Elections in Kansas State 


1887 4 

1901 4 

191 V' 







253 cities 















Fort Scott 













Of the above returns those for the 253 cities were made up 
from official returns. Those of 1911 are also official figures 
of an election for the Mayor and other four members of the Board 
of Commissioners. At the Topeka election of 1911, there were 

1 Letter from Frances W.Munds. Arizona Equal Suffrage Central Committee. 

2 The Woman's Journal, February 1st, 1913. 

3 The Statesman's Year Book, 1912. 

4 History of Woman Suffrage, Vol. IV. 

5 Mayors of Five States, McCulloch. 

' Kansas Equal Sufirage Association, Letter. 

I ) 

10,948 men ; I and 7,268 women, giving the percentage of 

voters to those U'.lm '.< i ■' for men and 84 for women. 2 

Women in Official Positions. 1 Women since November, 1912, 
are eligible to all official positions. In the first seven years of 
Municipal suffrage about fifty women had been alderman, five 
police judges, one city attorney, etc. In 1896, a return from half 
the counties showed that twenty women were county superin- 
tendents of schools and 554 were serving on school boards. By 
1900 about twenty-five women had been elected mayors of the 
smaller towns, in several cases the whole board of aldermen were 
women. In 1910 forty-nine women were county superintendents 
of schools. 3 

History. 1 ' Kansas is one of the pioneer states, having started 
a Women's Rights Association in 1859. The State Association, 
founded in 1884, had its first success in 1887, when Municipa 
suffrage and eligibility was gained. Kansas has the distinction of 
being the only not fully enfranchised state in the Union where 
women voted for Town Councils. A referendum vote on equal 
suffrage in 1894 gave a majority against of 34,837; ayes 95,302; 
noes 130J139. 1 The very strenuous campaign in 1912 brought 
success on November 5th by a majority of 16,079 ; ayes 175,276, 
noes 159,197. It was strictly non-party and the women attribute 
their success partly to the fact that Kansas had for thirty-two years 
been a prohibition state, so that the liquor interests, which are 
opposed to woman suffrage, had no centres in which to congregate 
their forces, and partly to the fact that the experience of fifty years 
of school suffrage and twenty-five of municipal had to some extent 
broken down prejudice. In the final campaign the Men's League 
formed a strong ally, and women's organisations other than the 
suffrage societies officially asked for the ballot. "Less than $16,000 
was expended in the campaign to enfranchise about 400,000 women. 
Four cents per woman was not an extravagant price for full 
political liberty." 2 

Statements by Prominent Men. To a letter from Catherine 
W. McCulloch, a lawyer, addressed to the mayors of the cities of 
Kansas asking as one of several questions whether they recommended 
woman suffrage for cities, there were fifty-three replies. Of these 
forty-three recommended woman suffrage. One did not, and nine 
failed to answer this question. 4 

Among those who have testified to the benefits of Municipal 
suffrage in this state are — Governor E. W. Hoch, Ex-Chief Justice 
Albert H. Horton and Ex-Governor Lyman N. Humphrey." 

1 History of Woman Suffrage, Vol. IV., p. 638 et seq. 

2 Kansas Equal Suffrage Association, Letter. 

3 The Woman's Journal, February 22nd, 1913. 

4 Mayors of Five States, McCulloch. 

5 Test of Experiment. N.A.W.S.A. 




Male Female Total Total, 1911' 
Population, 1903' 232,985 180,551 413,536 672,765 

Woman suffrage for School Trustees and School 

Taxes 1878 

Suffrage and eligibility to School Boards for women 1 898 s 

Full equal suffrage and eligibility Nov. 5th, 1912 

Number of women eligible to vote, about 180,000 

History. In 1884 the question was lost by a majority of 
6,953 ; 11,223 ayes, to 28,176 noes. Sixteen years later (1900) the 
adverse majority was reduced to 2,137; 26,265 ayes to . noes. 3 
In that year an amendment to the Oregon Constitution provided for 
the initiative by means of which a petition from 8 per cent, of the 
voters could every two years demand a referendum. Following on 
this the suffragists secured on every possible occasion the necessary 
8 per cent, voters' petition and the consequent referendum, in 1902, 
1904, 1906, 1908, 1910 and 1912. Every time the suffrage vote 
increased, though the women were not successful till the eighth time 
of asking, the majority being 4,161 ; 61,265 ayes to 57,104 noes. 4 


Population, 1910 64,356. 

Full equal suffrage 1913 


Males Females Total 

Population, 1911 3,821,050 3,383,742 7,204,772 

Municipal suffrage granted to women in— 

Ontario 1884 Manitoba 1888 Prince Edward 

New Brunswick 1886 British Columbia Island 1888 

Nova Scotia 1887 1888 Quebec 1892 

1 Abstract of U.S.A. Census of 1900. 

2 The Statesman's Year Book, 1912. 

3 History of Woman Suffrage, Vol. IV., pp. 891 ct seq. 

4 The Woman's Journal, January 4th, 1913. 

5 Sec. Oregon Equal Suffrage Association 

6 The dates before l')00 are taken from The History of Woman Siiffi 
Vol. IV., exc spt the County Council date, 


Women have School Suffrage wherever it exists throughout 
Canada, and have eligibility except in Quebec. 

School suffrage granted to women : School eligibility granted : 
British Columbia 1891 British Columbia 1891 

Prince Edward Island 1899 New Brunswick 1893 

(compulsory in 1896) 
Nova Scotia 1895 

Prince Edward Island 1899 
County Council suffrage for women in New Brunswick since 1886. 1 

The following list, which does not pretend to be exhaustive, gives 
years in which woman suffrage for the Legislature has been before 
the legislative body concerned. 

Dominion Legislature. 

Bill including women introduced by Prime Minister, 

but women's clause defeated by 51 votes to 78 1883-1885 

Petition for the Parliamentary franchise, on behalf 
of the W.C.T.U., and memorials from the 
provinces 1894 

Bill including woman suffrage introduced by 
private member but only passed its second 
reading circa 1894 

Resolution for woman suffrage lost by 40 votes to 105 circa 1894 

Largely signed petition from Federal voters 

throughout the Dominion 1896 

Deputation waited on the Premier of the Dominion 

23rd Sept., 1912 

New Brunswick Legislature. 

Bills defeated or blocked 1886, 1895, 1898, 1909, 1910, 1911 

Manitoba Legislature. 

Bill defeated by 2S votes to 11 1892 

Ontario Legislature. 

Bill defeated by 53 votes to 16 1893 

Deputation of 1,000 men and women presented a 

petition signed by 100,000 people of Ontario 24th Mar., 1909 

Quebec Legislature. 

Bill defeated 1898 

Nova Scotia Legislature. 

Bill defeated by a majority of 27 1899 

History. The Government of Canada is in the hands of a 
Central Dominion Legislature, with eight provincial legislatures. 
The Senate or Upper House of the Dominion Legislature is a 

1 Letter from Mrs. W. Frank Hathaway, St John, New Brunswick. 


nominated body ; the electors for the Lower House of the Dominion 
Legislature are those who are qualified as voters for the Provincial 
Legislatures, each of which bodies is empowered to define the 
qualifications of its own electorate. Bills seeking to enfranchise 
women for the legislature have been introduced both in the 
Dominion and in the Provincial Parliaments, but such measures 
have always been blocked or defeated. 

Qualifications for the Municipal and School Suffrage. 1 In 
Prince Edward Island, widows and spinsters being property 
holders have the municipal franchise, the school franchise, and 
women are eligible to sit on school boards. 

In New Brunswick, 2 widows and spinsters being ratepayers 
have the Municipal and the County franchise. There is no school 
franchise but women have been eligible to sit on school boards 
since 1893, and since 1896 it has been compulsory to have two 
women on each such Board, which is appointed by the Provincial 
Board of Education and the Municipal Council. 

In Nova Scotia the Municipal franchise is exercised by every 
woman who (l) is of the full age of 21 years, (2) is a British subject 
by birth or naturalisation, and (3) was at the time of the last 
assessment assessed as to property to the value of one hundred and 
fifty dollars, or in respect of personal property, or real and personal 
property together, to the value of three hundred dollars. Provided 
that no married woman shall be entitled to vote under this section, 
whose husband is entitled to vote. Chapt. 4, Sec. 7, R.S. 1900. 
The School franchise is exercised by widows and spinsters who are 
ratepayers. Women are eligible to School boards. 

In Quebec the Municipal franchise is exercised by widows 
and spinsters who are property holders. In the city of Montreal 
widows, spinsters and wives separated from their husbands who are 
assessed as tenants have also this right. The School franchise is 
also exercised by widows and spinsters owning property. Women 
are not eligible to sit. 

In Ontario the Municipal franchise is exercised by spinsters 
and widows assessed as owners or occupants or property assessed 
for not less than $400. All women, married or single, who are 
taxed as property owners are entitled to vote on money bye laws 
when such are submitted. For the school franchise any woman, 
married or single, who is a rate-payer to any extent, is entitled to 
vote and is eligible for office. 

In Manitoba, the Municipal and the School franchise is 
exercised by any woman ratepayer. Women are eligible for office 
on School Boards. 

In Alberta and Saskatchewan the Municipal franchise is 
exercised by widows and spinsters. In Edmonton and Calgary 

1 Legal Status of Canadian Women, by H. E. Edwards, 190S, is the 
authority for the qualifications except in New Brunswick. 

2 Letter from Mrs. W. Frank Hathway St. John, New Brunswick. 


married women being property owners also have the right. The 
School franchise is exercised by every rate-payer and women are 
eligible for office. Ord. 1996, No. 2, Sec. 17, 31. 

In British Columbia the Municipal franchise is exercised by 
widows and spinsters being freeholders. In Victoria, Vancouver, 
New Westminster and Nanaimo, women whose names are on the 
assessment roll, have the right to vote for school trustees anH are 
eligible for office. In all other parts of the province the wives of 
voters in a school district have the right to vote for and to serve as 
school trustees. 

Number of women eligible to Yote. Since, with the excep- 
tion of British Columbia, where wives have the School vote, the 
franchise is based either on a property or ratepaying qualification, 
the number of women eligible to vote must be small when compared 
with the number of men. 


Males Females Total 
Population, 1911 29,374 20,084 40,458 

Municipal suffrage for women in the capital town of Belise 1911 

The Governor of British Honduras in a letter dated December 
12th, 1912, informed me that in the previous year an elective Town 
Board had been constituted, women being entitled to vote inasmuch 
as they were ratepayers. " His excellency sees no reason whatever 
to suppose that the extension of the suffrage in Municipal matters 
will not be for the benefit of the community." 


Population according to the last census (1909), 3,059,324. Men, 
1,520,810; Women, 1,538,514. 

Communal franchise (rural), without eligibility for women 1863 

Communal franchise (urban), without eligibility for women 1872 

Political franchise and eligibility for women 1907 

Communal Franchise. It was as early as the year 1863, the 
year that marks the beginning of a new political awakening in 
Finland, that women were given the communal franchise in rural 
districts. The Finnish Diet in 1872 conceded this right to 
women taxpayers in towns as well. 1 As, however, the qualification 
is fairly high, the number of women qualified for the communal 
vote is not very great. 

During the session of the Finnish Diet in the year 1897, a 
petition was brought in by Senator Leo Michelin demanding that 
women should have the right to stand for election as well. This 
bill was passed by the Four Estates but rejected by the Govern- 
ment on the ground that the women were " not yet ripe " for it. In 
the meantime a bill had been introduced in the newly constituted 
Single Chamber Diet, providing for the complete equality of men 
and women in communal elections. This bill has, however, not yet 
been made law. So there exists in Finnish law the following 
remarkable anomaly that while a woman can be elected as a 
member of the Finnish Diet she cannot be elected as a member 
of a town council. 

Ecclesiastical Franchise. Since 1896, every owner of pro- 
perty both in towns and in the country, as well as the head of every 
household, has had the right to participate in ecclesiastical elections 
without any distinction on account of sex. 

Political Franchise. It is scarcely thirty years ago since the 
first beginning of the movement for the political enfranchisement 

1 In Finland there exists, corresponding in some degree to the urban 
communes, composed of citizens and rural communes composed of land owners 
to be found in most German States, two kinds of communal electoral rolls, the 
one for the urban communes the other for the country districts. 


of women in Finland. It was in the year 1884 that the question 
was first brought under discussion in the Finnish Diet. On that 
occasion two members of the nobility brought in a petition demand- 
ing the suffrage for women who paid taxes. In the autumn of the 
same year an appeal was made through the press by the newly- 
founded Woman's Union (the Finsk Kvinnsforening) to the House 
of Representatives asking that women should be given the political 

In the year 1897 a petition on similar lines was presented to 
the Municipal Chamber. It was pointed out in this petition that 
the extension of the male franchise was only a question of time, 
and that in view of this extension the injustice of excluding women 
merely on account of their sex would become an even greater 
injustice. This petition however never got the length of being 
considered by the commission. 

During the nineties the already existing women's organisations 
as well as the association founded in 1892 (Kvinnosaks forbundet 
unionen), which from the beginning had worked for the political 
emancipation of women — devoted their energies to other aspects of 
the woman's movement, and work for woman's suffrage was 
temporarily in abeyance. This was due to the grave situation in 
which the country found itself during those years and to the danger 
that threatened the very existence of Finland as a nation. It would 
have been a political blunder to have brought forward any reform 
for women under the conditions then existing in Parliament. The 
question however was not neglected during these years and received 
at least abstract treatment at the hands of Lucina Hayman, 
president of the union, Ida Molander, who even in those days had 
the courage to demand that women should themselves be capable 
of election as well as of electing others, Adelaide Ehrensooth, 
Helena Westermarck, and others. But from the public opinion of 
those days, demands such as these met as yet with no sympathy. 

In 1899 the blow which had so long been threatening Finland 
fell. Finland was deprived of her constitution and her right to 
self-government was imperilled. She was reduced to a state of 
servile dependence and national mourning. Every day brought 
with it fresh sorrows. Language, religion, national customs, all 
that a country holds most sacred was at stake. Like a call to 
battle rang through the length and breadth of the country the 
summons to a passive resistance of all illegal measures. The great 
majority of the nation responded to this summons and hundreds, 
nay rather thousands of women, of all ranks, who had until then 
thought seldom if ever of their rights or want of rights, made 
common cause with the opposition and proffered their help, an offer 
which was welcomed with enthusiasm. A secret society, with 
branches all over the country, was founded in which an active part 
was taken by the women. It was during these dark days that 
their interest in politics was awakened, as was also a sense of 
responsibility for the future of their country. The longing to share 


the responsibility with the men became henceforward a driving 
force in the lives of Finnish women. 

The first public meeting on behalf of Woman's Suffrage took 
place at Helsingfors on November 7th, 1904, shortly before the 
opening of the Diet. It was got up by the Woman's Associations 
Union and about 1,000 women belonging to all the political parties 
took part in it. The women belonging to the upper classes as a 
rule stood for the demand for the vote "on the same terms as men 
have or may have it." The women belonging to the Social 
Democratic Party on the other hand stood for an equal, direct 
universal suffrage by ballot for both men and women. A resolution 
was carried on the latter lines demanding for women the right to 
elect and stand for election in a universal direct suffrage by ballot. 
This meeting formed an epoch in the short campaign for Woman's 
Suffrage in Finland. It is interesting to note that on this occasion 
there appeared for the first time on the programme of the union the 
demand for the right of women to stand for election. Addresses of 
sympathy poured in from all parts of the country signed by 
hundreds of women. Many of these gave expression to what was 
then the universal conviction, that it would be only when the 
constitutional rights of Finland were once more fully recognised 
that political rights would have any real meaning for women or for 
any one else. 

The Woman's Association (Finsk Kvinnoforening), which 
since 1893 had had on its programme the demand for the political 
franchise on the same terms as men have it, arranged at the 
time lectures on the subject of woman's suffrage. The women 
of the Social Democratic Party too worked hard for the cause. 
So it came to pass that when the year 1905 — a most momentous 
year for Finland — brought about by means of a national strike 
the emancipation of the country, public opinion had by this time 
advanced so far as to be ready to grant full citizenship to the women 
of Finland. All the political parties declared themselves in favour 
of this step. 1 

At the end of the national strike the union convened another 
woman's suffrage meeting, to which delegates came from every part 
of the country, and at which the same resolution was again passed 
amid much enthusiasm. A central committee for woman's rights 
was appointed to press the demand with still greater determination, 
with the result that on May 28th, 1906, the Diet conceded this 
reform without one single dissentient vote. 

The Electoral Reform Bill of July 20th, 1906, definitely enfran- 
chised women. This bill abolished the antiquated system, which had 
until then prevailed in Finland, of a chamber composed of four 
estates (nobles, clergy, burghers and peasants), replacing it by a 
single chamber with 200 deputies elected by universal, direct ballot. 

1 The Social Democrats had as early as the year iooi, on the occasion of 
their first conference at Forssa, put woman suffrage on their programme. 


With universal suffrage was introduced a system of proportional 
election. On July 20th, 1907, the Czar, as Grand Duke of Finland, 
signed the new electoral law, that put women in full possession of 
their rights as citizens. 

The qualification for women voters is naturally the same as 
that for men. In section 5 of the electoral law it is stated that 
" every Finnish citizen (man or woman) who has reached his or her 
24th year is eligible as a voter. The following however are 
excepted: 1. Persons in active military service. 2. Persons 
under tutors and guardians. 3. Persons whose names have not 
been entered on the register in Finland during the last three years. 
4. Persons who for other reasons than poverty, have not paid taxes 
for the last two years. 5. Persons who habitually (not only 
occasionally) have been personally in receipt of poor relief. 6, 7, 8, 9. 
Bankrupts, vagrants, persons who have lost their right as citizens 
and those who on account of dishonesty at elections have been 
penalised under certain conditions. 

Section 6 of the electoral law provides that every one who is 
entitled to vote for members for the Diet is also eligible for 
election without taking residence into account. As a concession to 
the women it is to be observed that by virtue of section 8 it is allowed 
that a deputy dispense with a mandate. 

The Finnish towns show a majority of 240-576 women voters in 
every 1,000 male voters. In rural districts the majority is only one 
of from 22-110 women. Although according to these figures 
women voters are in the majority, yet the actual number of votes 
recorded by women in all these electoral districts in which statistics 
are available, is less than the number of votes recorded by men. In 
towns where women are in a very large majority, the number of votes 
recorded by women was certainly larger than that recorded by men. 
In view of the general returns it would appear that those living in 
the country take a more lively interest in the elections than do those 
who live in the towns. 

The first general election took place in the middle of the month 
of March 1907. The women candidates were not in special lists 
and only came forward in relatively small numbers. In this, as in 
all subsequent elections the women have acted in concert with the 
men to whose various parties they belonged. 

That women do not abuse the suffrage to vote in an exclusively 
feminist interest the following chosen out of many similar examples, 
will go to prove. 

According to the proportional electoral system every voting 
ticket contains the names of three candidates, amongst whom the 
voter divides his vote in certain proportions. Up to this time no 
voting ticket has ever been presented containing more than one 
woman's name to that of two men's names. This moderation on 
the part of the women is all the more remarkable, as there are such 
large numbers of them and they are known to take so active a part 
in the working of the party organisations in which are decided the 


grouping of the candidates and the composition of the voting 

The women deputies belong to every rank of society. There 
have been and are now represented among them, teachers, 
authoresses, editors, dressmakers, doctors of philosophy, public 
officials, social workers, peasants' wives and persons engaged in 
trades and crafts. The majority are over 40 years of age and 
married. Three of them were themselves the wives of deputies. 
Three during their term of office gave birth to children without on 
that account being absent from their duties more than a few weeks. 

The following tables will give an idea of the relative numbers 
of men and women taking part in the elections between the years 
1907 and 1911. 1 


Number of those 

Number of Votes Percentage of 

Qualified to Vote 

recorded votes recorded 








No figures recorded 





401,191 689 60-3 





412,780 70-5 605 





386,683 649 55 8 





387,603 65 3 54-8 

Strength of the various parties in the Diet from 1909-1911. 





Agrarian Christian Total numbe 





Party Labour of Deputies 





M. W. 

M. W. 

M. W. 

M. W. 

M. W. M. W. M. W. 


71 9 

53 6 

24 2 

23 1 

8 1 2 — 181 19 


70 13 

48 6 

25 2 

22 3 

8 1 2 — 175 25 


72 12 

44 4 

28 1 

21 4 

13 — 1 — 179 21 


76 10 

40 2 

26 2 

23 3 

17 — 1 — 183 17 


77 9 

42 1 

27 1 

23 3 

16 — 1 — 186 14 

The number of women deputies on the standing committees 
of the Finnish Diet, the various bills and petitions brought in by 
the women and the average number of speeches made by the 
women in comparison with the number made by men deputies — 
will be seen from the following tables : 

Number of 
men and women Number of women members of the Committees 

members of in the Finnish Diet 

Committee Committee 

1907 1908 I. 1908 II. 1909 II. 1910 1911 
Ord. Sup. Ord. Sup. Ord. Sup. Ord. Sup. Ord. Sup. Ord. Sup. Ord. Sup 

5—7 7—3—4 — 

- 1—2 11— 1 — — 2 

L — 1 1 1 2 1 2 1 1 — 

Grand Committee 




Constitutional Law 




From 1910 


National Committee 




From 1910 



Legislation Com- 





From 1910 


Finance Committee 




12 15132212 — 

2 2 12 111 — 

1 These figures are taken from an article by Vera Hjelt, a factory inspector 
and member of the Finnish Diet. The account of the social and political work 
done by men and women in Finland appeared in an article in the July number 
of 1912 of the Dohumente der Forschritts, Georg Reimer, Berlin. 


Number of women members of the Committees 
in the Finnish Diet 

Number of 
men and women 
members of 
Committee Committee 

1907 1908 I. 1908 II. 1909 II. 1910 1911 
Ord. Sup. Ord. Sup. Ord. Sup.Ord. Sup. Ord. Sup. Ord. Sup. Old. Sup 


From 1910 

Law and Finance 

Committee 16 

From 1910 17 
Social Questions 

Committee 16 

From 1910 17 
Public Worship 

Committee 16 

From 1910 17 
Local Government 

Committee 16 
From 1910 17 
Agriculture Com- 
mittee 16 
From 1910 17 
Railway Committee 16 
From 1910 17 
Banks Committee 12 
From 1910 13 
Traffic Committee 9 
Adjustment Com- 
mittee 9 
Election Committee 45 

Bills and Petitions 

introduced by women 

deputies relating to 

The Rights of Women 
The Welfare of Children 
Social, Church and 

Economic Questions 
Supreme Court 



8 3 

8 — — 2 

No Committee 



1 — 












Number of Bills and Petitions brought into 
the Finnish Diet in the years 

1908 I. 1908 II. 1909 II. 1910 1911 1907-1911 
11 12 9 6 5 51 
8 7 5 1 2 33 
















Bills and Petitions 

introduced by women 

deputies relating to 

Total number of Bills and 

Petitions introduced 218 
Average per man 

,, woman 

Number of Bills and Petitions brought into 

the Finnish Diet in the vears 
1908 I. 1908 II. 190911. 1910 1911 1907-1911 

226 224 



130 1197 

Bills and Petitions intro- 
duced by men and 
women together 

Average number of 

speeches made by 

male deputies 
Average number of 

speeches made by 

women deputies 










115 111 


65 46 4-1 

Out of 82 women 49 or 60% made speeches during the years 1908-1910. 
Out of 718 men 463 or 64% made speeches drring the years 1908-1910. 


To explain those tables more fully Vera If jolt makes an 
abstract from the legislation of the years 1907-191 1 of the questions 
dealt with by the bills introduced by the women deputies. These 
were as follows : 

The raising of the marriageable age of women ; the relations 
regarding property between husband and wife ; the abolition of the 
guardianship exercised by a man over his wife ; the right of mothers 
with regard to their children ; the endowment of motherhood ; the 
right of women to enter every kind of Government service ; the 
improvement of the condition of illegitimate children ; the erection of 
Homes for destitute mothers and children ; increased penalties for 
prostitution; diminished penalties for child-murder; a children's bill ; 
provision for instruction in household management ; the obligation 
on every commune to maintain a midwife ; the abolition of certain 
enactments concerning servants ; prison reform ; the establishment 
of rural colonies ; instruction in a trade in prison ; the support of 
various educational institutions from the public funds ; grants for 
the promotion of public morality with especial regard to the 
abolition of regulated vice ; the appointment of women health 
inspectors ; the intervention of the commune in labour disputes ; 
the establishment of a central social bureau ; the construction of 
new railways ; the acceleration of the reform of the laws concerning 
the treatment of Jews; compulsory education ; total prohibition of 
the sale of alcohol ; State reformatories for inebriates ; the trans- 
formation of the department of justice in the Senate into an 
Independent Supreme Court ; laws concerning associations. 

Hitherto in spite of all this activity it cannot be said that any 
very important results have been achieved as regards new legislation 
in favour of women. This is due to the fact that until now the 
whole energy and interest of the Diet has been concentrated on the 
effort to preserve the autonomy of Finland. For this reason there 
have been so far practically no results worth mentioning that are to 
be attributed to the woman's vote, rather than to that of universal 
suffrage. Even the eighty Social Democratic Deputies — numeri- 
cally the strongest party in the Diet — are not at present able to 
carry through their programme of reform. The control exercised 
by the Russian Government paralyses all their efforts. 

To quote the replies made by Senator Leo Mechelin to a series 
of questions put to him by the Women's Social and Political Union 
will perhaps give the best idea of the general situation and of the 
present position of women in Finland. 

Senator Mechelin was at the head of the Government during 
those trying years from 1905-1907, and was all along a zealous 
supporter of woman's rights. In the course of an audience with 
the Czar when the question of electoral reform was under discussion, 
he spoke in favour of including women in the new Franchise Bill. 
The Czar expressed some doubt as to the wisdom of introducing so 
far-reaching a step, whereupon he replied : " The public opinion of 
our country demands it, nor is there any reason to fear that women 


will vote with any less sense of responsibility than do men." These 
words settled the question and woman's suffrage was included in 
the Government Bill, which was shortly afterwards brought before 
the Four Estates. 

In reply to the question put by the Women's Social and 
Political Union as to whether the possession of the vote has led to 
the repeal of any laws unjust to women and to the enactment of 
legislative reforms on their behalf, after making mention of some of 
the bills that have been introduced, Senator Mechelin goes on to 
say — " The male deputies have as a rule not rejected the bills 
made by the women deputies, and especially not those touching 
upon the rights of women. Most of those bills, however, have as 
yet not had the desired result. But the reason for this lies almost 
entirely in the abnormal circumstances under which the Diet has 
been forced to work during the last two years. The Diet which 
met in 1907 for the first time after the Electoral Reform Bill was 
passed, has since then been dissolved no less than four times : once 
in 1908; twice in 1909, and once in 1910. In consequence of 
these repeated interruptions, the Diet has been unable to work out 
many of the propositions submitted to it, and most of the laws 
which have been finally revised and passed by the Diet have not 
yet been sanctioned by the Monarch. The whole legislative work 
of the country, not only that which particularlv concerns women, 
has been thus exposed to serious delays. This is the natural 
consequence of the unlawful interference of the Russian Government 
in the affairs of Finland. 

The initiative taken by the women deputies, some instances of 
which have been mentioned above, has, however, been of importance 
in directing public opinion towards these reforms, the necessity for 
which has been felt more urgently by women than by men. 
Besides this the women deputies have shewn that they clearly 
recognise the fact that they have not been elected to represent 
women's interests only, but that their task is identical with that of 
the men and is to be performed for the wellbeing of the country as 
a whole. 

To the second question put as to whether the woman's vote 
has had a beneficial effect on the position of women in the industrial 
world, Senator Mechelin replies as follows : — " According to the 
laws hitherto prevailing, a married woman has not been allowed to 
carry on a business of any kind without her husband's consent, and 
his undertaking to be responsible for any debts which might arise 
from such an undertaking. One of the reforms proposed by the 
women deputies aims at freeing women from this dependent 
position. 1 

"With the exception of this restriction Finnish women had, long 
before the recognition of their right to the franchise, perfect freedom 
to earn their living in most kinds of business. Woman's suffrage 

1 A new law for this purpose has been passed by the new Single Chamber 
Finnish Diet, but has not yet come into force. (S. Vera Hjelt.) 


can exercise very little influence on the question of the wages 
earned by women, as wages in private business are not settled by 
law. The salaries of the women teachers in the Board schools 
were at the suggestion of the Government raised by the Diet in 

To the next question put, as to whether woman's suffrage has 
led to a quickening of the public conscience in questions of social 
reform, Senator Mechelin replies — " It is my opinion that such is 
the case." 

The granting of the vote to women has produced none of the 
evil results on family life which were prophesied by its opponents in 
other countries. That women were likely to come to neglect their 
household duties, because every three years they went to the poll 
and occasionally attended political meetings never occurred to 
anyone in Finland. On the contrary when a general election is in 
progress an appeal is often made by the public press to women and 
they are urged to make a good turn out at the polls. Nor has there 
ever been in Finland any question of the enfranchisement of 
women producing family dissensions. To be convinced of how 
groundless is this fear it is only necessary to observe how whole 
families, fathers, mothers and their grown-up children make their 
way together to the poll. 

As a rule husbands and wives belong to the same party, but 
there are of course exceptions. 

Owing to a statement made by a Swedish professor of Public 
Law to the effect that the majority of the Social Democrats in the 
Chamber were returned by the women's vote, one of the Deputies, 
Dr. Aevid Neovius and his sister, Dagmar Neovius, undertook an 
investigation on the subject. Their inquiries proved that where the 
women's vote was in the majority the votes gained by the Social 
Democratic Party had shown a tendency to decrease rather than to 

In general however it may be said without the least hesitation, 
that the women's vote has made no difference in the balance of the 
different parties. 

No special decrease in the birth-rate has taken place in Finland 
as yet. Were however such a decrease to take place it would be 
more likely to be due to the same economic reasons as have produced 
it in those other countries in which women are not yet enfranchised 
and where the birth-rate is now falling, than to the fact of woman's 

Let us in conclusion quote the opinions of some of the men of 
greatest weight in Finland on the question of how woman's suffrage 
has affected the life of the family and the nation. 

Professor Th. Rein, Vice-Chancellor of the University of 
Helsingfors, a Privy Councillor, and former professor of philosophy, 
who was one of the representatives of the nobility in the Diet when 
it consisted of four Estates, wrote on January 18th, 1913, as follows : 

" ( ) to the way in which the men have rnet the wishes of 


the women on this question, our country has been spared those 
scenes which have been witnessed in other countries, for example 
in England, where a number of women in consequence of certain 
measures which they felt to be unjust to themselves have been led 
into committing acts of a rash and reprehensible character. 
As far as I am aware the deputies, both men and women, who have 
been elected to the Diet, have worked together in a spirit of com- 
radeship and mutual respect. The number of women deputies is a 
comparatively small one, but amongst them have been found some 
who, by their intelligence and information, have given a good account 
of themselves both in the debates in the Chamber and also as 
members of various committees." 

It is true that some have made no mark in the Chamber, but 
the same may be said of some of the male members of the Diet. 

The fact of women taking part in politics cannot be said to 
have accentuated party feeling, it has rather tended to diminish it. 

The one real question that has been of vital interest to our 
country, namely, the preservation of our autonomy and of our 
constitutional rights, has tended to unite all parties in a closer 
bond. One of the results of women's suffrage has been to make 
women more clearly conscious of their duty to protect their native 
land as do the men by whose side they have taken their stand, and 
to make them more firmly resolved to fulfil their duties than was 
possible had they not been given the rights of citizens. 

To quote once more from the views expressed by Senator Leo 
Mechelin in his replies to the questions put to him by the Women's 
Social and Political Union. In answer to the question as to 
whether woman's suffrage has on the whole promoted unity and 
better comradeship in the home and between men and women 
generally or whether it has had the contrary effect, he says: " It is 
obvious that the equality of rights calls for the better ' comradeship ' 
than can exist between two groups of people, one of which is excluded 
from important rights enjoyed by the other. In the Diet the 
personal relations between men and women have borne the stamp 
of mutual esteem and goodwill. ' Unity in the home ' cannot 
suffer from the fact that a wife, like her husband, is allowed to 
exercise the right to vote and can by that means express her own 
political convictions. Home life can thereby only gain in deeper 
interest and harmony. Should differences of opinion arise on one 
question or another, mutual sympathy should not suffer on that 
account, differences of opinion will occur even in matters of private 

In reply to the question as to whether the presence of women 
in the Diet has tended to raise their status as a whole and the 
estimation in which they are held throughout the country, he says : 
In Finland the estimation in which people hold the women as 
well as the men deputies depends chiefly upon the way in which 
they perform their duties in the Diet." 

To the last two questions, namely, as to whether the women 

6 + 

deputies have been of distinct service in the Diet and whether their 
presence in the Diet has had the effect of promoting a better tone 
in political life or has the contrary been the case, he replies : "The 
knowledge and ability of the Deputies is mostly shewn in committee 
work. Several women have taken an active share in such work, 
especially with regard to social and educational questions. I myself 
have presided over the Budget committee consisting of twenty-one 
members. There was only one woman on that committee but she 
was one of its most active members." 

It has happened that occasionally one or other of the deputies 
belonging to the Social Democratic party has made use of violent 
language during the debates of the Diet. The women, however, 
were always surpassed in the violence of their language by the men 
of their party. // the presence of the women has had any effect on 
the tone of the debates — and this is a very difficult point to decide, 
as among the men there are deputies who have had considerable 
influence in this direction — it has certainly been a beneficial 
influence. The opinion of E. G. Swan, M.A., formerly head master 
of the Lyceum at Willmanstrand is as follows : 

" As far as I can judge, experience proves more clearly as time 
goes on that all the theories we have heard about the disastrous 
effect that giving women the vote will have on the performance of 
their duties to their household and family, have proved but the 
figments of a prejudiced imagination. If a general were to go forth 
to battle leaving one half of his army behind sleeping peacefully at 
home, his action would certainly be regarded as not only foolish but 
even criminal. Very similar to this is the conduct of a country that 
ordains that one-half of its population must be — or even may be — 
set aside, when it is a question of working and fighting for the good 
of the country. Infinitely' truer is this when, as with us, the fight 
has been for the very existence of that country among the ranks of 
civilised nations. 

" A small country has urgent need of the help of every one of its 
citizens in carrying out its political and social work. It is not with 
us merely a question of abstract justice or of a wise and proper 
concession to the growing claims of women, it is not only the desire 
to remove the sense of injustice felt by women at the withholding of 
their just right, but it is a question of pure expediency, of concern 
for the well-being of the nation that renders absolutely necessary 
the political equality of men and women. Experience has made it 
abundantly evident that no serious inconveniences have arisen, nor 
are any disagreeable surprises likely to occur as the result of woman's 
suffrage. On the contrary, the women have shewn themselves 
thoroughly alive to the meaning and to the serious nature of their 
political duties and have performed them with dignity and 
moderation. Women have voted in as large numbers as men at 
the elections and have only voted for such candidates as public 
opinion has held to be most desirable for the general welfare of the 


<% We may safely assume that — unless political life becom 
temporarily extinguished in our country — the general spread of 
higher education will bring about an increasingly larger return of 
women to the Diet. The women who have hitherto been returned 
have shewn themselves in every respect as active as the male 
members of the Diet both in their work on Committees and in the 
introduction of national reforms. With regard to what are called 
Social Reforms, we may say that women deputies were a 
necessity both for the introduction of these reforms and for dealing 
with them in detail afterwards. 

" To sum up briefly the opinion I have formed, founded on 
justice, patriotism and experience, is that we have to be very grateful 
to a wise Providence for bringing about a situation that rendered it 
possible to carry a Reform Bill enabling all citizens of our country, 
high and low, men and women, to enjoy the same political 
responsibilities and to join in sharing the duties of such responsibility. 

' When I was travelling through Finland as organiser of the 
constitutional Finnish party, just before the first election that took 
place under the new law, I was agreeably surprised to find the 
number of women present at my first meeting and to observe 
the serious spirit shewn by those whose duty it would be to 
bring up the next generation. Everywhere I went I was struck 
with the same thing. Even now when I think of it after all these 
years, my eyes fill with tears. The joy I felt and the thought that 
possessed me then was this — now we have the whole Finnish people 
nation acting together. At that time I regarded it as my greatest 
privilege as also my duty to give expression to such thoughts as 
these. Joyfully did I invite those women attending my meetings to 
prove themselves worthy of their newly-won rights and privileges 
by coming in large numbers to the poll. This is what they actually 
did do then and what they have done ever since, and this it is that 
in the days to come will establish the peace and prosperity of our 
native land." 


Population, 2,391,782. Men, 1,155,773; Women, 1,236,009. 

School vote and eligibility granted to women 1889 

Communal vote and eligibility granted to women 1901 

¥ote and eligibility for the legislature granted to 

women 1907 

History. In the year 1889 women who were the mothers of 
children of School age were given the right to vote for the members 
of School Boards as well as to stand for election themselves. 

In 1901 they were given the communal vote and made eligible 
for election. The government had originally only brought in a Bill 



to extend the male communal franchise. Whereupon the Woman's 
Suffrage Association entered a protest that men were to be given 
universal communal franchise and women were still to be altogether 
excluded. This protest met with favourable consideration and the 
result was that women were given a restricted franchise, that is to 
say, a vote was given to such women as possessed a certain amount 
of property. According to the law passed on May 29th, 1901, the 
following persons were made eligible to vote and to be elected in 
commum viz : 

(a) All men of Norwegian nationality over 25 years of age, who 
have lived for five years in the country and in the said commune. 

(6) All women who are over 25 years of age and have lived five 
years in the country and possess the rights of Norwegian citizenship, 
and . . . who during the past year have either themselves paid 
taxes to the State or to the town on property worth 400 krone in 
the towns and 300 krone in the country, or live in full or partial 
community of property with a husband who pays taxes of a similar 
amount. 1 

At the beginning of the year 1910, a committee which had 
been appointed by Parliament to investigate the subject, declared 
themselves unanimously in favour of applying the princinle of 
universal franchise for communal elections to women as well as to 
men. The bill framed by this committee was passed on May 13th, 
1910, by the Lower Chamber (Odelsthing), by 71 to 10 votes, and 
on May 27th, by the Upper Chamber (Lagthing), by 24 to 7 votes. 
On June 7th, the Bill received the Royal assent and the law came 
into force bestowing a universal suffrage and giving to 500,000 
Norwegian women full rights as citizens in the commune. This 
reform brought about the overthrow of the Prime Minister (Arctander), 
who had opposed the bill and advised the king to veto it, because 
he feared that it would give the Social Democrats a majority in the 

Since the year 1907 the women of Norway have had the 
political franchise as well and have also been eligible to stand for 
Parliament. It was in the year 1890 that the question of woman's 
suffrage was first brought up in Parliament. In 1893 a Pill for 
woman's suffrage got the length of having a majority although not 
the majority of two-thirds required for any constitutional change. 
In 1896 a Bill for universal male suffrage was passed. In 1899 the 
Woman's Suffrage Association, which had been founded in 1895, 
sent a petition with 12,000 signatures, to the Storthing. This 
petition was handed over to the Government for further considera- 
tion. The increasing interest, on the one hand, shewn by women 
in the communal elections, and on the other hand, the active 
agitation carried on by the Woman Suffrage Societies, won for the 
movement a steadily-increasing measure of public sympathy during 
the next few years. 

1 In June, 1913, aft. th< first impression of this book had been printed, the 
praliamentary franchise was extended to women on the same terms as men. 


Tn 1905 the question of the separation of Norway from Sweden 
was submitted to the decision of the electorate. Women as non- 
voters were excluded from the Referendum and their request to be 
allowed to take part in it was refused on the ground that to do so, 
would be an irregular proceeding and one for which there was no 
provision in the constitution. On receiving this reply the women 
determined to take a Referendum of their own and by means of 
their Woman's Suffrage Association 300,000 Norwegian women 
signed their names to a demand for the independence of Norway. 
The number of votes cast by the male electors in the same sense 
was 400,000. This expression of the women's views was submitted 
to the Storthing with an explanatory address and while it was being 
read aloud all the members of the House rose to their feet as a sign 
of respect to their fellow citizens. The impression created by this 
act did much to further the cause of woman's suffrage throughout 
the country. It became more and more obvious to all that women 
could no longer be excluded from the franchise in the country which 
had now successfully asserted its independence. 

At the elections of 1906 the women took a very active part, 
making it their endeavour to enlist for their cause the support of 
candidates of all parties. The Liberals and Social Democrats put 
woman suffrage on their programme, but the Agrarian and 
Conservative parties showed a majority against it. The party in 
favour of Woman's Suffrage was returned by a large majority, but 
notwithstanding that it was considered necessary by the Suffrage 
Societies to ensure success, to make a last appeal to the nation and 
to renew their agitation by means of meetings, resolutions and 

Two bills were brought into Parliament. The one was to 
enfranchise all women, the other to give the vote to such women as 
already possessed the communal franchise. On June 14th, 1907, 
these bills were voted on. Owing to the opposition of the conserva- 
tives the former bill was thrown out but the latter was passed after 
only two hours debate, by 93 votes to 23. By this measure, 
political franchise was given to all women paying taxes on property 
of over 400 krone in the towns and 300 krone in the country, as 
well as to wives whose husbands pa.y taxes on a similar amount. 
This enfranchised 300,000 women altogether. 

The prospect of being able to change this limited franchise 
into a universal suffrage during the session of Parliament from the 
year 1909-1912 (the first Parliament in which women had had the 
vote) did not at first seem a very likely one, as it was a Liberal and 
Conservative Coalition Party that had been returned at the general 
election. There were, however, several hopeful features in the 
situation and chief amongst these was the very large majority that 
had voted for Women being given Universal Suffrage in communal 
elections. The constitutional committee had also by an overwhelm- 
ing majority (there were only two votes against it) recommended 
the Storthing to grant the request of the National Association for 


Woman Suffrage that * 50 of the constitution should read : "All 
Norwegian citizens, both men and women, who are over 25 years 
of age, and who have lived five years in the country shall be entitled 
to vote." On August 16th, 1911, a vote was taken in the Storthing, 
but the Bill did not receive the requisite two-thirds majority. 

The Radicals and Socialists voted in favour of this I'll! as did 
also sixteen members of the government, the remaining Liberals 
and Conservatives voted against iL. It was only, however, by five 
votes thai the majority fell short of the necessary two-thirds (73 
instead of 78) and as in the new elections which took place at the 
end of 191 J the Left {i.e. the Liberals, Socialists and Radicals) were 
successful, it is safe to say that next time a Bill for Universal 
suffrage for women is introduced it is sure of success. 

Part taken by women in the elections. Since being given 
the communal franchise, women have had four opportunities of 
voting, viz., in 1901, 1904, 1907, 1910. On the last occasion (1910), 
they were in possession of a universal suffrage. 

At the first three elections the number of women voting was 
20'9%-337% of those duly qualified in comparison with 45'2%- 
547% of male voters. In 1907 there were altogether 268,745 
women and 429,467 men, qualified to vote. Of these 90,606 
women and 234,011 men voted, i.e., 337% of the women and 54*5% 
of the men. 

The elections of 1910, show not only a large increase in the 
number of women voting but also a great improvement in the 
percentage of woman voters. At this election 191,631 women and 
267,503 men recorded their votes. In Christiania where the 
number of woman voters exceeds that of men by more than 15,000, 
32,970 women 1 out of 53,769, voted, to 28,742 out of 38,518 men. 

According to these figures the average number of women 
voting in Christiania was 61% to 74% of men. The women put 
forward no special lists of their own but have always hitherto voted 
according to the lists of their own party. 

At the first elections in 1901 there were 90 women candidates 
returned and 160 as deputy candidates. 2 

As was to be supposed the numbers returned rose considerably 
after the introduction of a universal communal franchise for 
women. In 1907 the number of men returned throughout the 
country was 11,134 to 224 women, in 1910 it was 11,710 to 379 
women. In Christiania out of 84 municipal representatives returned 
9 were women, out of 65 Town Councillors 17 were women. In 
1907 the number of districts (mostly rural) in which no woman was 
returned was 180, while in 1910 the number had gone down to 55. 

The first elections for the Storthing in which women voted took 
place in the autumn of 1909. The average number of women who 

1 Among these were 27,000 wives, and 3,000 servants, while the remainder 
were for the most part women earning their own living. 

2 Deputy candidates are those standing next on the list to the successful 
candidates who in case of sickness or death take their place. 


voted was 55'29% as against 67'47% men. All Parties with the 
exception of the Conservatives put forward women candidates. 
There Avere altogether nine who stood for election, three as members, 
six as deputy-members. Amongst these were the chief leaders of 
the suffrage movement. Only one single one was returned, a 
Liberal, Froken \im.i Rogstad, a teacher and President of the 
Teachers' Association. She was elected deputy for Gamle Aker 
(Christiania). In the absence of the Conservative member, General 
Bratlie, President of the Storthing, she sat in Parliament for fourteen 
days in March, 1911. Her appearance was greeted with marks of 
sympathy from the public, the press and the Members of Parliament, 
while the President alluded to her presence there as marking a 
historic occasion and one full of import for the future of the country. 
Fr. Rogstad had an opportunity during the debate on the Army 
Estimates to express her agreement with the principle of Inter- 
national Arbitration but declared that in spite of this, she did not 
intend to vote against the estimate. 

No statistics are available for the number of women voting at 
the last elections for the Storthing which took place in the autumn 
of 1912. Of the seven women candidates who stood for election as 
deputy-members not one single one was returned, — no woman was 
put up for election as member. One of the chief reasons for this 
want of success on the part of women candidates — in addition to the 
fact that the men have a universal, while the women have only a 
restricted franchise — lies in the present system under which the 
elections are conducted, and which the women are very anxious to 
get changed It is natural that the women should wish to have 
candidates their own at the elections to the Storthing. 

The sections of 1909, as we have already stated, proved 
favourable to the Conservatives. This success was attributed to 
the woman's vote, as it was the first occasion on which they had 
voted. At the elections in 1912, when they voted under almost 
precisely the same conditions as in 1909, the Left 1 won an over- 
whelming victory. This proves the fallacy of the argument and 
shows that women as well as men vote according to the political 
situation of the moment, and further that the women are divided 
up among the various political parties in pretty much the same 
proportion as are the men. 

Effect of Woman's Vote. It is impossible under these 
circumstances and in view of the short time that has elapsed since 
women have had the vote, to point to any direct legislative change 
as due to the influence of the woman's vote. 

One indirect effect, however, is to be observed in the fact that 
since women have had the vote all the political parties have shewn 
themselves very active in improving women's labour conditions, and 
that both the Liberals and the Radicals have put various questions 
connected with this reform on their programme. 

Liberals, Social Democrats, etc 


The Radicals have especially taken up the questions of better 
pay in Government appointments and of the appointment of a larger 
number of women to municipal posts and as factory inspectors, 
to school and poor relief boards, as guardians and police-matrons, 
and the institution of more trade schools for boys and girls, etc. 

Another indirect effect of the woman's vote was doubtless the 
Government Bill passed in the spring of 1911 to admit women to 
Government and communal posts with the exception of those of the 
President of the Council of State, Cabinet Minister, clergyman in 
the Stale church, posts in the diplomatic and consular service and 
in the army. This Bill was passed by a large majority. In 
connection with this question mention ought also to be made of the 
Government Bill recently introduced to improve the position of 
unmarried mothers and their children as laid down by a law of the 
year 1892. The new law recognises equal rights for legitimate and 
illegitimate children, full right of inheritance and the right to bear 
their father's name for illegitimate children. 

Statements by Prominent Men. With regard to the general 
effect of woman's suffrage in Norway we shall quote from some of 
the views expressed on this subject by our leading politicians and 
others whose opinion carries weight, in their replies to questions put 
to them by the National Union of Suffrage Societies. 

' Women have possessed voting powers in this country for the 
last two elections and have voted in rapidly increasing numbers. 
The experience has been a very satisfactory one, and all political 
parties in Norway are now convinced of the justice of this reform, 
which at first met with considerable opposition from the 

{Ex -Prime-Minister and 1102c again in office). 
January 14//;, 1913. 

" Woman's Suffrage, which was introduced here with the 
support of all political parties, has not yet been long enough in 
existence for its direct effects to be easily seen. From the very 
beginning, however, the women used their vote in very considerable 
numbers and there are already two directions in which its influence 
can be traced. The franchise has done much to widen woman's 
horizon and has further, by the very fact of its existence, had a good 
effect upon the attitude of our Parliament on several occasions." 

G. Hagerup Bull, 

(Judge of I lie Supreme Court. Memlnr sf Parlia- 
ment and Chairman of the Conservative 
Party in the Storthing). 

January \ Ail;, 1913. 

' I am convinced that Woman's Suffrage in Norway has already- 
had a good influence on the municipal and political development of 


our community, and I am assured that the Suit rage will help to 
bring about better social conditions and better laws for our country." 

CHR. H. Knudsen, 

[Member of Parliament and Leader of the Labour 
Party in the Storthing). 

January 14///, 1913. 

Woman's suffrage has proved a beneficial influence and has 
strengthened the moral aspect of national politics. It has had this 
good effect on all parties alike. It cannot be said to have at all 
weakened the feeling of patriotism in the political life of our 
country. There is no section of the people that to-day wish 
woman's suffrage abolished. On the contrary, all political parties 
— Conservatives and Liberals and Labour- — have on their pro- 
grammes the demand that the woman's franchise shall be; changed 
from its present limited form into a universal woman's suffrage. 
This change will be effected in the near future." 

J. Castberg, 

{Ex-Minister of Justice, Member of Parliament, 
and Leader of the Radical Group of the 
Liberal Party). 

' The enfranchisement of women has worked well in Norway, 
and is always adding to the numbers of those in favour of it. The 
reform was brought about by the co-operation of all the political 

Frederik Stang, 

(Minister of Justice). 

January 13///, 1913. 

" Woman's suffrage which we have introduced into this 
country I consider to be an act of justice to women and beneficial 
to the community as a whole." 

K. Thinn, 

(Chief Justice of the Supreme Court). 

January 13///, 1913. 

" Nothing but good can be said of the way in which 
women have exercised their rights in Norway. At the political 
meetings which I have attended women have been amongst the 
most interested and intelligent members of the audience, and have 
set the men an excellent example by their refined and self- 
controlled conduct on such occasions. 

One woman only, Fr. Rogstad, has taken a seat in our 
Parliament (1910-12). Her straightforward and unostentatious 
demeanour, as well as her skill in expressing her views*, won for 


her the respect and sympathy of the whole House. Many women 
have been elected members of Town and County Councils and have 
also held various municipal offices. We have everywhere learnt to 
value the part performed by women in our municipal life. I do 
not remember to have ever observed any unwomanly conduct on 
the part of our women interested in politics, although this was 
prophesied as an inevitable result of women's entering political life." 

W. Konow, 

{A former member of several ministries, Leader 
of the Opposition in Parliament (1907- 
1912), Chairman of the Left (the party that 

won the last election). 1 

January 22nd, 1913. 

" I presume that at the present time there can be no question 
among unprejudiced men that the franchise for women who earn 
their own living is both a just measure and one of benefit to the 

G. O. Sars, 
(Professor in the University of Christiania). 

' It was obvious that Woman's Suffrage when an accomplished 
fact would prove the justice of the reasoning that led to its 
introduction. For it is easy to see that the enfranchisement of women 
is but the natural result of the enfranchisement of the people. It is 
also the natural complement of that enfranchisement supplying to 
the public life of the nation imagination, reflection, judgment, gifts 
and influences as indispensable and beneficial as are those qualities 
which may be said to more peculiarly belong to men. Indeed, both 
sets of qualities must be there to enable a united people to work 
in harmony. Even the experience of the short period that has 
elapsed since women were given the franchise has gone to confirm 
these views. Future developments and the tasks that lie before us 
in the near future will only prove more clearly how indispensable is 
Woman's Suffrage and demonstrate the wisdom and the justice of 
the measure." 




January 13///, 1913. 

1 In a speech made by W. Konow, then Prime Minister, on the occasion of 
a banquet given in honour of Mrs. Chapman Catt on April - 2Gth, 1911, he also 
said : " If you ask me, what has been our experience ? What have been the 
results of woman's suffrage on the political institutions of Norway ? I am glad to 
be able to reply that within all parties and all groups in the.^e parties there is an 
overwhelming consensus of opinion that we have been right, that we moved in the 
right direction. As to what are to be the future developments, it is impossible to 
foresee. But it is our confident hope that in the intelligence and ability, in the 
warm hearts and quick intuition of women we shall have the best means and the 
best assistance for realising the highest and best end of societ) justice, social 
and personal." 


" As far as my experience goes Woman's Suffrage lias produ< i d 
no bad results. The women have neither neglected their homes, 
nor has it led to disagreement between husbands and wives." 

Professor W. C. Brogger, 

(Principal of the University for two periods ; 
Member of Parliament; LL.D. of the 
Universities of Glasgow, Heidelbi 
Cambridge and Stockholm ; Member oj the 

Institute of France ; Wollaslone Medallist, 
etc., etc.). 

January 17///, 1913. 


Population, 5,521,943. Men, 2,698,975; Women, 2,822,968. 

Communal franchise without eligibility for unmarried 

women 1862 

School Board franchise for women 1862 

Ecclesiastical franchise for women 1862 

School Beard and Poor Lav/ Relief Committee eligibility 

for women 1889 

Eligibility of Women to Communal and Church Councils 1909 

History. Sweden was the first of the Scandinavian countries 
to give women the communal franchise. As far back as the year 
1862, all independent women (unmarried women and widows) who 
paid taxes and were in possession of an income of not less than 500 
krone, were eligible to vote. 

This reform had a special value in Sweden, where the communal 
franchise gives an indirect vote for the Upper Chamber (Oberhaus), 
whose members are elected from amongst the representatives of the 
Provincial and Municipal Corporations (Landsthing). 1 

In the course of the same year (1862) women were given the 
right to vote for members of School Boards and Ecclesiastical 
assemblies. 2 

Since 1889 women have also been eligible for election to School 
Boards and Poor Relief Committees. Since 1907, as doctors and 
teachers in Universities and Schools of Art, they have been allowed 
to hold State appointments. They have also been allowed to act as 

1 At that time there was no Lower House in Sweden elected by direct popular 
vote. It was only in 18G6 that the old assembly composed of Four Estates was 
replaced by a modern Parliament. 

2 As early as the year 1700 women owning property in their own right were 
allowed to vote at the election of clergymen, and in 1871 the right was extended 
to all independent women (spinsters and widows) who paid taxes. 


inspectors of orphans, and of dwellings, appointments made by the 
communal authorities. 

Owing to a change made introducing a new system of separate 
rating for women who were independent wage earners and for wives 
living apart from their husbands on their own property, these 
women were given the communal franchise as well. Finally in the 
year 1909 the new electoral law which removed many existing 
disabilities, 1 recognised the eligibility of women (unmarried, married 
and widows) for election to both communal and church councils. 
It is only now to the Provincial Council (Landsthing) that women 
are not yet eligible for election. For all these corporations women 
vote on exactly the same terms as men. The qualifications are (l) 
Swedish nationality, (2) the possession of civic rights, (3) domicile 
in the said commune, (4) payment of taxes in the commune, (5) 
no arrears in payment of taxes. 

Number of v/omen voting and elected. With regard to the 
actual use made by the women of the communal vote, it would 
seem as if during the first few years they had it, they were quite 
unconscious of its importance. Even as late as the year 1887, out of 
62,000 duly qualified women voters only about 4,000 (i.e. about 
6.5%) recorded their vote. But with improved educational opportu- 
nities and better economic conditions this percentage has steadily 
risen although it has not yet reached the level of male voters. No 
complete official return has yet been made shewing the relative 
numbers of men and women voting at the communal elections in 
both town and country districts. The Swedish National Union for 
Woman's Suffrage in its yearly report for 1908 and 1910 compiled 
statistics which, though by no means complete, yet give an accurate 
enough idea of the relative numbers throughout the country. 
According to these, in 1908 in twenty-five towns an average of 
25'4 per cent, of the men and 15'2 per cent, of the women qualified 
to vote took part in the election, and in 1910 in fifty towns the 
average was 43'3 per cent, of the men and 36'9 per cent, of the 
women, which shows a decided improvement. In Stockholm in 
the elections of 1911, 44'9 per cent, of the men and 27*2 of the 
women voters recorded their vote. In 1912 49'9 per cent, of the 
men and 32'9 per cent, of the women voted, again a marked 
increase, but in this case the increase shews itself in both sexes. 
It is a fact worth mentioning that at the last elections in Stockholm 
26'1 per cent, of the men and only 4"2 per cent, of the women 
voters were disenfranchised because of arrears in the payment of 
taxes, receipt of poor relief, etc. 

In the first elections in which women were eligible to stand 
for election in the autumn of 1910, thirty-five w< men were elected 
to town councils, of whom nine belonged to the Conservative party, 
two to the Liberals, two to the Socialists, three were the candidates 
of a purely woman's party, and one was the joint candidate of the 

1 Only about a tenth part of Lhe male part of the population had up till now 
had a vute. 


three political parlies. The latter had the largest number ol 
votes of all those who were elected, polling 11,971 votes, which 
gave her first place on the whole list. Of the thirty-five women 
returned eighteen were teachers, the second largest number were 
women engaged in social work, while the others were employed in 
commercial or office work. Only seven were married. In one 
town a husband and wife were both elected, the former by the 
Conservative, the latter by the Liberal, party. About twenty of 
the thirty-five women returned had held positions of more or less 
importance in their local suffrage societies. At the end of 1912 
other communal elections took place. On this occasion eighteen 
women were returned, so that with those already holding office, 
Sweden has now altogether sixty-two women town councillors, 
almost all of whom are active workers for woman's suffrage. 

Effect of woman's Yote. Owing to the short time that 
has elapsed since women began to take an active interest in the 
elections and have been made eligible for election, it is impossible 
to point to any very definite results as due to their influence. 
Every year, however, sees women taking a greater interest in public 
affairs and making a better use of their vote. It is the general 
opinion that this change everywhere taking place in the attitude of 
women to public affairs is likely, in the course of time, to have 
a very good effect upon the nation as a whole. It is a curious fact 
that even the Conservative party, who are in Sweden the strongest 
opponents of woman's suffrage, are almost without exception in 
favour of women voting in communal elections, and seem to consider 
it as absolutely necessary for women to have the communal fran- 
chise, as it would be absolutely disastrous for them to have the 
political franchise. Although this point of view cannot be said to 
contain much logic, still it shows that women have won for 
themselves universal approval in the exercise of such rights as 
have as yet been conceded to them. 

Woman Suffrage Organisations. The first Woman's 
Suffrage Society was founded in Stockholm in 1902. Many other 
cities followed suit with other Societies. These affiliated themselves 
to the National Society, which spread with amazing rapidity all 
over the country, and making its way even to the very smallest 
places and far into the arctic circle among the Laplanders, entered 
on an extraordinarily active campaign of propaganda. 

At the end of the year 1911, the union consisted of 12,224 
members in 172 branches. At the end of 1912, there were 187 
branches with 13,000 members. Looking back over the first years 
of its existence at the annual meeting held on January 10th, 1913, 
the President was able to point to the extraordinary change that had 
taken place in public opinion during that time. Nowadays debates 
on Woman's Suffrage are a thing of the past. The question is now 
no longer one of whether or not women are to be given the franchise, 
but only one of when they are to be given it. 

Woman Suffrage in the Legislature. In 1884 a Deputy, 


Frederik Borg, brought a Bill into the Lower House to give women 
the right to elect and to stand for election to Parliament. This Bill 
was greeted with the usual laughter that such proposals provoked 
in those days and was rejected by 53 votes to 44 in the Second 
Chamber. In the Upper Chamber the Bill had to give way to the 
orders of the day. It was only in 190"2 that another opportunity 
arose when one of the Deputies, Carl Lindhagen, now Mayor of 
Stockholm, brought in a Bill to get Parliament to induce the 
Government to undertake a thorough investigation of the question 
of woman's suffrage. Although this Bill gained a great deal of 
public sympathy owing to the active campaign conducted on its 
behalf by the Stockholm Society for woman's suffrage, it was 
defeated by 111 to 64 votes in the Second Chamber. In the Upper 
Chamber it was not even debated. In 1904 the same Bill was 
rejected by the Second Chamber by 115 votes to 93, while a Bill 
brought into the Upper Chamber to enfranchise women did not 
reach the stage of being voted on. In 1905, however, Herr 
Lindhagen succeeded in getting his Bill brought to the vote in both 
Chambers. In the Lower House the Bill had now gained the 
support of seventy-five Deputies but was once more defeated by 
109 to 88 votes while the Upper House rejected it by 89 to 3 votes. 
In 1905 a Liberal Government came into power with an extension 
of the male franchise as one of the items on its programme. 

Thirty petitions were now presented to the Government asking 
for the enfranchisement of women, but the only answer that they 
got was that the men must first be enfranchised before any attention 
could be paid to the women. The result of this was that the women 
stirred up a more active agitation than before, and in January of 
1906 thirty-six petitions and four Bills were introduced by Deputies 
to bring into Parliament ameasure for Woman's Suffrage. The 
Constitutional Committee rejected the Bills, but went the 
length of advising the Government to make a thorough inquiry into 
the question of woman's suffrage. A Bill for this object was passed 
by both Houses, by the Upper House by 69 to 60, by the 
Lower by 127 to 100 votes. Professor Reuterschiold was appointed 
by the Government to undertake this inquiry. 

In May, 1906, the Government Bill to extend the male franchise 
was defeated and the Liberal was replaced by a Conservative 
Government. In the autumn of the same year the National Union 
for Woman's Suffrage, which had meanwhile been founded, sent 
deputations to the Prime Minister and to the King and received 
replies which though friendly in spirit were evasive. The effect of 
this was to make the women renew their agitation on still more 
energetic lines. In February of 1907, they were able to present to 
Parliament a monster petition with 142,128 signatures, which is a 
very large number in a countrv whose total population does not 
exceed 5,000,000. 

Six different Bills for Woman's Suffrage were brought before 
i!:. House, but all were vetoed by the Constitutional Committ 


with the exception of on*- whi< h w is defeated in the Lowei I [< 
by 130 to 91 votes. In the same year the Labour Party had put 
Woman's Suffrage into their Electoral Reform Bill and in th 
autumn of 1907 the Liberal Party placed it on their official pro- 
gramme. The hope proved vain, however, that now that both these 
parties had put Woman's Suffrage on iheir programme the Govern- 
ment might take up the question too. It is true that in 1908, for 
the first time, the King's speech contained an allusion to woman's 
suffrage, but it was only to mention it in a negative sense, to say 
that in the meantime Government did not intend to include woman's 
suffrage in their Electoral Reform Pill. 

It was in 1908 that in conjunction with other bills of the same 
nature the Liberal Party for the first time brought in a bill for 
Woman's Suffrage. Again it was rejected. In the Upper Chamber 
without debate in the Lower House by 110 to 93 votes. 

It was during the elections which took place in the course of 
the Autumn, for the election of members to the Second Chamber, 
that women for the first time took an active part in a political 
campaign. Their object was in the first place to bring about the 
defeat of the Conservative Party, which had shewn itself hostile to 
their interests. They spoke at the meetings held by all the different 
parties and were listened to with sympathy and attention. The 
elections turned out very fairly successful and as their result the 
men at last got their Electoral Reform Bill passed. The franchise 
can, however, by no means yet be regarded as a universal suffrage 
as to it are attached the conditions of payment of taxes and the 
performance of military service by all men over 24 years of age. 

A deputation consisting of thirty members of the National 
Union for Woman's Suffrage was received by the King and assured 
by him of his own personal sympathy with the movement. 

In 1909 the women gained their first decisive victory. In 
April of that year several Bills were brought in, which, after being 
accepted by the Constitutional Committee were rejected as usual by 
the first Chamber without being debated, but on this occasion were 
passed unanimously by the Second Chamber likewise without 
a debate. This apparent unanimity does not mean that there was 
no one in the Chamber opposed to Woman's Suffrage, but only that 
in view of the overwhelming majority in its favour to oppose it seemed 
useless. During the course of the year 1910, several other Bills 
for Woman's Suffrage were brought in and a member of Parliament, 
Herr Lindhagen, put a question to Herr Lindman (Conservative), 
Secretary of State — as to whether Government intended to bring in 
a Bill for Woman's Suffrage and if so when it was to be expected. 
To this question he received the following reply. Nothing can be 
done until further light has been thrown upon the question of the 
effect woman's suffrage is likely to have on the marriage-rate and 
birth-rate ! " 

In 1911 the Committee of the National Union for Woman's 
Suffrage addressed themselves to the Secretary of State requesting 


him to bring in a Government Bill for woman's suffrage. His 
reply was that even were the inquiry at present being made into 
the question, to be finished during the present session, it was not 
the intention of the Government to bring in any such measure. 
Once more various Bills were introduced into both Chambers, but 
as the above-mentioned inquiry had not yet been completed the 
Constitutional Committee did not allow any of them to be proceeded 

The end of the year 1911 at last saw the swing of the 
pendulum, and at the general election the Liberals were returned 
by a large majority. Their triumph was in no small measure due 
to the women, who throughout the campaign worked with the 
greatest energy for the Liberal and Labour candidates against the 
Conservatives. Out of the 230 members returned, 101 were 
Liberals and 64 Socialists. The Conservative Cabinet was re- 
placed by a Liberal one, and in his first official pronouncement the 
Prime Minister, Herr Staaf, who had always been in favour of 
woman's suffrage, alluded to the necessity for this reform, while 
the King's speech at the opening of Parliament announced a 
Government Bill to give to women the right to vote and 
themselves to be elected. This Bill was brought into Parliament 
in the spring of 1912. It was passed by the Lower House by 140 
votes to 66, in the Upper Chamber it was thrown out by 86 to 58 

There is no probability of another Government Bill in 1913, 
but one may be expected the following year. Should, meanwhile, 
the communal elections for the Landsthing (the body that elects 
the Upper House and for which women have the vote) result in 
returning a minority for the Conservative Party, the success of the 
Bill for Woman's Suffrage in 1914 would be assured in the Upper 
House as well as in the Lower. 


Population, 2,757,076; Men, 1,337,900; Women, 1,419,176. 

Poor Law Boards franchise and eligibility for women 1907 

Communal Franchise and Eligibility for women 1908 

Ecclesiastical Franchise. A law passed on May 15th, 1903, 
gave to Danish women the power to elect and stand for election in 
Ecclesiastical Parishes. From May 1st, 1910, onwards this law 
was suspended, but in May 1912 it once more came into force. 

Poor Relief Authorities. By a law passed on May 4th, 1907, 
women were also given the power of electing to and themselves 


being elected as members of the newly constituted " Free " Boards 
in Charge of Poor Relief. 1 

Communal Franchise. A law which came into force on April 
20th, 1908, finally gave to the women of Denmark the Communal 
Franchise with at the same time the right to stand themselves for 
election. This franchise naturally includes the right to elect and to 
be elected to the bodies in charge of Education and the Poor. 

Women possess all these rights and exercise them by virtue of 
the same qualifications as are required from men. These qualifi- 
cations are as follows — For a vote in ecclesiastical affairs it is 
necessary to be 25 years of age and to belong to the State church. 
For a vote in the Commune and for the Poor Law Guardians it is 
necessary to be 25 years of age, to have resided in the said commune 
for at least a year, to be of good character, and to pay taxes on an 
income of not less than 800 krone in Copenhagen and a somewhat 
smaller sum in other communes. Wives possess the right to vote 
and to stand for election, if they have no income in their own right, 
or if their income is held jointly with their husband and he 
alone pays taxes. Servants are also allowed to vote and to stand 
for election as their free keep in their employers' house is regarded 
as part of their " income." 

In the first election that took place for the representation of 
Ecclesiastical parishes under the new law of 1903 the names of 
167,684 men and 167,643 women were entered on the roll. Out of 
these 90,061 men and 64,698 women recorded their vote. 

It is impossible to state with accuracy how many women were 
elected as no provision was made in the collection of statistics for 
the reply to such a question. We may mention however that one 
woman, the wife of a clergyman, was elected to the special com- 
mission which was appointed immediately after the passing of the 
new law of 1903 to consider the working of important new proposals 
for changes in certain ecclesiastical laws. 

In March, 1908, there took place the first, elections after the 
passing of the law establishing the free Poor Law Guardians. No 
official statistics were published but it was unofficially stated that 
between 45% and 50% of those qualified to vote were women and 
that from 26%-38% actually voted. The same unofficial statistics 
go to show that of those elected during the year 1908 to the Boards 
in Charge of the Poor, in the towns 44% and in the country 36% 
were women. 

Other elections took place during the month of March, 1912. 
According to official statistics in the towns 58*1% of the men and 
40% of the women qualified to vote actually voted, while in the 
country the proportion was only 29'9% of men and 12'6% of women. 2 
Out of the 517 elected to hold office, 194, that is to say far more 
than a third were women. 

1 A seat on these Boards does not involve the loss of any political or civic 
rights as was the case under the former system of Poor Administration. 

2 In one town the figures were 66 - l% of the men to 57'8% of the women. 


It is to be observed that these elections v ere conducted on the 

proportional system. In many of the towns, owing chiefly to the 
steps taken by the Women's Suffrage Association only one list 
was put forward in which all the parties were represented in propor- 
tion to their strength and had agreed to act in concert so as to 
prevent the necessity for separate elections. By this means large 
sums of money were saved and were able to be spent on the Poor 
of the town. 

The fact that the women have not organised themselves into 
political parties has made it possible for them to be of especial 
service in matters such as these. 

In the month of March, 1909, the first elections for the repre- 
sentation of communes took place under the new law. Of the 
465,211 men and 423,544 women on the roll, 327,800 men and 
198,421 women voted. That is to say about 76' 5% of the former 
and 50% of the latter recorded their vote. As seems always to be 
the case it was the country women who shewed a disinclination to 
leave their homes to vote. It was this failure to vote on the part 
of the women living in the country that brought the women's 
average so low. In the towns the average was from 66-70%, while 
in the country districts it sank as low as 38%. 

In Copenhagen special elections took place in March, 1912, in 
which 80'8% of the men qualified to vote and 68'7% of the women 
took part. 

Out of the 9,609 representatives of communes who were elected 
in 1909 throughout Denmark, only 127 were women, while out of 
1,206 communes only 85 elected women. 

Copenhagen led the way with 7 town councillors (out of 42), 
and Frederiksborg with 3 (out of 15), while in all the other towns 
there were only 52 women to 747 men, and in the rural districts 
only 65 women to 8,076 men. Of the 127 women elected 84 were 
married, 38 unmarried, while 4 were widows. Of the women 
returned in Copenhagen one was a tadoress, one a steno-typist 
(Social Democrat) one a woman doctor, one an engineer (Radical), 
one the head of a woman's Home, one had been a nurse (Con- 
servative) and one a woman without any occupation (Christian 
Socialist). The way in which these women have discharged their 
public duties has won for them universal esteem. One was 
appointed to the Police Department, and two others to the City 
Accountancy Department. 

In spite of all this it cannot be said that the results of these 
first elections have been satisfactory for the women of Denmark 
and so they are meditating a new policy for the next elections, 
which are to take place in March, 1913. Instead of joining with the 
various parties as they did in 1907 the women propose to organise 
an independent campaign with lists of women candidates of their 
own and by this means to get better results out of the proportional 
election system. 

It is impossible in so short a period as has elapsed since 

women were given the communal franchise, to point to any definite 
social or legislative reforms as clue to their influence, more especially 
as their vote has made no difference in the various political parties. 
There is no doubt, however, that the exercise of their new rights aad 
duties to the commune has led women to take a much more active 
interest in public affairs. Further, the experience that women have 
gained from the exercise of these rights has opened their eyes to 
the fact that they will have to secure the political franchise before 
they can expect to derive any very important benefits from even 
the communal franchise. 

Political Franchise. 

The first movement for woman's franchise (at first it was only 
for the communal franchise) took place in Parliament in the year 
1870. As was to be expected nothing came of this first attempt. 
The Women's Associations however and the public press took up 
the question. The most active work was done by the Danish 
Woman's Union (Dansk Kvindesamfund) 1 which had set itself the 
task of elevating and emancipating women. 

It was this society that presented to the Government in 1888 
the first petition asking for the communal franchise to be given to 
independent unmarried women, and a bill drafted on these lines 
passed the Lower House. The Upper House however passed on 
to the orders of the day. The Scandinavian Woman's Congress held 
in the same year and the Society for Woman's Franchise, founded 
immediately after it, entered on a more active campaign, including 
in their programme the demand for the political franchise as well. 
The women attended political meetings and questioned the candidates 
as to their position on this question. Women's Industrial Unions 
united to work for this object ; petition after petition was presented 
to Parliament and in the years 1898 to 1899 the first association 
whose special object was to work for Woman's Suffrage was 
founded. This was the Danske Kvindesforeningers Valgrets 
Forbund, which in 1904 affiliated itself with the International Alliance 
for Woman's Suffrage. 

In 1900 a split took place in the Association and a new Society 
was founded calling itself the " Landsforbundet for Kvinders 
Valgret " with an independent constitution and about 160 branches 
with over 11,000 members. There are about the same number of 
members in the older Society which is affiliated to the Danish 
Women's Union. In addition to these, there is another society 
working with great energy for Woman's Suffrage. This is an 
association founded in 1908 on definitely religious lines (Kristelig 
Kvindevalgretsforening) which has brought into the movement 
Temperance and Mission workers who before had taken no special 
interest in it. The united effort of all these societies has brought 
about such a change in public opinion that at the present moment 

1 Founded by Frederiik Bayers in 1871. 


chere is no political party in Denmark that officially declares itself 
as opposed to Woman's Suffrage, and so there may be said to be 
no real opposition to the cause. There are some of our leaders 
who even fear that from this very lack of opposition the movement 
may suffer a certain stagnation. Now and then one certainly hears 
individuals opposed to Woman's Suffrage advance the usual argu- 
ments against it. They deplore the prospect of an increased 
influence for women in public affairs which will lead them to 
" neglect " their homes and their families; or allusion is made to 
the meagre amount of interest taken by women in communal affairs 
in many parts of the country. A ready answer is found to the 
latter argument in the fact that when in 1866 a general vote was 
taken on the question as to whether Universal Suffrage should be 
abolished or retained, only two-fifths of those qualified to vote made 
use of their vote, and that after a period of eighteen years of political 
emancipation ! 

The introduction of Woman's Suffrage in Denmark would 
require a change in the constitution, and this would be a difficult 
and costly matter to accomplish. It would entail the dissolution of 
both the Volksthing (the Lower House), and of the Landsthing (the 
Upper House). The latter has amongst its members twelve life 
members chosen by the king, and experts are not agreed as to 
whether these would be affected by a dissolution or not. Owing to 
these obstacles in their way, the women of Denmark might have to 
wait indefinitely for their political emancipation in spite of a general 
sympathy with the movement throughout the country, were it not 
that there are other points in the constitution in need of reform and 
the women hope to be able to "slip through" with some of these. 
Dills have already on various occasions been brought into the 
Lower House to deal with these points and been passed by big 
majorities, in the Upper House, however, they have not received 
any attention. This is not so much on account of the opposition of 
the Upper House to Woman's Suffrage as to a division of opinion 
on the other questions. On October 23rd, 1912 — the sixtieth 
anniversary of the day on which the Danish Parliament assembled 
to draw up a free constitution — the Prime Minister, Herr Berntsen, 
brought before the Lower House an amendment to the constitution 
whose most important provision was the following one, viz. : 
Universal Suffrage (the right to elect and to be elected) for the 
Lower House for all men and women over 28 years of age, and an 
indirect suffrage for the Upper House by means of representatives 
elected by the towns (for which women are eligible). This measure 
was discussed for three days and all parties, with the exception of 
the Conservatives, declared themselves in its favour. The bill was 
then put into committee and the second reading took place on the 
10th and the third on the 17th of December. The bill, with the 
amendments proposed by the committee, was then passed by a 
majority of 100 to 14 votes and was sen up to the Upper Chamber. 
In the Upper Chamber the first reading of the bill took place on 


the 8th of January, 1910, and occupied several days. The 
Moderates, the Radicals and the Socialists spoke in its favour, but 
the Conservatives were opposed to it, on account of the proposal to 
change the method of electing the Upper Chamber. Notwithstand- 
ing this, they were in favour of dealing with the question at greater 
length and a commission was appointed to inquire into the bill. 
This commission, however, works so slowly that it would only be 
possible for them to finish this session by extending the session to 
the 1st of May. Should the Conservative majority in the Upper 
Chamber — and this at present amounts to only one vote — bring 
about the rejection of the bill it will mean only a postponement not 
a defeat for the women, as in the next general election this small 
majority will, in all probability, be turned into a minority. 


Population, 85, 138. Men, 41,083 ; Women, 44,105. 

Communal and ecclesiastical franchise for unmarried 

women 1882 

Communal and ecclesiastical franchise and eligibility for 

women (married or unmarried) in Reykjavik and 
Hafnarfjordur 1908 

Franchise and eligibility for alllocal bodies for women 

(married or unmarried) 1909 

Communal and ecclesiastical franchise. Local conditions 
as well as public opinion in Iceland are decidedly favourable to 
woman's suffrage. The interest of women in public affairs was 
first aroused during the popular movement of 1870, which in 1874 
ended in the granting to Iceland of a Parliament of its own 
(Althing) chosen by popular election. This Parliament has com- 
plete control of the internal administration of the country and its 
interests are represented in the Danish Cabinet by a Minister of its 
own (the Secretary for Iceland). In this national uprising the 
women of the country had taken a most enthusiastic share. The 
Althing had all along shewn itself anxious to meet the wishes of 
the women on the questions affecting the education of girls, free 
secondary schools for boys, the curriculum of colleges and the 
practise of medicine, and in 1881 it gave the communal and 
ecclesiastical franchise to unmarried women and widows. 

This law came into force in 1882. The clause dealing with it 
reads as follows : " Widows and unmarried women, who are 
householders, or who for any reason are in an independent position, 
are entitled to vote for members to Boards managing Church affairs, 
to District Boards, for Aldermen and for Town Councillors, if they 


are over 25 years of age and if they fulfil all the conditi laid 
down by the law with regard to the above-mentioned rights." 

An active agitation had been set on foot by the Icelandic 
Woman's Union 1 to render women eligible for election to all those 
bodies for which they were entitled to vote, and owing very greatly 
to the staunch support of one of the Deputies (Thorvoddsen) a 
Bill to this effect was passed by the Althing in 1902." 

Although the principle acknowledged by this new law was an 
important one, its practical results were not of much consequence, 
as the number of unmarried women and widows who paid rates 
sufficiently high to be qualified to vote was naturally small. 

In 1908 a Bill was passed by the Althing to extend the church 
and communal franchise in the towns of Reykjavik and Hafnarf- 
jordur so as to give the right to vote and to be eligible for election 
to all men and women (married, widowed and spinsters) who paid 
taxes — no matter of what amount — or contributions for poor relief. 
In 1909 the same rights were extended to all the communes for the 
election of Poor Relief Authorities, Taxation Committees, for all 
local bodies and for the representatives of the twenty-two districts 
that form the inhabited part of the island. Since the 1st of January, 
1910, the day on which this law came into force, women have been 
eligible to stand for election on the same terms as men to all 
representative bodies with the one exception of the Althing. The 
conditions imposed on men and women are the same in every 
respect but one. A man can only resign an office to which he has 
been elected after a period of not less than six years' service, while 
a woman who has been elected can simply resign without assigning 
any reason for so doing. Those women who wish to see equal 
duties with equal rights do not approve of this apparent advantage 
given to their sex, especially as it renders the work of elections 
more difficult in rural districts. 

Part taken by women in the elections. Women took every 
advantage of their right to vote at the first elections in which they 
were allowed to vote in larger numbers and themselves made eligible 
for election. The Town Council Elections for Reykjavik took place 
early in 1908. During the three short weeks at their disposal the 
women organised themselves and by means of numerous well attended 
lectures carried on an energetic campaign of explanation and instruc- 
tion in their duties to the newly-enfranchised women. This remark- 
able effort on the part of the women of Iceland was crowned with 
success. Out of a total of 2,850 votes recorded 1,220 were cast by 
women, a percentage which has hardly ever been reached elsewhere. 
Women were also found to come forward as candidates for the 

1 Founded in 1895 with the object of improving the general conditions of 

2 Another important reform passed by the Althing in 1S99 was the Bill to 
allow of separation of property which gave to women the control of their own 


Town Council. Four 1 of these were immediately elected, while one 
woman polled the largest number of votes -of any candidate. 

In some parishes women had already been chosen as representa- 
tive members. The new law gave opportunity for fresh agitation 
in other parts of the country, with the result that women everywhere 
began to take a much more active interest in the elections. 15 

At the last elections in Reykjavik in 1912, out of five Town 
Councillors put out two were women, but there was one new 
woman candidate elected. The new Rating Committee of 
Reykjavik has three women among its eleven members. In various 
other communes women have been elected to the different com- 
mittees as well. The women have been obliged to put up lists of 
their own, for the most part, in order to get their candidates returned, 
as the various political parties shew little inclination to give women 
a good place on their lists. The fact that many women, in spite of 
this, prefer to vote for the list of their own political party, prevents 
there being a still larger number of women returned to the various 
elected bodies. 

Political Franchise. A movement for the political enfran- 
chisement of women was set on foot as early as the year 1895, when 
the Icelandic Woman's Union, founded in that year, put forward 
Woman's Suffrage as one of its objects. The first petition they 
sent to Parliament received no consideration although it was signed 
by 3,000 persons. In 1907, as a result of the Woman's Suffrage 
Congress held at Copenhagen in 1906, a Woman's Suffrage Society 
was founded at Reykjavik, 8 and in the winter of 1908-9 it presented 
to Parliament a petition signed by no less than 42,000 men and 
women, half of the total population of the island. 

This petition, as may be readily imagined, had aroused the 
most widespread sympathy. In reply to the objection raised 
against it by Herr Hafstein, Minister for Iceland, the President of 
the Chamber, Born Jonsson, spoke warmly on behalf of it — saying 
that at the approaching revision of the constitution women must be 
given full political equality. Soon after this Born Jonsson was 
appointed Minister. The Constitutional Committee was also 
unanimous in the desire that women should be included in the new 
reform of the constitution. On the occasion of a public meeting 
called together by the Icelandic Woman's Union, at which deputies 
were invited to express their views, a minority of the Conservative 
party expressed the opinion that the question of Woman's Suffrage 
should be dealt with in connection with the reform of the constitu- 
tion in 1911, while the General Synod of the Protestant Church of 
Iceland recorded in June, 1909, "their full sympathy with the 
women's demand for political equality." 

1 This amounted to a fifth of the total number returned by Reykjavik. 

2 The average number voting was 50%. 

3 In 191 this Society was turned into a National Association. 


Two Hills were introduced into Parliament in 1911. The one 
while requiring the same qualifications for both men and women 1 

laid down certain special conditions for women. While the other 
Bill treated men and women on exactly the same footing. The 
Committee declared themselves in favour of the second Bill with 
the important addition that wives living in community of property 
with their husbands should be allowed both to vote and to be 
elected. The Second Chamber passed the Bill on its first reading 
by a majority of 18 votes. In the Upper Chamber the Constitu- 
tional Committee wanted to exclude servants to prevent the women's 
vote swamping the men's. On the 17th July, 1911, a law granting 
a universal equal franchise" to both sexes was passed by large 
majorities in both Chambers. 

In order that any measure involving a change in the constitu- 
tion can become law it is necessary that it should be passed a 
second time by both Chambers in a new Parliament. As Parlia- 
ment was dissolved soon after the passing of this measure and a 
new one was not due until 1913, it was resolved to convene a 
special sitting of the Althing in 1912 to legalise the constitutional 

At the elections the women worked with greater energy than 
ever to get the candidates to pledge themselves to pass the Bill as 
it stood, as certain amendments had been proposed. In the mean- 
time the various political parties had agreed — in view of a new turn 
of affairs in the political situation — to devote this session to the 
revision of the Act of Union with Denmark, and to leave the 
question of constitutional change until later. Owing to this decision 
the Bill, which had already been passed once, was removed from the 
orders of the day and the women will now probably have to wait 
for a year or two before they find themselves in possession of the 
rights which have already been conceded to them. 

No one doubts that they will get it. In spite of this the 
Woman's Suffrage Association is not relaxing any of its efforts and 
has lately, in addition to other propaganda, carried out a lecturing 
tour throughout the country and has prepared for a monster 
petition to be presented to the Althing in 1913. 


Males Females Total 
Population, 1911 23,953 28,081 52,034 

This small island lying equidistant from England, Scotland 
and Ireland has a legislative body of its own, the House of Keys, 
for which the right to vote was granted to women owners in 1881 
and extended to women ratepayers in 1892. 

1 i.e., Universal Suffrage. Age limit of 21 years, residence in the electoral 
division during the last year . . . etc. . . 

2 The right to be e lecti d as well as to elect. 



Males Females Total 

Population, 1911 22,012,872 23,352,727 45,365,599 

England and Ytfales 

Males Females Total 

Population, 1911 17,448,476 18,626,793 36,075,269 

Poor Law Guardians to be elected by ratepayers 1834 

Municipal suffrage, but not eligibility, provided for qualified 
women. Municipal Corporation Elections Act (32 
and 33 Vic. c. 55) 1869 

School Board suffrage and eligibility for qualified un- 
married women for the newly established School 
Boards. The Education Act, 1870 (33 and 34 Vict. 
c. 75). Right to sit as elected members taken away 
in 1902 when the duties of School Boards were 
handed over to the County Councils, to which women 
could not be elected. Education Act, 1902 1870 

Woman elected as a Poor Lav/ Guardian for the first time 1875 

County Council suffrage (including that for the London 
County Council) but not eligibility, provided for 
qualified unmarried women in the Act establishing 
these bodies (51 and 52 Vic. c. 41) 1888 

Urban and Rural District Council suffrage and eligi- 
bility provided for qualified women, married or 
unmarried, by the Act establishing these bodies. 
The Act further removes the disability of married 
women to vote for Poor Law Guardians, deprives 
women of the right to vote as owners and provides 
that, in addition to the electors, residents shall also 
be eligible for election (56 and 57 Vict. c. 73) 1894 

London Borough Councils substituted for London Vestries 
and women lose their right to sit but not their right 
to vote by the London Government Act, 1899 1899 

London County Council suffrage disability of married 
women removed by the London County Council 
Electors Act (63 and 64 Vict. c. 29) 1900 

Town Council, County Council (including the London 
County Council) and London Borough Council 
eligibility conferred o women by the Qualification 
of Women Ac 1907 ( Ed. VII. c. 33) 1907 


Males Females Total 

Population, 1911 ',307,603 2,451,842 4,759,445 

School Board suffrage and eligibility provided tor 
qualified women for these newly established bodies 
by the Education (Scotland) Act, 1872 (35 and 36 
Vict. c. 62) 1872 

Town Council suffrage, but not eligibility, provided for 
qualified unmarried women by the Municipal Electors 
(Scotland) Act, 1881 1881 

County Council suffrage, but not eligibility, provided for 
qualified unmarried women, when these bodies were 
established by the Local Government (Scotland) Act, 
1889 (52 and 53 Vic. c. 50) 1889 

Parish Council suffrage and eligibility provided for 
qualified women, married or unmarried, when these 
bodies were established in place of the old Parochial 
Boards by the Local Government (Scotland) Act, 
1894 (57 'and 58 Vic. c. 58). These bodies act as 1894 
Poor Law Guardians and correspond to the Boards 
of Guardians and District Councils of England, 
Vales and Ireland. 

Town Council suffrage disability of married women 

removed bv the Town Council (Scotland) Act, 1900 

(63 Vic. c. 49) 1900 

Town and County Council eligibility provided for 

qualified women, married or unmarried, by the 

Local Government (Scotland) Acts, 1907 (7 Ed. 
VII. c. 4 and c. 48) 1907 


Males Females Total 

Population, 1911 2,186,804 2,195,147 4,381,951 

Poor Law Guardians to be elected by ratepayers by the 

Poor Law Guardian (Ireland) Act (l and 2 Vic. c. 56) 1837 

Belfast Town Council suffrage granted to qualified women 

by a local Act 1887 

Town Council suffrage granted to qualified women to the 

Councils of Blackrock and Kingston by local Acts 1894 

Poor Law Guardian suffrage and eligibility provided for 

qualified unmarried women (59 and 60 Vic. c. 5) 1896 

County Councils, Town Councils and District (both 
Urban and Rural) Councils established ; suffrage 


for qualified women, married or unmarried, provided 
for these Councils and for Boards of Guardians; 
eligibility for men or women, who are electors or 
residents, provided for the District Councils but 
women not made eligible for election to Town or 
County Councils. Registration (Ireland) Act, 1898, 
Local Government (Ireland) Act, 1898, and Adapta- 
tion Order, December 22nd, 1898 1898 

Town Council and County Council eligibility for qualified 
women, married or unmarried, provided by the Local 
Authorities (Ireland) Qualification of Women Act, 
1911 1911 

Qualification for suffrage and eligibility to the Legislature 
in 1913. The Legislature consists of two houses, the House of 
Lords a non-elective body, numbering, in 1912, 632 members, who 
hold their seats by hereditary right, or by nomination, or by the 
election of their brother peers ; and the House of Commons elected 
at intervals of not more than five years by a purely male electorate. 
It numbers 670, of whom 377 represent county constituencies, 284 
town constituencies and 9 University constituencies. 

The qualifications for the parliamentary franchise are compli- 
cated, but since in Scotland and Ireland they form the basis of the 
local government franchises which women enjoy, they must be 
described here. With restrictions the same may be said of England 
and Wales. 

The chief franchises rare : — 

i. The ownership franchise, possessed by those who own property 
of a certain annual value, which varies according to locality and 
manner of tenure, being in the English counties for freehold 
tenure as low as £2. 

2. The occupation franchises, which may be divided into 

(a) the £10 occupation franchise, possessed by those who occupy 

for any purpose property of the annual value of £10 ; 

(b) the household franchise, by far the most important (see 

figures below), possessed by those who occupy as inhabitant 
occupiers a dwelling house, however low may be the value 
of the house ; 

(c) the service franchise, possessed by those who occupy a 

dwelling-house a? part of the remuneration for their services. 

3. The Lodger franchise, possessed by those who inhabit for their 

own use only, as their place of residence, lodgings of the annual 
value oi £10. Application to be registered under this franchise 
must be made annually, a condition not imposed in the case of 
the other franchises. 

4. Graduates of eight of the Universities are eligible to vote for the 

special University Members of Parliament. 

The following figures show the relative importance of these 
different franchises. The official returns of those registered as 
electors for 1913 (Parliamentary Paper 478, 1913) in the United 
Kingdom give : 


Owners, Freeman, freeholders, etc. ... ... 692,462 

Occupiers (of these probably 3.8% are ^"10 occupiers, [i.e., 
qualification 2 (a) above] , this being the percentage 
for England and Wales where separate figures are 



University Electors 
Qualification not stated 
Total electorate 






Males over 21 years, except peers, Clergymen of the State 
Churches in England and Scotland, Judges and certain others in 
official positions, are eligible to be elected Members of Parliament. 

Qualifications of Electors to the different Local Govern- 
ment Councils. In Scotland and Ireland women, married or single, 
have the suffrage for all Local Government Councils on the same 
terms as men, which is on the same terms as men have the parlia- 
mentary franchise for county and borough constituencies (see above). 
In England and Wales, on the other hand, certain of the Local 
Government franchises are more restricted for men than the 
parliamentary and women's right to vote for Local Government 
Councils is, in some cases, more restricted than that of men, e.g., 
marriage in some cases is a disqualification, in others, women owners 
and lodgers are not enfranchised. 

Voters require to have paid their rates and, in the majority of 
cases, to have been in occupation for twelve months before they can 
be registered. One restriction is placed on married persons, that a 
husband and wife cannot be registered in respect of the same 
property. The following scheme adapted from an excellent leaflet 
of the Women's Local Government Society puts the complicated 
situation clearly. (See p. 91.) 

Eligibility to Local Government Councils. Throughout the 
United Kingdom, subject in certain cases to conditions regarding 
place of residence, electors to any Local Government Council are 
eligible to be elected to that Council. This rule is applicable to 
women as well as to men and has the effect that, in Scotland 
and Ireland, women are eligible on the same terms as men and in 
England and Wales their eligibility is limited in the same way as 
their right to vote (see scheme, notes 1 and "). One restric- 
tion, however, is placed on women, namely, that, where a woman 
is appointed Mayor (or Provost in Scotland), she may not act as a 
magistrate. In addition to the electoral qualification, residence in 
the district constitutes a qualification for eligibility to School Boards 
in Scotland, to District Councils and Boards of Guardians in 
England, Wales and Ireland, to Parish Councils in England and 
Wales, and to the London Borough Councils. 

1 Electors only are eligible for election. 

2 Residents us well s ( lectors fire eligible for election. 


England and Wales' 


The persons who are voters for : 

County Councils^ 1 1) (for the London County Council see below), 
and Town Councils- (18) are 


Occupiers 1 

Occupiers 1 


The persons who are voters for : 
London County Council- 
London Borough Councils 3 
Urban District Councils" 
Rural District Councils 3 
Boards of Guardians 3 
Parish Councils 8 





I.e., all who are i Occupiers 1 
on the Parlia- ! Owners 
mentary Regis- ! Lodgers 
ter ( Service Voters 


Occupiers 1 

Most Revising Barris- 
ters put on only un- 
married women and 
widows. In Birming- 
ham, married women 
are on the Register. 

Married, unmarried and 

Scotland ~.nd Ireland 4 

The persons who are voters for : 
In Scotland. 

Town Councils 2 (2) 
County Councils' 2 (0) 
Parish Councils- 
School Boards 3 (100) 


In Ireland 
Town Councils 2 (4) 

Couiity Councils' 2 (0) 

Urban District Councils 3 (3) 
Rural District Councils 3 (44) 
Boards of Guardians 3 (110) are 


I.e., all who are i Occupiers 1 
on the Parlia- J Owners 
mentary Regis- 1 Lodgers 

Service Voters 


Occupiers 1 

Service Voters 

Married, unmarried and 

Numbers of women qualified to vote and voting. Since the 
electoral qualification is based on property, the number of women 
with the right to exercise the local franchises is small compared with 

1 ' Occup ; ers ' dees not here include service voters. 

2 Electors only are eligible for election. 

3 Residents as well as electors are eligible for election. 

4 The numbers in brackets denote women sitting on these Councils, where 
these are known, on March 13th, 1913. 


that of men. No complete returns are available, but it is estimated 
[ it for every woman voter there are live or six men voters. The 
accusation brought by the antis that women do not exercise their 
local votes is unsound because it overlooks the facts that compara- 
tively few women are qualified and that in local elections the 
centage of men voting is small compared with the number 
going to the poll at parliamentary elections. 

Failing any complete i of the relative numbers of men 

and women eligible to vote at local elections, the following particulars 
for London, the County of Midlothian, and the City of Edinburgh 
may be taken as representative of different types of areas. 

The London County Council (Publication 1912, c. 571) gives 
the following figures regarding electors to that body : 

(a) Number of electors, Div. 1 and 2 (these are all male) 554,548 

(b) Number of lodgers (all male) 101,003 

(c) Number of electors, Divisions 3 and 4, excluding 

ownership voters (these are women and peers) 131,152 

(;/) Ownership voters (a few of these are women) 9,934 

(c) Total 796,637 

The number of peers included in c must be small and the 
number of women in d not great, but, if we assume that the number 
of women voters is c added to d, i.e., 141,086, Ave are over-estimating. 
This assumed total of women voters is less than one-fifth of the 
total number of voters, 796,637, so that it is well within the mark 
to say that there are four men voters to every one woman voter for 
the London County Council. The Clerk to the County Council 
believes that there are not more than 120,000 women on the roll, 
which would mean one woman voter to five men voters. 

The Town Clerk of Edinburgh gives the following figures for 
the Town and Parish Council elections of November, 1912 : 

Male electors 55,187; Female electors 17,697; Total 72,884 

That is to say for every one woman three men are qualified. 
In the Morningside ward, a well-to-do neighbourhood, there are 
twice, and in the Gorgie ward, a working class district, seven times, 
as many men voters as there are women. The percentage voting 
at that election was 59.5. 

The County Clerk of the County of Midlothian gives the 
number of men on the register for the County Council elections in 
1910 as 17,639, whereas there were not more than 2,862 women or 
one woman voter to six men. 

One result emerges from an examination of the percentages 
voting at elections for different bodies, namely that the percentage 
voting for the most important body, the House of Commons, is 
very much greater than for any of the local Councils. 

At the General Election for Members of Parliament at which 
men only vote, in 1910, the full returns 1 for the United Kingdom 

1 1 u Daily Mail Yea\ Booh. 1911, p 6 


show that 92 per cent, of electors in contested elections vol 
(England and Wales 93 per cent., Scotland 85 per cent., Ireland 
80 per cent.). 

At the Elections for the London County Council, the most 
important of the Local Governing bodies, of which the electorate 
for 1912 numbers 796,637, the percentage (men and women together) 
voting, in 1907, was 55.5 and in 1910, 51.0. At the 1912 Election 
for the London Borough Councils — these are the sanitary 
authorities — the percentage voting was 47.0, varying from 35.1 per 
cent, in the City of Westminster to 67.2 per cent, in the Borough of 

The returns available are more complete for Scotland than for 
the other parts of the United Kingdom, inasmuch as they apply to 
the whole country and to Parliamentary, Town Council and Parish 
Council Elections. 

The percentage voting in contested elections for Members of 
Parliament for Scotland at the General Election of 1910 was 85 
per cent. A Parliamentary Return (No. 247, 1908) gives the 
following figures regarding Town Council and Parish Council 
Elections in 1907, the average being taken over the whole of 
Scotland, including all types of constituency, and the voting for both 
the Town and the Parish Councils taking place at the same time. 

Scottish Town and Parish Council Elections, 1907. 

The percentage of electors who voted to the number on the Register : 
i. Town Council elections where there was no Parish Council 

contest in the Parish Ward 65% 

2. Parish Council elections where there was no Town 

Council Contest in the Municipal Ward 35% 

3. Municipal and Parish Wards where there were Contests 

for both the Town and the Parish Councils : 

a. Voting for the Town Council 62% 

b. Voting for the Parish Council 61% 

These figures shew that here also the voters turn out in larger 
numbers for the more important elections ; for Members of 
Parliament the percentage voting is 85, for the Town Councils, 
less important bodies, it falls to 65 per cent., and for the Parish 
Councils (which are the Poor Law Authorities), there is a further 
fall to 35 per cent. The figure for the Parish Councils, where at 
the same time the elector is going to cast his vote for the Town 
Council, is higher, but, as it is almost identical with the percentage 
voting for Town Councils, it may be supposed that it is the more 
important Town Council Election that increases the vote. 

The returns indicating whether or not women exercise the 
franchise they possess to a greater or less extent than the men are 
still more meagre, but those available tend to show that the 
percentage of women voting does not differ materially from that of 
the men at the same election. Miss Eleanor Rathbone, Town 


Councillor of Liverpool, has supplied the following particulars 
regarding the Liverpool Town Council Election of 1910, the most 
complete statement I have seen. At that election separate records 
of the men and of the women voting were kept. In nine districts 
the percentage of women polling was higher than that of men, in 
the remaining thirty-two a greater percentage of men polled. The 
percentage of women was high where the contest was close and 
low where the result was a foregone conclusion. For the whole of 
Liverpool the percentage of men polling was fifty-one, that of 
women forty-five. As a large proportion of the women voters are 
of an advanced age this difference is not material. 

The following figures, kindly supplied by the Women's Local 
Government Society, refer to the elections of the London Borough 
Council in November, 1912, for a ward in a high class neighbourhood 
with a high percentage of women on the roll and a woman candidate 

Earl's Court Ward, Kensington, Nov., 1912 

Total Men Women 




At the Town Council elections in November, 1912, the 
following are returns from wards in which women candidates were 

At Huddersfield, S. Central Ward, 74.79 per cent, of men 
and 77.47 per cent, of women voted. 

At Wolverhampton, Graisley Ward, 79 per cent, of men and 
76.26 per cent, of women voted. 

The Number of Women Elected. The number of women 
elected to local government councils is affected by several factors : 
custom no doubt ; the discouraging effect of the relatively small 
number of women voters ; the fact that the machinery of parlia- 
mentary organisation is available for those who run as party 
candidates, whereas women often prefer to run as independents ; 
the difficulty of acquiring a qualification ; and, in some cases, the 
heavy expense. 

For the Councils for which there is a residential as well as an 
electoral qualification for eligibility, there is a much wider choice of 
women candidates, because then the wives and sisters and daughters 
who live in the house of some relative are in a position to stand. 
The following figures taken from the 1909 Annual Report of the 
Women's Local Government Society indicate the importance of the 
residential qualification for eligibility, especially in enabling married 
■-. omen to stand. 










The number of Women Guardians in England and Wales 
In 1889 was 72 


„ 82, 






„ 99, 





„ 136, 





„ 169, 





„ 875, 



706, after the change 

in the law which made residence a qualification for eligibility. 

Of the 1,160 Women Guardians who, in December, 1908, 
were asked to state whether they were elected under the residential 
or the electoral qualification, 837 replied, with the following 
remarkable result, especially as affecting married women. 

Electoral Residential Total 
Unmarried 194 111 305 

Married 45 359 404 

Widows 110 18 128 

Total 349 488 837 

In London, out of 116 written to, 93 replied, with a similar 
result : 

Electoral Residential Total 

Unmarried 26 16 42 

Married 2 39 41 

Widows 7 3 10 

Total 35 58 93 

In addition to the list of women at present sitting on Local 
Councils it may be mentioned that three women have acted as 
Mayors of their respective towns. In that capacity Dr. Garrett 
Anderson read the Proclamation of the Accession of the present 
King George, and Mrs. Lees of Oldham acted as the returning 
officer at a Parliamentary election. 

Women Members of Local Councils, on March 13th, 1913. 

England 1 and Wales Scotland' 2 Ireland 3 
Town Councils 
County Councils 
London Borough Councils 
Urban District Councils 
Rural District Councils 
Boards of Guardians 
School Boards (Scotland) 
Parish Councils (Scotland) 

1 The Women's Local Government Society. 

2 The Scottish Office, the Scotch Education Department and the Local 
Government Board. 

3 Irish Women's Suffrage and Local Government Association. 
i Two of these are on the London County Council. 

5 Rural District Councillors act as Poor Law Guardians, making a total of 
women Guardians for England and Wales of 1,323 and for Ireland of 154. 





3 4 


— ■ 





146 5 


44 5 

177 5 


110 s 



■ — ■ 





Powers and Duties of Local Councils. The powers of Local 
Councils are purely administrative except for restricted rights to 
make bye-laws. 

The matters which come within the control of the different 
Councils are : — Education, both primary and secondary ; sanitation ; 
the provision of suitable houses for the working classes ; the 
management of lunatic asylums; the licensing and inspection of 
lodging houses and of servants' and governesses' registries; the 
provision of medical inspection and the feeding of school children ; 
the establishment of public libraries ; road making ; the regulation 
of the employment of children ; the probation of offenders ; the 
administration of hospitals for infectious diseases ; lighting; water 
supply ; the guardianship of the poor; etc., etc. 

Effects of women's vote and eligibility. One important 
work initiated by a woman, Town Councillor Margaret Ashton of 
Manchester, was the establishment in that city of a woman's 
municipal lodging house, called after her Ashton House, where, 
for a few pence, decent lodgings, food and baths, may be had. 

The following extract from the Report of the Local Govern- 
ment Board for England and Wales, 1900-01, at p. 125, has been 
repeated in varying forms in other reports. It has reference to the 
work of women as Poor Law Guardians. 

" I should like to see several ladies on every Board of Guardians. 
The value of their work cannot be over-estimated, especially with regard 
to the children and the sick. .. . . Besides, in the ordinary business, 
there are many makers as to which it is desirable to know the woman's 
point of view. The female Guardians often exercise a very salutary 
influence on the tone of the proceedings of their Board." 

The women's vote was no doubt instrumental in ensuring that, 
in 1910 and 1911, more than 140 Town Councils passed resolutions 
in favour of Parliamentary Woman Suffrage. These included the 
important towns of Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool, Edinburgh, 
Cork, Cardiff, etc. The Lord Mayor of Dublin came in full state 
to present the petition from his Council at the bar of the House of 
Commons. The Anti-Suffragists, by their own peculiar subtle logic, 
while maintaining that women municipal voters do not want to vote, 
attributed these resolutions to the Councillors' fear of these very 
women voters ! ! 

It may console workers in countries where the municipal vote 
for women is denounced as against the natural and divine order and 
as tending to the disintegration of the family and the State, to know 
that, in this country, where the reform has become an established 
fact, opposition is so dead that even the Body organised as the 
National League for Opposing Woman Suffrage urges on women 
their right and duty to vote for and to offer themselves for election 
to Local Councils and has as its second object "the maintaining of 
the principle of the representation of women on municipal and other 
bodies concerned with the domestic and social affairs of the 
community " ! 


Women's voting rights and eligibility for other State 
organisations. In the State Church of England the question of 
whether a woman may become a clergyman has not arisen ; a woman 
may be a churchwarden ; she may vote for, and be elected to, the 
Parochial Church Council ; she may vote for (if otherwise qualified), 
but may not be elected to, the Ruridecanal Conference ; she may not 
either vote for or be elected to either of the more important bodies, 
namely, the Diocesan Conference or Convocation. 

In the State Church of Scotland a woman may vote in the 
election of the minister of her church and as a heritor (or land- 
owner) she may vote on the business matters of the church. The 
Kirk Session, i.e. the elders, appoints the new elders, but women 
may vote when the congregation is asked to suggest nimes. She 
does not vote for any of the governing bodies of the church, nor is 
she eligible to be elected. 

Under the recent Act dealing with Sickness Insurance, women 
have the same rights to vote for and sit upon Committees as men 
and special provisions ensure that a certain number of women shall 
sit on some of the Committees. Under this Act four bodies of 
Commissioners, one for each country, have been set up, on each of 
which one woman has been appointed at the same salary as the 
men. The woman commissioner for England has a salary of 
^"1,000 per annum. This is the first recognition of the principle of 
equal pay for equal work in the permanent Government service and 
is considered a by-product of the present suffrage agitation. 

Women have the same rights as men to vote for and be 
elected to the governing bodies of Limited Liability Companies 
and may vote on all the business that comes before the general 
meetings of such Companies. 

Ancient Franchises. In the fifteenth century, both in 
England and Scotland, legislation began more specifically to define 
those who were to have the right to vote in the election of represen- 
tatives to the respective Parliaments. In the whole series of Acts 
dealing with these questions, however, such general terms as free- 
holder, burgess, etc., are employed, and there is no specific 
exclusion of women till the 19th century, when in two of the three 
Franchise Acts of 1832, the term "male person" is used in the 
clauses conferring the new franchises in England and Ireland. 
Notwithstanding the absence of any definite exclusion of women, 
there are extremely few records of women having exercised this 
right. In the case of Olive v. Ingram (1739), reported in 7 
Mod. Reports, page 264, Justice Lee refers to a still older case in 
which it had been decided that an unmarried woman freeholder 
might vote for a Member of Parliament. As the older case is not 
extant and this printed report is not of very high authority it has 
not been held a good decision by Judges in later cases. In a House 
of Commons Blue-book, Parliamentary Writs and Returns, 

1 Letter from the Secretary of the Church League for Woman Suffrage, 
January 22nd, 1913. 


published in 1878, on pages 391 and 407, are given the names of 
Members of Parliament who were returned by women, Dame 
Dorothy Packington and Dame Elizabeth Copley. 

Woman Suffrage in the House of Commons. In the nine- 
teenth century the parliamentary franchise for men was three times 
extended, in 1832, 1867 and 1884, on each occasion the electorate 
being almost doubled. In 1832, though it was forty years after the 
publication of Mary Wollstonecraft's Vindication of the Rights of 
Women, the question does not appear to have been discussed in 
Parliament. One woman, however, Mary Smith of Stanmore, 
Yorkshire, has it to her credit that in that year she sent a petition to 
the House of Commons, asking for the reform. In 1851 a petition 
sent from a public meeting in Sheffield, the first to be held in the 
United Kingdom, was presented to the House of Lords by Lord 
Carlisle. In 1866, John Stuart Mill, returned to the House of 
Commons after being the first candidate to advocate Woman Suffrage 
in his election address, presented a petition signed by 1,499 women. 
It had been taken to the House by Emily Davis, the founder of 
Girton College, and Dr. Garrett Anderson, the pioneer woman doctor 
and later the first woman to be elected Mayor of an English town. 

The following year, when the Men's Franchise Bill was being 

discussed, Mill moved that the word " person " be substituted for 

the word "man " in the enabling clauses, so as to include women 

among the voters. It is remarkable that seventy-three Members 

should have voted with him although the amendment was lost by a 

majority of 123. Three years later, a Bill giving the franchise to 

women on the same terms as men, introduced by Jacob Bright, 

passed its second reading only to be lost in Committee. Since that 

date there are few years in which the question has not been set 

down for discussion in the House. In a form not materially 

differing from Jacob Bright's measure, a Bill has passed its second 

reading six times, viz., in 1870, 1886, 1897, 1908, 1910 and 1911. 

Adverse votes 1 either on a Bill, an Amendment to a Bill, or a 

Resolution in 1867, 1870, 1871, 1872, 1873, 1875, 1876, 1878, 1879, 

1883, 1884, 1892, 1912 and 1913. When the Liberal Government 

introduced its Men's Franchise Bill of 1884, the women were hopeful 

that, as there was in the House a majority in favour of Woman 

Suffrage, their measure might be added by way of an amendment. 

Mr. Gladstone, the Prime Minister, went against them. In his speech 

he used the illustration : "The cargo which the vessel carries is, in 

our opinion, a cargo as large as she can safely carry." This resulted 

in 104 Members who had formerly supported women voting against 

their enfranchisement. The women were thrown overboard, and 

the cargo of new male voters brought safely into port. 

In 1910 a Committee of Members, the so-called Conciliation 
Committee, representing all Parties, sought to frame a Bill intro- 

i See Retard of Woman Suffrage, Blackburn, except for 1912 and 1913. 


ducing a body of women to whose enfranchisement no objection 
could be taken from any part of the House. The Bill admitted 
women householders and the occupiers of premises of the annual 
value of ,£"10 (in 1911 and 1912 only the householders were included) 
and the Government for the first time in the history of the Suffrage 
movement provided time for its discussion. The Bill passed by 
large majorities in 1910 and 1911, when it was not to be proceeded 
with, but in 1912, when the Government had promised a week for 
its further discussion, 'it was lost by a majority of fourteen, partly 
because the Irish Nationalists voted on Party grounds, fearing the 
loss of time for their Home Rule Bill, and partly because certain 
Members used a recent outbreak of militancy as an excuse for 
breaking their promises. 

As the Government disliked this Bill they announced their 
intention to introduce a manhood suffrage measure to which it 
would be possible to add women, undertaking that should a women's 
amendment be carried, they would adopt it as an integral part of 
their Bill and defend it in its further stages even against the Lords. 
The Committee stage had hardly begun when the Speaker indicated 
— this after the Bill had been before the country for months and 
the Government pledge public property for more than a year — -that, 
should the women's amendments be added, a new Bill would 
require to be introduced. This was a surprise no less to the 
Government, who because of the lateness of the session were in the 
humiliating position of being unable to fulfil their pledges, than to 
the women, cheated of their hopes. The Government were com- 
pelled to withdraw their own Bill. It is little to their credit, 
however, that they took this opportunity, when by their own 
carelessness it had become impossible for them to fulfil their 
pledge, to offer to the suffragists not better terms but merely facilities 
for a private Member's Bill, without undertaking any Government 
responsibility. The Speaker can hardly be exonerated, considering 
his knowledge of the position and the fact that during the debate 
on the Second Reading many speeches had dealt largely with 
women's suffrage, which, if it fell outside the scope of the Bill, it 
was surely his duty to rule out of order. On May 6th, 1913, the 
second reading of the Dickinson Bill, which gave votes to women 
over 25 who are householders or the wives of householders, was lost 
by a majority of 48 ; 221 ayes to 269 noes. 

Procedure on Bills. To reach the Statute Book a Bill must 
either (l) pass both the House of Commons and the House of 
Lords in the same session or (2) under the recent Parliament Act, a 
Bill which passes the House of Commons in three successive 
sessions, with a two years' interval, may pass into law without the 
consent of the Lords. This affects the whole question of the type 
of suffrage likely to pass. The Lords prefer Conservative measures 
and a Liberal measure would lose the support of Conservatives even 
if they approved of it, if it were to be pushed through under the 
Parliament Act. 


History of Local Government Suffrage. The absurdities and 
anomalies and the insecurity of tenure of women's rights in 
connection with local Councils afford one of the best illustrations of 
the need for the Parliamentary vote. In England and Wales, women 
are still under certain disabilities with regard to marriage and 
ownership not imposed on their sisters in Scotland and Ireland. 
New legislation has not seldom had the effect of limiting women's 
existing rights. 

In 1835, the word "male " inserted in an Act deprived English 
women of their ancient right to vote for municipal councils; in 
1894, an Act extending women's rights in some directions 
deprived them of the vote as owners ; in 1899, when, for 
London Vestries, there were substituted London Borough Coun- 
cils, women lost their right to be elected; in 1902, when the 
work of the School Boards in England was handed over to the 
County Councils, women lost their right to be elected and for 
some years could only act as co-opted members. 

Opposition of the Courts. As in so many other countries 
women have sought, and with as little success, to establish their 
rights in the Law Courts. After the Franchise Acts of 1867 and 
1868 attention was called to Lord Brougham's Act of 1850, which 
had laid it down that in future Acts of Parliament words denoting 
the masculine were to be held to include the feminine unless the 
contrary was expressly provided. The officials in charge of the 
electoral lists took different views of the interpretation of the Act. 
In Aberdeen all women's names were placed on the register. In 
Birmingham, Manchester, and several county divisions those 
claiming were put on the register, whereas in Edinburgh, Leeds, 
etc., the claims were refused. The first case, that of Brown v. 
Ingram, on the interpretation of the Scotch Act, decided that because 
of the long custom to the contrary women could not be registered. 
Chorlton v. Lings decided for England and Wales, that the word 
man ' did not include women and that women were subject to a 
legal incapacity to be registered as parliamentary electors. In 
1908, it was decided in " Nairne v. the Universities" that the word 
' person ' in the particular Section of the Act did not include 
women and that the women graduates registered on the University 
Parliamentary Electoral Roll were not entitled to vote. 

The opposition of the Courts has also affected women's rights in 
Local Council Elections. By Rex v. Harrald, 1873, married women 
are debarred from voting for Town Councils in England. After 
the establishment of County Councils, Lady Sandhurst, an elector, 
believing herself eligible under the provision that " every person 
shall be qualified to be elected and to be a Councillor, who is at the 
time of the election qualified to elect to the office of Councillor," was 
elected to the London County Council, but was later unseated because 
the Judges interpreted Section 63 of the same Act, namely, " for all 
purposes connected with and having reference to the right to vote at 
municipal elections, words in this Act importing the masculine 


gender include women," as implying that women are excluded from 
the right to be elected. 

Work outside Parliament. Since the publication of William 
Thompson's Appeal of One Half the Human Race, in reply to 
the statement in James Mill's Essay on Government that women 
might be struck off from political rights without inconvenience, 
there has been a steady stream of publications advocating the 
reform. The Sheffield Female Political Association was the first 
society having votes for women as its object, and from its first 
public meeting in 1851, it sent a petition to the House of Lords. 

Systematic organisation began after John Stuart Mill's failure 
to add women to the Franchise Bill. In 1867, the Societies formed 
in Manchester, London, and Edinburgh, constituted themselves into 
the National Society for Women's Suffrage which later developed 
into the National Union of Women Suffrage Societies. All these 
years it has worked steadily on constitutional lines, and now, in 
1913, under the distinguished leadership of Mrs. Millicent Garrett 
Fawcett, one of its original members and speakers, it has more than 
400 branches, a membership of over 42,000, and in the thirteen 
months ending November 31st, 1912, raised some ^40,000 for the 

The Women's Social and Political Union, founded by Mrs. 
Pankhurst in 1902, made a new departure three years later by 
introducing the so-called militant methods for which hundreds of 
women have been imprisoned. It also adopted the method of 
opposing at elections the candidate supported by the Government 
in power. 

The N.U.W.S.S., on the other hand, takes the line of supporting 
the candidate who is the best suffragist, and in 1912, began to take 
into consideration the attitude of the parties as a whole to their 
question. So far, the only party advocating Woman Suffrage is 
the Labour Party, so that its candidates more especially receive 

Other important Suffrage Societies are the Men's League for 
Woman Suffrage and the Women's Freedom League. There are 
four weekly newspapers and several monthlies devoted solely to the 
propaganda of Women Suffrage. 

Pressure on the House of Commons. The following is a 
summary of the Work done in connection with pressure on the 
House of Commons : 

Petitions. 1 1832. Mary Smith of Stramore, Yorkshire, 
petitioned Parliament. 

1851. Lord Carlisle presented a petition to the House of 
Lords from a public meeting in Sheffield. 

1866. John Stuart Mill presented a petition to the House of 
Commons from 1,499 women, the signatures having been collected 
in a fortnight. 

1 A Brief Review of Woman Suffrage. The National Union of Women's 
Suffrage Societies. 


1852 to 1905. 1,747 petitions, containing 486,747 names, were 
presented to the House of Commons. 

1896. An appeal signed by 257,000 women was presented to 

1906. A declaration was signed by 52,000 women, chiefly 
professional and working. 

1909 and 1910. A Petition signed by 280,000 electors was 
presented to Parliament. 

Resolutions passed. 1 The British Women's Temperance 

The Scottish Union of the above. 

The National Union of Women Workers, in 1902, 1909 and 
1912. This is the most representative organisation of women in the 
country, having affiliated to it 139 organisations of women and forty- 
seven Branches on which 1,408 women's societies are represented. 

The Association of Headmistresses. 

The Association of University Women Teachers. 

The Incorporated Assistant Mistresses in Secondary Schools, 
etc., etc. 

The Society of Registered Nurses. 

The Women's Co-operative Guild (the only organised body 
representing the married working women of the country). 

Among organisations having Woman Suffrage as one of their 
objects are : 

The Women's Liberal Federation. 

The Scottish Women's Liberal Federation. 

The Independent Labour Party. 

The Fabian Society. 

Among other bodies which have petitioned Parliament or 
pronounced themselves in favour of Women Suffrage are : 

Over 140 Town Councils, among which may be mentioned 
those of the important cities of Glasgow, Birmingham, Liverpool, 
Manchester, Dublin, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast, Newcastle, etc., 
and many other Local Councils. 

The Convention of the Royal Burghs of Scotland. 

The Scottish Men's Liberal Association. 

The Labour Party. 

Great Demonstrations held. 1851. Public Meeting held in 

1868 to 1873. Public Meetings held in Manchester, Birmingham, 
London, Edinburgh, Dublin, Bristol, Leeds, Newcastle and many 
other places. 

1880 to 1884. Great Demonstrations were held in large halls 
in the towns of Manchester, London, Bristol, Birmingham, 
Bradford, Nottingham, Sheffield, Glasgow, and Edinburgh. 

After 1907, meetings and demonstrations were held on a much 
larger scale. 

1 A Brief Review of Woman Suffrage. The National Union of Women's 
Suffrage Societies. 


1907. 3,000 women marched in procession in London. 
1,500 in Edinburgh. 2,000 in Manchester. 

1908. 15,000 women marched in procession in London. 
1908. A crowd estimated at 500,000 demonstrated in Hyde 


1910. Some 5,000 meetings (not including innumerable out- 
door meetings) were held, besides a demonstration in Hyde Park of 
250,000 people and a Trafalgar Square demonstration of 10,000. 

1911 to 1913. Meetings and demonstrations become too 
numerous to calculate. In hundreds of places, besides smaller 
meetings, demonstrations are regularly held in the largest halls. 
The Albert Hall, London, holding 10,000, was, e.g., crowded at five 
demonstrations in 1912. 

Societies having Women's Suffrage as their Object. 

The National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies, having an 
annually subscribing membership of 42,000,411 Branches, an 
income, including the income of its branches and federations for 
the thirteen months ending November 30th, 1912, of ^"40,000. 
Weekly paper, The Common Cause. 

The National Women's Social and Political Union. Weekly 
paper, The Suffragette. 

The Women's Freedom League. Weekly paper, The Vote. 

The Men's League for Women's Suffrage. 

The Conservative and Unionist Women's Franchise Associa- 

The Actresses' Franchise League. 

Artists' Suffrage League. 

Catholic Women's Suffrage Society. 

Church League for Women's Suffrage. 

Civil Service Women's Suffrage Society. 

Free Church League for Women's Suffrage. 

Friends' League for Women's Suffrage. 

Gymnastic Teachers' Suffrage Society. 

International Suffrage Club. 

Irish Women's Suffrage Federation. 

Irish Women's Franchise League. 

Jewish League for Women's Suffrage. 

London Graduates' Union for Women's Suffrage. 

Men's Political Union for Women's Enfranchisement. 

National Industrial and Professional Women's Suffrage Society. 

New Constitutional Society for Woman Suffrage. 

Purple, White and Green Club. 

Suffrage Atelier. 

Scottish University Women Suffrage Union. 

Scottish Churches' League for Woman Suffrage. 

The Forward Suffrage Union (of Liberal Women). 

Women Writers' Suffrage League. 


Australian and New Zealand Women Voters' Committee. 
Women's Tax Resistance League. 
Cymric Suffrage Union. 
Political Reform League. 

Votes for Women Fellowship. Weekly paper, Votes for 

The League for Spiritual Militancy, etc. 


Population (according to the census of 1910), 64,903,423. Men, 
32,031,967; Women, 32,871,456. 

Political Franchise. The women of Germany are as yet 
entirely excluded from the political franchise, that is to say, from 
voting and themselves being eligible for election for the Reichstag 
and the Parliaments of the various States of the confederation. 

Communal Franchise. As far as a share in local government 
is made dependent on the possession of property, in the majority of 
the German States women are allowed a very restricted vote for the 
representation of rural communes. As a rule they are not allowed 
to vote in person but can only do so by means of a proxy. 1 Even 
this restricted right, whose practical working is often very trouble- 
some, is denied to women in those southern and south-western 
States of Germany where local government is carried on under 
what is known as the French system, which recognises no difference 
between town and country communes. In these places, as also in 
the towns of Prussia, the franchise is dependent on the right of 
citizenship, which women do not possess, or if they do in some 
measure possess it, it is not on the same terms as men hold it. 

Time with its many changes has brought about many modifica- 
tions in the voting powers of women, acting sometimesadvantageously, 
sometimes disadvantageously for them. Thus we find that in the 
kingdom of Bavaria on the right bank of the Rhine, in the Duchy 
of Saxe-Meiningen, in the Principalities of Reuss, Waldeck- 
Pyrmont, Schwartzburg-Rudolstadt, Schwarzburg-Sondershausen 
and in Hohenzollern, women as owners of property are allowed to 
vote in the towns as well. In the Grand Duchy of Saxe-Weimar- 
Eisenach, women can not only as they do in some other places, 
acquire the right of citizenship on the same conditions as men, 
but they acquire with it an exactly similar franchise, the only 
difference being that they have to vote by means of a proxy. In 
rural communes in the kingdom of Saxony unmarried women and 
widows who possess landed property" have the franchise and can 

1 In the case of a married woman it is the husband who acts as proxy. 

2 According to the new regulations introduced in 1912 married women under 
certain circumstances are also allowed to vote. 


exercise it in person. This is also the case in the rural communes 
of the Prussian Province of Hanover, of Bremen and of some of 
those of Liibeck. Places which, in addition to those already 
mentioned, give the communal franchise by means of a proxy to 
women who own property, are as follows: Prussia (with the exception 
of the Rhine Provinces), Brunswick, Saxe-Altenberg, Lippe- 
Detmold, Hamburg. 

Women are nowhere eligible to stand for election and in the 
following places they are not even allowed to vote, viz., Wurtemburg, 
Baden, Oldenburg, both Mechlenburgs, Anhalt, Saxe-Coburg- 
Gotha, Alsace-Lorraine. 

Ecclesiastical franchise. German women are as a rule 
debarred from voting in church affairs. 1 They are not allowed to 
vote in the election of the clergy, or to vote for or be eligible for 
election as congregational representatives, as church managers or 
as members of Church Councils. In some places and in certain 
congregations {e.g., in Osnabrtick, in Ditmar, in St. George's, Berlin) 
women were at one time allowed to vote at the election of the clergy, 
but the right has gradually disappeared or been taken away by 
more recent enactments of the Synod. This right, however, still 
prevails in the Reformed Churches in Liibeck and Hamburg, as 
also, though very restricted, in East Friesland, while six years ago 
it was introduced into six congregations in Bremen as well. In 
Alsace-Lorraine the Synods of both the Reformed and the Lutheran 
Churches have decided by a large majority to give women a vote 
in church affairs, but so far Government has not yet given its consent 
to this step. 

Franchise for the Representatives of Professional Interests. 
The Imperial law that dealt with the election of representatives of 
professional interests, for the first time recognised in some measure 
the equality of German men and women. In the important 
legislation at the end of the eighties of last century dealing with 
insurance, women were given the right both to elect and to be 
elected as representatives at meetings, as managers and as members 
of Committees, in the Sick Benefit Societies, which administer the 
funds on behalf of the insured. Women were, however, not allowed 
to be elected to the position of inspector of insurance officials, or to 
any of the higher posts of administration and in 1911, when new 
legislation was introduced in which the three branches of sickness, 
accident and disablement insurance were further defined and codified 
this distinction was still retained. 

On the same principle women are allowed to vote and to be 
voted for as representatives to the Boards managing the insurance 
of salaried employees that came into force on January 1st, 1913, 
but they are not allowed to hold the higher administrative posts here 
either, as is generally the case, and even if they are eligible for 
these they are in no case allowed to act as arbitrators. 

1 We are only able to deal here with the Reformed and Lutheran Protestant 


In nearly all the States of the German Empire women are in 
their capacity as owners of a business allowed to vote in the 
Chambers of Commerce which come under different regulations in 
the various States. It is only, however, in a few places that they 
are allowed to vote in person, it is much more usual for them to do 
so by means of a procurator, or other male proxy. 

It is only in the Grand Duchy of Hesse that women are eligible 
for election to Chambers of Commerce. 

Qualifications. Within the narrow limits in which women 
are allowed to vote in communal elections, only a very small 
number of the qualifications hold good for both men and women, 
{i.e., as regards age, ownership of land, payment of taxes, domicile, 
etc.), as a general rule the qualifications are quite different. As has 
already been mentioned it is only, with few exceptions, the women 
who are owners of landed property and living in rural districts who 
have a vote, whereas the men belonging to rural communes qualify 
for a vote by the mere fact of payment of taxes without requiring 
to own property in the commune. Farther, in most of the 
States women lose even their miserable indirect vote through 
marriage. The husband becomes qualified by virtue of his wife's 
property, and votes on his own account, not as his wife's proxy 
even though he has no taxable property or income of his own. In 
this connection it may be mentioned that a woman duly qualified to 
vote in a rural commune loses her vote when such a commune 
acquires municipal rights. 

At the election to the Boards of management of State Sick 
Funds, and Salaried Employees Insurance Funds, the same 
qualifications hold good for both men and women. 

Part taken by Yromen in the elections. It is very difficult 
to speak with any authority of the part taken by women in the 
communal elections in which they are only allowed to vote by means 
of an indirect franchise exercised on their behalf by men, over whom 
they can exercise no sort of control as to whether the vote has 
actually been recorded as they intended it or not. Even were the 
statistics of the number of votes recorded by women in the various 
States to be available, they would not be of great value in determin- 
ing the amount of interest taken by the women in communal affairs. 
That the interest shewn by the women under existing circumstances 
has not been very great, is hardly surprising. It is, however, 
significant that in those towns in which women have a vote, they 
have shewn a much keener interest in the elections than they do in 
the country. In Bavaria, for example, it came out as the result of 
an inquiry, that in the towns about 90% of the women were repre- 
sented at the elections, as against 7% in the country. It is also a 
well-known fact that when the men are anxious to carry through 
any particular measure in the commune, they take a great deal of 
trouble to vote on behalf of the women and in the few States in 
which women vote in person to urge them to go to the poll. The 
woman's vote is extremely convenient, you can use it, or leave it 


alone, just as happens to suit best." This classic remark of a 
Silesian rural voter holds good for other parts of the Empire as well. 

But since the woman's suffrage movement in Germany has 
entered upon a more vigorous stage of its existence, the situa- 
tion has materially changed. The Association for Woman's 
Suffrage as well as the other Societies — and amongst these 
especially the oldest of all the societies connected with the 
woman's movement— the German Woman's Union — have during 
the last few years made it their object to induce all women 
qualified to vote to make a proper use of their right. This they 
have done by means of a vigorous campaign of propaganda and 
agitation carried on throughout the different parts of the empire. 
Their efforts have been attended with very favourable results, 
especially in the Prussian province of Silesia and Hesse-Nassau, in 
Bavaria, in the Grand Duchy of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, and in 
Bremen. In Hesse-Nassau at the elections of 1910, 33 per cent, 
of the women qualified to vote were represented. Still better 
results were obtained in Silesia, where the percentage of male 
voters who recorded their vote varied from 10 per cent, to 60 per 
cent. The percentage of proxies for women's votes was much 
higher, and in one place all the properly qualified women were 
represented : that is to say 100 per cent, of them voted as against 
33 per cent, of men. 

The part taken by the women (as was also that taken by the 
men) in the election of managers for the Sick Benefit Funds was 
quite negligible during the first few years the new scheme was in 
operation. Matters have now somewhat improved since the local 
organisations connected with the woman's movement — and especially 
the Woman's Suffrage Societies — have made it their business to 
explain to the women the importance of these elections. 1 They 
have met with considerable success in their efforts in this direction, 
so much so that in several places the women have found themselves 
in the position of being able to put up candidates of their own and 
to get them returned to their local Boards. 

Women took a very active part in the first elections that took 
place in the autumn of 1912, for the managers for Private 
Employees Insurance. 

The women's professions which chiefly come under this new 
Act (i.e., clerks employed in offices and commercial houses, teachers, 
trained nurses, etc.) are already fairly well organised, and so it 
came about that not only in many of the towns did a larger per- 
centage of women vote than men, 2 but also that a large number of 
women trustees were elected. 

Woman's Suffrage Movement. Although the principle of 
woman's suffrage had been advocated not only by various persons, 

1 The German Woman's Suffrage Society has worked out a scheme of its 
own for thes: elections. 

- The elections are conducted on the proportional system. 


but also by certain organisations in sympathy with the woman's 
movement at an earlier period, the real woman's suffrage move- 
ment can only be said to date from the year 1902, when the German 
Woman's Suffrage Society was founded, which in 1904 was enlarged 
to an Association. 

Its usefulness was, however, very much curtailed during the 
first six years of its existence by the law prevailing at that time in 
many of the German states, more especially in Prussia, the largest 
of the federated states, with regard to associations and assemblies 
which forbade women, children of school age and apprentices to 
take part in political associations and assemblies. It was only in 
1908, when all these local laws were finally abolished, and one 
uniform Imperial law dealing with associations took their place, 1 
that the suffrage movement was able to make any real progress. 

In a comparatively short space of time a large number of 
branches were founded in those States which had formerly been 
closed to the movement. These branches were then affiliated to the 
National and Provincial Associations. At the present time there are 
11 National and 11 (Prussian) Provincial Associations, with between 
9,000 and 10,000 members distributed among 89 local branches. 

The Association has two objects in view: ' (l) to win 
political equality for women and to secure for them the right to 
exercise their political rights ; (2) to induce the women of such 
German countries, communes and professions as possess political 
and other rights to make use of these." 

By means of petitions to the Reichstag, and by petitions to the 
Governments of the various States within the Empire, the associa- 
tion puts forward these demands and endeavours to create a favour- 
able public opinion and Public Press by means of an active campaign 
carried on by the national and local branches both by speech and 
writing. The Association demands the suffrage for all women, that 
is to say, a universal, equal, secret and direct franchise, as exists at 
present in Germany only for the Reichstag, for the Parliaments of 
the various States and for the communes as well. 

As there were many women who although in favour of Woman's 
Suffrage, felt that they could not take up so democratic a stand as 
this, and saw in this demand, (though such was not really the case), 
the demand of one particular party, since 1911 another Society 
has been formed, the German Association for Woman's Suffrage 
which demands the vote for women ' on the same terms as men 
have or may have it." This Society, according to the figures given 
in the Year Book of the Woman's Movement for 1913, has a 
membership of about 2,300 and is composed of the Silesian Asso- 
ciation (founded in 1908), the W T est German Association (founded 
in 1909) and the North Germany Association for Woman's Suffrage 
(founded in 1911). 

During the last few years the women belonging to the Social 

1 The women had for years petitioned in vain for this reform. 


Democratic Party, have carried on an active agitation in favour of 
Woman's Suffrage, special attention being given to the question on 
the Social Democratic Woman's Day which they yearly hold in the 
Spring. By this means the question of Woman's Suffrage has been 
brought prominently before the working woman. 

Treatment of the question of Woman's Suffrage by the 
various Legislative Assemblies. Until quite recently when the 
question of woman's suffrage came up for debate in Parliament it 
used to be greeted with the usual merriment. The petitions which 
the Association for Woman's Suffrage addressed to the Reichstag 
and the Prussian Chamber of Deputies praying for the extension of 
the franchise to women, were simply set aside by turning to the 
orders of the Day. Some progress was made when the Petition 
Committee of the Reichstag in March, 1913, decided to hand over the 
last petition sent in by the association to the Imperial Chancellor 
"for cognizance." The petitions for the communal franchise 
which had been presented during recent years by the League of 
German Women's Associations and by the Woman's Suffrage 
Societies, to the legislative assemblies of the various federated 
States, met with more consideration. 

The demands they made were (l) that in cases where women 
were allowed to vote by proxy, they should be allowed to vote 
directly (2) that women should be given the communal franchise 
on the same terms as men. 

In some of the States the regulations for communal elections 
have in the last year or two been brought up for revision by 

In the progressive country of Baden it seemed in 1910, likely 
that the women's demands were to be granted, but in commission 
the Bill was rejected by 10 to 5 votes for all communes and by 
8 to 7 votes for town communes and so it came to nothing. In the 
kingdom of Saxony in 1912 a small point was gained, namely, that 
married women w 7 ho were landed proprietors should, under certain 
conditions, vote directly. In the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg the 
women's petitions had the effect cf producing for the first time in 
any German Parliament, a majority for woman's suffrage. On 
February 9th, 1912, a Bill was passed in the Provincial Chamber 
by 22 votes to 19, granting to all women over twenty-four years of age 
the right to be elected as representatives to communal councils. In 
the meantime, however, the women will have to rest content with a 
moral victory as the Government has refused to sanction this Bill. 
Petitions addressed by the National Woman's Association and by 
the Silesian Woman's Association to the Prussian Chamber of 
Deputies were in 1911 handed over to the Government "as 
material " (that is as much as to say, put into the waste paper 
basket), and not less than forty petitions from various women's 
societies met the same fate on October 22nd, 1912. 

But on this occasion the question of the franchise was 
gone into much more thoroughly and in much greater detail 


than had ever been done before, in a debate that lasted 
many hours. There was certainly nothing that was new in 
the position taken up by the various parties on the subject or in 
the arguments brought forward by the opponents of the cause, but 
a strong impression was made by the supporters of the woman's 
question who showed both the folly and the impossibility of • 
withholding the franchise in face of present facts. They pointed 
out how according to the last employment census in 1907 there 
were then over 9,000,000 of women in Germany earning their own 
living, how at the present moment there were over 12,000 women 
occupying responsible paid and unpaid posts under local government 
authorities, i.e., as guardians of the poor and of orphans, as in- 
spectors of dwellings and police assistants, as members of school 
boards, on committees in charge of drunkards, sick persons and 
infants, in town employment bureaux, etc., etc., and with what 
conspicuous success women had filled all these positions. 

Attitude of the various political parties with regard to 
Y/oman's Suffrage. So far it is only the Social Democratic Party 1 
that has put upon its programme and voted consistently for woman's 
suffrage for the election of representatives to the Imperial Parlia- 
ments, the assemblies of the various States and the Communal 
Councils, making use of the phrase " without distinction of sex." 

Among the Moderate party there is only one small democratic 
section, which has as yet no representative in Parliament, that puts 
woman's suffrage on its programme. In the Progressive popular 
party (Liberal) there is certainly a majority in favour of woman's 
suffrage, but they have hitherto refused to place it on their party 
programme out of regard to the wishes of a very strong minority 
who make this a condition of their remaining in the party. On the 
occasion of the last general meeting of the party in October, 1912, 
all interest centred on the woman question and a lively contest took 
place, which was carried on with remarkable skill by the women 
members of the party, amongst whom were many of the best known 
leaders of the woman's movement. 

Since the new laws dealing with the question of political 
associations have come into force, women have been joining the 
men's party organisations as members in a steadily increasing 
number. The men have given them a hearty welcome — especially 
during the recent elections for the Reichstag in January, 1912 — and 
have elected them to some of the various party committees. It is 
only now the Conservatives and the Centre (the ultramontane party) 
that do not accept women as members, but try to keep them in 
political organisations of their own. At the last elections for the 
Reichstag, the women worked very hard and in great numbers and 
received the grateful thanks of all parties for the work they had 

1 The largest party in the Reichstag. 



Population, 28,571,934. Men, 14,034,022; Women, 14,537,912. 

The kingdom of Austria-Hungary bears the official title of 
"The Kingdoms and Countries represented in the Imperial 
Parliament," and this title is proof of the peculiar manner in which 
the country came into being. From the time that the province of 
Ostmark first became consolidated in the year 955 until the pro- 
mulgation of the Pragmatic Sanction in 1713 by the Emperor 
Charles VI., which for the first time asserted the indivisibility of 
the territory that formed the Empire, there had been frequent and 
sudden changes into the territorial possessions of Austria. By 
means of successful wars and still more by prudent matrimonial 
alliances new territory had, in the course of centuries, been 
constantly added to the small original province cf " Ostarrich," and 
these new acquisitions went to build up the Germanic Kingdom of 
Austria. It was only in 1526 by means of a marriage and later in 
1626 by force of arms that to this German- Austrian state was added 
the kingdoms of Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia, which then came to 
form part of the Austrian Empire. 

In spite of the absorption of individual principalities and 
provinces into one homogeneous state the different provinces to this 
day maintain to a certain degree their own individuality, inasmuch 
as each province has the right to manage its own internal affairs in 
its own way. 

By an imperial edict of October 20th, 1860, and an imperial 
charter of February 20th, 1861, the old institution of Provincial 
Diets was submitted to a complete reorganisation and their rights 
as well as their sphere was properly defined. At the same time 
each province was provided with a new electoral system based on 
the existing communal electoral system and thus recognising the 
principle of the right of women to vote. Owing to the differences 
that exist in the regulations for the return of members to the various 
Provincial Diets, we find differences also existing in the voting 
power of women. 

In Lower Austria a Government Bill was passed by a large 
majority in the third session of the Lower Austrian Diet on April 
10th, 1861, giving the franchise to independent women who were 
taxpayers. In other provinces, for example, Bohemia, Silesia and 
Styria, properly qualified women taxpayers are allowed to vote for 
members to the Diet. 

According to the present system of electing members to the 
Provincial Diets women can vote under the following conditions: 
In Austria, South of the Enns (by a law of October 21st, 1907), 
Austria, North of the Enns (by a law of January 29th, 1909), 
Styria (by a law of February 19th, 1909), Carintliia (by a law of 


September 5th, 1902), Istria (by a law of May 17th, 1908), only 
such women can vote as are qualified by belonging to the class of 
large landed proprietors, the owners of registered estates. In 
Salzburg (by a law of February 15th, 1900), Vorarlberg (by a law 
of January 13th, 1909), Silesia (by a law of November 22nd, 1875), 
Bohemia (by a law of January 9th, 1878), and Tirol (by a law of 
February 26th, 1801), women who pay independent taxes are 
qualified to vote under certain conditions. As a rule they are not 
allowed to vote in person but only by means of a male proxy. 
Women are nowhere eligible to stand for election to the Diet. 
F>ohemia is the only exception to this rule. 

The Communal vote was given to such independent women 
as pay taxes by some of the Provinces under certain conditions at 
the time when the communes were given the right of local govern- 
ment in 1848. Since then there have naturally been many changes 
in the regulations for communal elections, in the course of which 
women have sometimes found their rights curtaded, at other times 
confirmed. At the present time, properly qualified women who 
pay a certain amount of taxes are allowed to vote for the represen- 
tatives of town and rural communes in Salzburg, Silesia, Vorarlberg, 
Bohemia (with the exception of Prague and Reichenberg), Lower 
Austria (with the exception of Vienna) and Moravia. Also for the 
towns of Laibach in Carinthia, Waidhofen on the Ybbs, Wiener - 
Neustadt in Lower Austria and Trient. In most of the Provinces, 
however, it is only unmarried women and widows who are allowed 
to vote in person. Married women must do so through their 
husbands. If the latter has a vote himself the woman's vote lapses. 
Women are nowhere eligible for election to communal councils. 

The formation and composition of Education Committees 1 is 
under the control of the State which incorporates the various differ- 
ences existing in the various provinces, but these differences are of no 
great account. A law of Lower Austria passed on December 24th, 
1905, dealing with school inspection, lays down in i28d. that to the 
district Education Committee of the Royal and Imperial Capital of 
Vienna " Educational Specialists are to be sent, fourof whom are to be 
chosen from the Teachers Association of the School area of Vienna. 
Only such are to be capable of election as have done at least ten 
years of unbroken service in a public school, with the exception of 
men and women teachers of the second class in elementary and 
secondary schools. All teachers are qualified to vote who have done 
not less than five years public service." By virtue of this law, 
women teachers vote on the same terms as their male colleagues 
and are themselves eligible for election. At the election for the 
D ; strict Education Committee in Vienna in the summer of 1910, a 
woman teacher was elected for the first time in Austria as a 
representative of the teaching profession to the District Education 

1 There are three of these viz., National Education Committee, District 
Education Committee and Local Education Committee. 


According to the law of Domicile of December 3rd, 1896, the 
care of the Poor devolves upon the Provincial and Communal 
authorities. In most of the communes there are no restrictions as 
regards sex with regard to those appointments. In some, however, 
it is expressly stated that only men can be appointed while in others 
that women can likewise be appointed to this office. In Lower 
Austria, by a law of the Provincial Diet of May 19th, 1908, " women 
who are of full age and are domiciled in the district of Poor Law 
Administration can be appointed to the District Board of Guardians, 
and shall have the same rights as their male colleagues." 

The appointments to the Boards in charge of the Poor and of 
Orphans are made by the following officials for the time being — 
judge, magistrates, town councillors, etc. In Vienna, for example, 
the appointment to the Board of Guardians is made by a magistrate. 
Any man or woman who presents him or herself for this office can 
be appointed Overseer of Orphans, provided that no exception can 
be taken to their character. 

In Styria, since 1906, women have been eligible for the District 
Boards of Guardians on exactly the same terms as the men. In 
Briinn (Moravia) there are not only women Guardians but women 
from the local Boards have been appointed to the Poor Commission 
on exactly the same terms as men. The office of Guardian of the 
Poor as well as of Orphans is an honorary one. It is only in a few 
places, as for example Ostrau (Moravia), that there are paid Over- 
seers of Orphans, who also undertake the duty of the protection of 

According to a law passed on June 29th, 1868, by the Chamber, 
and which holds good in the whole country, the following are the 
conditions under which women can elect representatives to the 
Chambers of Trade and Commerce. ' When women, or such 
persons as are under a guardian or curator find themselves in sole 
possession of a business, the manager of the business is to vote in 
their name." As very many women are however the proprietors of 
businesses, without requiring any manager to conduct their 
business for them, what they do to be able to vote, is simply to get 
some man to sign the voting ticket. The condition that only such 
persons shall vote for these Chambers as are entitled to vote or to 
stand for election in communal elections, is not enforced. In 
Vienna, for example, where women do not possess the communal 
franchise they are nevertheless allowed to take part in the election 
to the Chambers of Trade and Commerce. 

The following are the regulations with regard to the right to 
stand for election to these Chambers : — " Persons are eligible for 
election who are themselves engaged in trade or commerce, of 
Austrian nationality, of over 30 years of age, and who for at least 
three years have fulfilled the conditions qualifying for a vote in the 
Chamber." The wording of this enactment does not make it 
anywhere clear whether women are excluded from standing for 
election or not. In practice, however, this has been taken for 



granted, and no attempt has yet been made to secure for women the 
right of standing for election. 

Industrial Courts only came into existence in Austria in the 
year 1896. In the law passed on November 27th of that year 
" dealing with the Establishment of Industrial Courts and their 
jurisdiction in disputes arising out of questions of industrial 
training and wages," it is stated (in ?8) that " the elective body shall 
consist of employers carrying on those trades whose operations 
come under the jurisdiction of the industrial courts. . . . Women 
may record their vote by means of proxies. . . . The elective 
body of workmen shall consist of the whole body of men and 
women employed in the occupations that come under the control of 
the Courts, who have passed their 20th year, etc., etc." 

The right to stand for election belongs only to the men both in 
the elective bodies of the employers and employed. 

In the election of managers for the Sick Funds of Friendly 
Societies women, both as employers and employed persons, vote on 
exactly the same terms as men. The right of women to stand for 
election is a disputed point, as the law neither expressly acknow- 
ledges nor denies their eligibility, so whether their right is to be 
recognised or not depends upon the interpretation put upon the law. 

In many of the Sick Benefit Societies the law is interpreted 
favourably to the women and in Vienna in the Society of Book 
Binders, as also in that of Tailors, a woman has actually been elected 
to the Board of Managers. 

Women are allowed to vote for the Board of Managers of the 
Vienna Merchants' Guild. In the last election in March, 1911, out 
of 16,950 voters, 3,228 were women. 

So far the number of women qualified to vote who actually 
record their vote is much smaller than that of the men who vote ; 
each year however shows a considerable increase in the number of 
women voting. 

In the Society of Medical Practitioners, that is to say the 
professional organisation of the medical faculty, women doctors 
have hitherto voted on equal terms with the male members of the 
profession. As, however, the rules of the Society contained the 
following regulation, viz, "that only those doctors shall vote who are 
eligible for the Communal vote" at the last elections in Lower 
Austria, the names of the women doctors were struck off the roll. 
This infringement of their rights they submitted to without a 

Since the introduction in 1907 of Universal Equal Suffrage for 
the return of members to the Imperial Parliament, all women in 
Austria have been excluded from the right both of electing members 
and themselves being eligible for election. Up till then their right 
to elect members to the Imperial Parliament was recognised in 
principle, while for the return of members to the Provincial Diets 
women belonging to the class of large landed proprietors could vote 
directly, and women employed in trade or commerce could vote at 


least indirectly by reason of their right to elect representatives 
from the Chambers of Trade and Commerce. 

During the last few years repeated attempts have been made 
by different members of Parliament to introduce a Bill for Woman's 
Suffrage, but the question has never succeeded in being put to the 

Woman Suffrage Movement. It was on the founding of the 
Woman's Suffrage Committee in 1907, that the movement for votes 
for women in Austria entered upon a really active campaign. Up 
till now it has been obliged to concentrate all its energies on bringing 
about the repeal of paragraph 30 of the law dealing with Associations, 
in which it is enacted that " Women, minors and foreigners are 
forbidden to found political associations or to be members of such 
associations." In consequence of this law the women of Austria 
were prevented from founding the Society for Woman's Suffrage, 
which they had had in contemplation, as the very desire for political 
rights was regarded as a taking part in politics, and on that account 
a thing forbidden to women. This is why there exists at present 
only one committee for Woman's Suffrage for the whole of German- 
Austrian, 1 with branches in Vienna, Briinn and Troppau and affiliated 
to the International Alliance for Woman's Suffrage. 

This committee makes it its endeavour to enlarge the circle of 
those interested in Woman's Suffrage and to win for the cause new 
friends, by means of a suffrage paper, which it brings out, by issuing 
pamphlets and, above all, by holding great numbers of meetings. 
The committee has sent numerous deputations to Parliament, to 
consult with Cabinet Ministers and the leading members of the 
House upon these questions, to petition for the repeal of clause 30 
of the law concerning associations, as also to bring in a Bill for 
Woman's Suffrage, 

It was the Socialist- Democratic Party that organised the first 
big street demonstration in favour of Woman's Suffrage, which took 
place in Vienna on March 19th, 1911. A large number of women 
of the upper classes took part in the demonstration as w^ell, and 
altogether it proved a most successful and imposing advertisement 
for the movement for the political equality of women. 

At the very end of last year, on December 30th, 1912, Parlia- 
ment brought in a new Bill dealing with Associations and Assemblies, 
in which it is proposed to remove from women all former disabili- 
ties. In the future there are to be no sex distinctions in this 
respect. It will therefore now be possible to organise a proper 
campaign for Woman's Suffrage in the Provinces as well. The 
assent of the Upper Chamber has still to be received to this Bill. 
It is not likely that the Upper Chamber will oppose the concession 
made to the women, but it is possible that they will take exception to 
certain other provisions of the new law. If such were to be the 
case, it would mean the return of the Bill to the Chamber of 

1 Also for Bohemia. 


Deputies and a further delay, until both Houses can come to an 
agreement on the points of dispute. 

As regards the position taken up by the various political parties 
to the question of Woman's Suffrage it may be said that the only 
one of the German parties which up till now has put Woman's 
Suffrage on its programme is that of the Social Democrats. The 
Pan-Germans are decided opponents of the Woman's movement, 
while the various Progressive Parties take up a more or less non- 
committal position. Individually only a few of the Deputies are 
real supporters of the Woman's Suffrage movement. One however, 
Dr. Ofner, member for Vienna, has always been a staunch supporter 
of the cause. 


The franchise and eligibility for women for the Provincial 

Diet 1361 

Communal franchise for women except in Prague and 

Reichenberg 1864 

The population of Bohemia is 6,769,548 ; of these 3,307,633 
are men, and 3,461,855 women. 

The conditions prevailing in the Province of Bohemia deserve 
special mention, both because they are in many respects so very 
different from the rest of Austria and also because of recent events 
they have occupied a large share of public attention. 

As we have already stated, women in Bohemia have, since 1861, 
been allowed to vote and themselves be elected to the Provincial 
Diet of the Kingdom of Bohemia. Since 1864 they have also been 
allowed to vote at Communal elections, with the exception of the 
two towns of Prague and Reichenberg, which have constitutions of 
their own. As the franchise for the Provincial Diet demands as a 
previous condition the communal franchise, the women of Prague 
and Reichenberg are thereby rendered disfranchised. 

In Catholic Bohemia women have not the right to vote in 
church affairs. Women employed in business concerns have the 
same rights as men with regard to the Societies' funds. 

With regard to the qualification for women voters see above 
under Austria. 

The percentage of women who actually vote is considerably 
higher than that of male voters. From the very early days of their 
enfranchisement women have taken an active share in the elections, 
and for the last ten years the Czech women are thoroughly deserving 
of being considererd politically " ripe " seeing that they are not only, 
generally speaking, properly organised and work energetically along 
with the men, but also at every election — with few exceptions — all 
appear at the poll and vote with intelligence and good sense. It is 


interesting in this connection to quote a well-known Czech politician, 
Dr. Mattusch, who, in a work of his written in 1870 and entitled 
" Some considerations regarding the State of Bohemia" says : At 
the election of the Deputies we observed large numbers of women 
taking part in the elections— we were struck with what intelligence 
and how deep a sense of the importance of the act they advanced to 
record their vote, refusing to be led astray by party tricks, they 
voted in accordance with their own convictions and without the 
slightest hesitation." 

So far we cannot say much as regards the effect of the woman's 
vote on legislative and social reforms, as it was only in 1912 that 
the first woman deputy was elected for the district of Jungbunzlau- 
Nymburg and her election has not yet been confirmed. Indirectly, 
however, the women of Bohemia have accomplished a good deal. 
From the year 1908 onwards, the Austrian Government has been 
bringing in a Bill to deal with electoral reform for the Provincial 
Diet of the Kingdom of Bohemia. This Bill proposes (l) that the 
women of the towns of Prague and Reichenberg should be given 
votes. (2) That in addition to the three classes that have hitherto 
existed, namely those of the large landed proprietors, the towns and 
industrial centres, and the rural communes, which include only the 
more important men and women taxpayers, a general class should 
be added to include all such men as are excluded from the above- 
mentioned classes, including, that is to say, those who pay no taxes 
or small taxpayers and with 10 and 8 krone yearly direct tax. (3) 
Eligibility for election is to remain the exclusive right of the male 

In March of this year these proposals were submitted to a sub- 
committee of nine members, consisting of three Bohemians, three 
Germans and three of the large Landed Proprietor class. In this 
committee the votes of the three Germans and the three Landed 
Proprietors were given against women being allowed to stand for 
election, while the three Bohemian Deputies upheld with might and 
main the right of women to stand for election. On being outvoted 
these entered a minority protest. No decision was come to on the 
second point at issue, but it is greatly to be feared that the general 
class will be held to exist exclusively for men. The first point w T as 

The findings of the commission will be laid before the whole 
body after the opening of the Provincial Diet and can only be made 
law after having been passed by the whole body and after receiving 
the royal assent. 

In view of the danger threatening the continuance of the right to 
stand for election hitherto enjoyed by the women of Bohemia, all 
the progressive parties in Bohemia after a campaign undertaken by 
the Woman's Suffrage Committee in Prague, united to secure the 
return of the woman candidate for the seat in the Jungbunzlau- 
Nymburg division which had recently become vacant. The voters 
themselves recognised the importance of the situation, and returned 


on the second election, on June 13th, as Deputy to the Provincial 
Diet, Frau Bozena Vikova-Kuneticka, a distinguished Bohemian 

The Governor, Count Thun, has so far refused to confirm her 
election, although according to the universal reading of the present 
law the right of women to be returned is indisputable. The 
Woman's Suffrage movement in Bohemia is at present therefore 
concentrating all its efforts to secure confirmation of the election of 
Frau Vikova-Kuneticka by the authorities, that is to say by the 
Governor and the Provincial Diet. This it is trying to accomplish 
by means of monster petitions from every part of Bohemia, 
deputations, meetings, etc., etc. 

The town of Prague is also at present engaged on an electoral 
reform which is to include women so far as to give them the 
Communal franchise. This however they are only to exercise by 
means of a male proxy. The women are however hard at work to 
secure that this franchise shall be altered from an indirect to a 
direct one. 

The various Czech parties as well as the political clubs and all 
the deputies, with the exception of the Clericals, are in favour of 
Woman's Suffrage, give their support to the Woman's Suffrage 
Committee and in general treat the matter as a serious question. 


Population, 5,945,155. Men, 2,944,079 ; Women, 3,001,076. 

Communal franchise. The women of Holland are at present 
as totally excluded from any share in local government as they a:e 
from the political franchise. 

They are neither entitled to vote nor are they eligible for 
election in communal or municipal elections. Since 1903, however, 
they have been eligible for nomination by the Communal Council 
to Poor Relief and School Boards and also as State Guardians, and 
are as a matter of fact frequently appointed. Since 1898 women 
have been also appointed as Factory Inspectors. Dutch women 
engaged in commerce have since 1901 been allowed to vote and to 
stand for election to the Chambers of Commerce under the same 
conditions as apply to men. 

Ecclesiastical franchise. In the Lutheran, the Jewish and 
the Menonite communities women are allowed to vote, and are 
eligible for election on the same terms as men. 1 The National 
Synod of the Lutheran Church gave women these rights in 1908, 
immediately after the International Franchise Congress in Amster- 
dam. The Reformed Church, on the other hand, still denies equal 
rights to women. Two petitions signed by 9,000 women and 5,000 

1 Viz., payment of church tax, age limit of 25 years, domicile in the said 


men belonging to the Reformed Church were rejected by the Synod 
by 10 votes to 9 in the autumn of 1909, in spite of the fact that 
individual congregations had declared themselves by large majorities 
in favour of giving women a vote. The Synod likewise declared 
itself against the admission of women to the ministry. 

Franchise movement. The movement for the communal and 
political enfranchisement of women may be said to date from the 
year 1883, when Dr. Aletta Jacobs, 1 the first Dutch woman doctor, 
demanded as a tax-payer to be entered on the communal register 
and at the same time presented a petition to the States General 
demanding political franchise for women. The only result of this 
was a decided refusal and the express introduction of the word 
" male " in the revised constitution, which in 1887 extended the 
franchise to include 200,000 more male voters. 

The women's interest in the question had now, however, been 
thoroughly aroused, and in 1894 the first Woman's Suffrage Society 
was founded — The Union for Woman's Suffrage (Vereeniging voor 
Vrouwenskiesrecht) . 

The first opportunity that presented itself for vigorous action 
occurred at the elections for the States General in 1905, when one 
of the items on the programme was a revision of the constitution. 
The women sought out the various candidates at the meetings held 
during the course of the campaign and did their best through 
personal interviews to influence them in favour of woman's suffrage. 

As Government refused their request that a woman should be 
appointed to the commission preparing the measure dealing with 
the constitution, the Woman's Suffrage Association prepared a 
measure of its own, which was submitted in person to the Queen 
and the Prime Minister and was favourably commented on by the 

In the Spring of 1907 the commission published its report, and 
out of its seven members six advocated the favourable consideration 
of the woman's question. The commission left it to Government 
to decide upon the interpretation of Article 80 of the constitution 
dealing with the Parliamentary franchise. In October, 1907, the 
Government gave as its decision that in Article 80 no mention 
was made of women, it was only voters who were alluded to in 
general. The Woman's Suffrage Association then suggested that 
" men and women " should be substituted for " voters." This 
was not carried, but the Government went so far as to express 
themselves favourably with regard to woman's suffrage in the 
preamble to their Bill. The Press took up the question seriously 
and a pamphlet by Van Houten, an Ex-Minister and leader of the 
Free Liberal Party, did much to give the matter publicity. It 
seemed as if something was at last to be accomplished when a 
change of ministry — the liberal was replaced by a conservative 
cabinet — dispelled all hopes of further progress. 

1 Dr. Jacobs is still leader of the movement and President of the largest 
Suffrage Society in Holland. 


Parliament met in September, 1908, and in the Queen's speech 
no allusion was made to revision of the Constitution. In the protest 
meetings which were held immediately after by the Socialists and 
Radicals, the demand was made for universal suffrage for both 
sexes. Further, during the Budget debate in Parliament four out 
of the seven political parties declared themselves in favour of 
woman's suffrage. The new elections in June, 1909, resulted in a 
victory for the united clerical party and so the prospects for consti- 
tutional reform again came to nothing. In his opening address in 
September, the Minister of the Interior certainly alluded to the 
intention of the Government to appoint a commission to prepare a 
scheme of revision, but only when November came, to declare that 
there was no hurry about it. The Woman's Suffrage Association 
thereupon petitioned the Government for the immediate appointment 
of a commission and to include women in it. At the beginning of 
1910, the commission was finally appointed, but a personal interview 
with the Minister of the Interior by the two Presidents of the 
Woman's Suffrage on the subject of the inclusion of women, met 
with no success. The women next tried to bring direct influence to 
bear on the members of the commission who began to show a lively 
interest in the question of the development and working of woman's 
suffrage. During the winter of 1910-11 a vigorous campaign on 
behalf of universal suffrage for both sexes was set on foot by the 
party of the Left (Socialists, Radicals, Liberals, Unionists) in the 
course of which monster petitions were got up, popular meetings 
were held, and an active part was taken by the various woman 
suffrage societies. In the autumn of 191 1, a rumour got abroad that 
the commission was not in favour of woman's suffrage, and in his 
speech at the opening of Parliament, the Premier made no allusion 
to the question of revision. The result of this was renewed popular 
demonstrations and a more vigorous agitation than ever on the part 
of the Left and of the women. 

In June, 1912, the women's fear was realised that they were 
to get nothing yet of the proposed revision of the constitution, as it 
was declared that Article 80 should be interpreted to mean that it 
was only Dutch persons of the male sex who were entitled to vote 
and to stand for election. A storm of protest was raised by the 
Woman's Suffrage Societies by means of the Press and by a 
Universal Propaganda Day, carried out by members of the Union 
for Woman's Suffrage, on June 15th. 

At the opening of Parliament in September, 1912, the Queen 
announced a Government Bill for the revision of the constitution 
before the end of the year. This was followed by renewed 
demonstrations on the part of the social democrats in favour of a 
universal suffrage without distinction of sex. The women, however, 
have not much hope of success with the present Conservative 

It is impossible for the Bill brought in on February 5th, 1913, 
for adult male suffrage for all Dutch citizens who are over 25 years 


of age and who are either householders, or in an independent 
position, to be debated and passed during the present Parliament, and 
so the women are concentrating all their hopes and all their efforts 
on the new elections for the Second Chamber which take place 
early in June. 

The Woman Suffrage Societies are taking an active part in the 
election campaign, for a possible victory of the Left would bring 
about a change of cabinet to one favourable to woman's suffrage. 

The woman's suffrage movement in Holland is at present 
represented by three organisations. The Union for Woman's 
Suffrage, which has been already mentioned, which has at present 
some 14,000 members in 108 local branches ; the Dutch Associa- 
tion for Woman's Suffrage, founded in 1907, with about 4,800 
members in 62 branches, and the Men's League for Woman's 
Suffrage, founded in 1908 after the Congress at Amsterdam with 
about 200 members and four branches. 


Population, 1910 3,741,971 

Women do not possess any electoral rights either in the 
Commune or in the State. 

Forty years ago, when the constitution was being revised the 
suffrage was demanded for both men and women, but the active 
movement did not begin till 1897, as the result of the publication of 
an essay on the subject by Professor Hilty of Berne, which 
appeared that year in the Swiss Political Yearbook. It was not till 
January 28th, 1909, that the Swiss National Association for Woman 
Suffrage was formed at Berne. Since that date women have acquired 
the right to vote for school committees, for trade boards and in 
church elections in several cantons. 

The women of the Free Church of the Canton of Vaud 
possessed the vote before 1908. In this same canton they acquired 
a similar right in the National Church in November, 1908, and 
exercised it for the first time in the elections of Churchwardens in 
April, 1910, when it was reported in the press "that women were 
at the elections nearly always in a majority." In Geneva women 
have the right to vote in the National Protestant Church and in 
Neuchatel in the Independent Protestant Church. In Zurich women 
have eligibility and in Neuchatel they have the vote and eligibility 
for the Trade Boards. At Neuchatel, Zurich, Bale-Ville and 
Lucerne they have the right to vote for School Committees. On 
June 26th, 1910, the women of Chancy (Geneva) voted for the first 
time in the election of a minister. Of the. Ill electors, nineteen 
women and twenty-seven men polled, which was a percentage of 

1 Jus Suffragii and the Repo.ts of The I.W.S.A., 1908, 1909 and 1911. 


61 per cent, of the women qualified and only 34 per cent, of the 
men. The press reported that " the election was carried on in a 
calm and dignified manner. The women voters showed no 
embarrassment or timidity in exercising their right." 


Population, 1911 36,601,509 

Yotss and Eligibility. French women are still excluded from 
all forms of political election. They, however, have some voting 
rights, and, in certain cases, are eligible for election. 

They have the right to vote and eligibility in the following 
instances and subject to the following conditions. 

Education. The law of October 30th, 1886, amended by the 
law of July 14th, 1901, set up in each Department a Council of 
Primary Education. These Councils include a certain number of 
members, elected from among themselves without distinction of sex, 
by the men and women teachers in the national schools. 

The Superior Council of Public Instruction includes represen- 
tatives elected by members of the Councils of Primary Education 
(law of February 27th, 1880). Women teachers have the right to 
vote and are eligible to be elected. One has recently been chosen 
to sit on this Council. 

Employment. In each Department there is an Employment 
Council (Conseil de Travail), (decree of September 17th, 1900, 
amended by the decree of January 2nd, 1901). " French people of 
either sex" who have worked in one of the specified employments 
for ten years, whether as employer, workman, or employee, are 
qualified to vote for, and eligible to be elected to, these Councils. 

In Paris there sits a Superior Council of Employment, which 
has among its members twenty-six elected by employers and 
twenty-six elected by the workmen. Women are eligible for 
election on the same terms as men (Decree of March 14th, 1903), 
and several have been elected. 

Council of Experts (Conseil des Prud'hommes). Women 
acquired the right to vote for the Councils of Experts by the law of 
March 27th, 1907. 

The law of November 15th, 1908, which extended the benefits 
of the Councils of Experts to employees, conferred eligibility on 
women, and, in several Departments, women have been elected 
Councillors. In the Department of I sere a woman has even been 
elected by her colleagues as Vice-President. 

Commerce. The law of February 19th, 1908, gave women 
merchants the right to take part in the election for the nomination 


of the judges of the Commercial Courts. They are, however, not 
yet eligible to be elected. 

Very few men vote in these elections and still fewer women. 
The latter, indeed, are not much encouraged, for, while the names 
of all the qualified men merchants are entered on the voting registers 
by the authorities, women merchants are expected to make a claim 
before their names are enrolled. Besides, the formalities are 
complicated for married women, seeing that they have no nationality 
of their own, but follow that of their husbands. 

There are other difficulties, consequent on a variety of con- 
ditions, which have the effect that only very few working women 
take part in the election of the Councils of Experts. 

The members of the Chambers of Commerce and of the 
Consultative Chambers are appointed by the same electors as are 
the Judges of the Commercial Courts ; that is to say, women are 
qualified to vote. 

Pest Office, Telegraph and Telephone. A decree of June 
6th, 1906, amended by decrees of January 13th, 1910, and August 
20th, 1911, set up a Council for the Administration of the Post 
Office, Telegraph and Telephone, Local Councils and a Central 
Council. These Councils include representatives elected by the 
different grades of the staff. Women who handle the letters, 
women clerks and typists, postmistresses and other workers are all 
qualified to vote and to be elected. 

Churches. The law of December 9th, 1905, which dealt with 
the separation of the Church from the State, set up religious asso- 
ciations with respect to which no restrictions are placed on women. 
Women do vote in both Protestant and Jewish religious associations. 

Mutual Insurance (Mutualite). At the Ministry of Labour 
and Social Organisation (Ministere du Travail et de la Prevoyance 
Sociale) there is a Superior Mutual Insurance Council, half the 
members of which are representatives of mutual insurance societies, 
elected by delegates from the societies (law of April 1st, 1898). 
Consequently, women who can be members of mutual insurance 
societies (societies admitting women only have also this right) are 
eligible to vote and to be elected. 

Members of Poor Law Relief Councils, School Committees 
and Committees which have charge of foster children are not elected 
but are appointed by the Government, who may choose women. 

The Political Yots 

The Woman Suffrage Movement. The question of woman 
suffrage has been discussed in France for many years and the 
demand for the franchise has been one of the planks of the feminist 
programme since 1848. Some, however, limit their demand to the 
municipal franchise. In spite of the violent opposition of certain 
notorious anti-feminists, one woman, Jeanne Derouin, was so bold 
as to present herself as a candidate. The political emancipation of 


women soon disappeared from the list of feminist demands, as 
public opinion was not very favourable. 

In 1868, the League of Peace and Liberty, at its second 
Congress, declared itself in favour of the equality of the sexes and 
demanded political rights for women. But the war which followed 
brought the emancipation movement to a standstill for several years. 

It was not till 1878 that Leon Richer, who had seen the 
different feminist societies he had founded dissolved one after 
another by order of the Government, was able at last to found a 
permanent society called the French League for the Rights of 
Women, of which Victor Hugo became Honorary President. 

Soon other organisations sprang up, of which the great majority 
put woman suffrage on their programmes. 

Since that time the woman suffrage agitation has been 
systematically carried on without intermission. The subject has 
been discussed at many congresses held in France, both national 
and international. 

The French National Council of Women, founded in 1901, 
which has a woman suffrage section, has presented several petitions 
to the Legislature, and, in 1909, appealed to the President of the 
Republic himself. 

Then, too, in 1909, there was formed the French Union for 
Woman Suffrage, which is affiliated to the International Woman 
Suffrage Alliance and has a membership of several thousand. 

Only this year (1913) the League for the Rights of Men, with a 
membership of 80,000, declared itself definitely in favour of woman 

On March 11th, 1910, there was held in Paris a great suffrage 
meeting, organised by the French League for the Rights of Women 
working in co-operation with the different feminist organisations. 
An appeal was made to men of all shades of political opinion. The 
public came in such numbers that hundreds were not able to get 
into the hall. The press was favourable and published long and 
flattering reports. The success was beyond expectation and the 
cause made considerable advance in public opinion. 

In March, 1912, the French League for the Rights of Women 
started a postcard petition. Thousands of petitions demanding the 
vote and eligibility for women were signed and addressed to the 
President of the Chamber of Deputies. Thousands of other cards 
are signed ready to be sent when woman suffrage comes up for 
discussion in the Chamber. 

Women Candidates. At the municipal elections in 1908, 
Mile. Jeanne Laloe stood as a candidate in one of the quarters of 
Paris. With the help of Mme. Maria Yerone, advocate, she 
obtained from the Prefectorial Government permission to hold a 
public election meeting in the courtyard of a school. It was a 
great success, and, two days later, Jeane Laloe polled nearly 1,000 

In 1910, at the elections of the Legislature, Mme. Marguerite 


Durand stood for election in Paris, and Mme. Elizabeth Renaud at 
Vienne (Isere). The Socialist Party, which supported the candida- 
ture of the latter, had the pleasure of seeing her poll nearly 3,000 
votes after a campaign of only a few days. 

At the 1912 municipal elections women candidates were 
standing on all sides. They took advantage of the election 
campaign to placard the walls with the feminist programme, which, 
consequently, was discussed at many of the election meetings. 

Next year there will be a great campaign at the General 
Election of Members to the Chamber of Deputies. 

In Municipal and Departmental Assemblies. The following 
bodies have passed resolutions in favour of municipal suffrage for 
women : 

1. General Councils: — Seine (1907), Somme (1910), Gers 

(1912), Finistere (1912), Seine-Inferieure (1912). 

2. District Councils (conseils d'arrondisement) : — Le Havre 

(1912), Lyon (1912). 

3. Municipal Councils :— Lyon (1911), Brest (1912), Le 

Havre (1912), Villeurbanne- Rhone (1912), Trelaze- 
Maine and Loire (1912), Morlaix (1912), Oullins-Rhone 
(1912), Yienne-Isere (l913),Orolon, Pau, Lescar- Basses- 
Pyrenees (1913), Lambezelleo-Finistere (1913), Saint- 
Maur-Seine (1913), Saint-Brieuc-C6tes-du-Nord (1913). 

In the Chamber of Deputies. On October 2nd, 1901, M. 
Gautret introduced a Bill which proposed that the right to vote at 
municipal, cantonal and legislative elections should be conferred on 
spinsters, xvidows and divorced women, of full age, but it was not 

On July 10th, 1906, a new Bill was introduced by M. 
Dussaussoy. It proposed that all women should take part in the 
elections of members of Municipal Councils, District Councils and 
General Councils. Although this Bill made no attempt to deal 
with the legislative vote, married women, at least, were not shut out 
from its benefits. 

The Adult Suffrage Commission instructed M. Buisson to 
present a Report in favour, not only of the right of women to vote 
for the Councils indicated by M. Dussaussoy, but also of their 
right to be elected to these bodies. 

The Report was not reached before the dissolution in April, 
1910. Immediately after the General Election, however, the 
reintroduction of the Dussaussoy-Buisson Bill was demanded by 
243 Members, an important minority, seeing that the total 
membership of the French Chamber is about 600. 

The revived Bill was once more adopted by the Adult Suffrage 
Commission, and M. Buisson retained his position as reporter. In 
1909, during the discussion on proportional representation in the 
debate on electoral reform, M. Marcel Sembat, a Socialist Member, 
made an eloquent speech in favour of woman suffrage. 


Then, too, the Socialist Parliamentary group include this 
question among the social reforms they propose to bring to a 
successful issue. The whole Socialist Party has declared itself 
for the equality of the sexes and its parliamentary representatives 
cannot, without a betrayal of their principles, refuse to support the 
claims of the feminists. 

It is, unfortunately, the only political party which stands for 
the full emancipation of women. In the other parties there are 
many elected members, both Deputies and Senators, who as indi- 
viduals are keen suffragists, but they have not yet succeeded in 
converting all the other members of their parties. 

In Literature. It is some time since feminism ceased to be 
a subject for ridicule. Now the question is seriously discussed by 
the most distinguished writers. 

The prominent papers in Paris and the provinces publish on 

the question long articles, criticisms, interviews, investigations, news. 

Three members of the French Academy have devoted complete 

works to the subject. M. Emilein his book entitled Le Feminisme, 

published in 1910, takes up a definite position. He writes : 

I consider it necessary to give women exactly the same rights 
as men in the social order. There can be no question that it is a 
matter of simple justice. The principle involved is that man, as 
a human being, is required to submit only to laws he himself has 
made. Do women not live under the law, obey it, profit by it, 
suffer its penalties ? Most certainly, therefore they ought to make 
the law. 

For myself, I am absolutely convinced that woman 
" suffrage will purify and raise the moral tone of the community. 
It will also be an excellent antidote for universal suffrage." 

M. Eugene Brieux has produced " La Femme Seule," a play 
showing the wretchedness of the unmarried woman who has to 
work for her living and struggle with the wickedness and egotism 
of men. 

Then, in Les Eclairenses, M. Maurice Donnay represents 
women as they are : journalists, writers, advocates, doctors, pro- 
fessors, etc. . . . For all these active, trained, intelligent 
women the author claims the voting paper of which they are deprived 
by the unjust law which confers it on the illiterate and the drunkard. 
Theories at first considered absurd and revolutionary have now 
penetrated everywhere and find supporters not only among women 
but among the most eminent men in the country. 






Estimated December 31st, 1910 
Population, 1910 6,693,584 

Yotes and Eligibility. Belgian women have no suffrage 
rights, except for the Councils of Experts (Conseils Des 
Prud' Homines), for which they gained the vote and eligibility, in 

The Political Vote. The Communal Vote, which women had 
when Belgium and Holland were united, was taken from them 
when these countries separated. 

The situation in Belgium, writes Mademoiselle Felicie 
Dirickx, is different from that in any other country. Woman 
Suffrage is not a burning question, although in the last few years 
the idea has made real progress in public opinion. 

The Belgian League for the Rights of Women, founded in 
1892, and the Belgian Society for the Improvement of the Position 
of Women (1897) promote reforms more especially in the civil 
position of women. 

It was not till 1902 that the Catholic League for Woman 
Suffrage was founded. A few years later (1907) the Belgian Union 
for Woman Suffrage came into being. 

The different Feminist societies in 1905 united to form the 
Belgian National Council of Women. The Branches of this 
Society, however, and notably that of Antwerp, have not all made 
the political emancipation of women one of their aims. 

On February 10th, 1913, the Belgian Federation for Woman 
Suffrage was constituted, with the following societies : 

1. The Belgian Union for Woman Suffrage (1907). 

2. The Catholic League for Woman Suffrage (1902). 

3. The Belgian League for the Rights of Women (1892). 

4. The Belgian Society for the Improvement of the Position 

of Women (1897). 

5. The Union of Gantois Women (1906). 

6. The Antwerp Union of Women (1910). 

7. The Liberal Flemish Society (1913). 

In the Political Parties. In Belgium, there are three 
political parties, the Catholics, the Socialists and the Liberals. 

The Socialists have for a long time had woman suffrage on 
their programme ; the Catholics are beginning to join forces with 
the movement ; as for the Liberals they are more obstinate, because, 
in their opinion, woman suffrage is equivalent to clerical suffrage. 
It is true that many Socialists also take this view. These tell 
women asking for support for true adult suffrage to wait till the 


plural vote has been abolished. Then, once men have been 
satisfied, it will be possible to consider women. 

The majority of Socialist women have fallen in with this view, 
and, in 1901, they decided not to complicate the adult suffrage 
question, but to postpone their claim to the vote for the legislature. 

The Catholics, on the other hand, are beginning to declare 
themselves definitely in favour of woman suffrage ; they even lay it 
down as an absolute condition that woman suffrage should accompany 
the abolition of plural voting, because they consider that it will be 
an antidote to the abolition of the plural vote, the reform demanded 
by the masses. 

In ths Legislature. M. Vandervelde, a Socialist Deputy, has 
introduced a Bill to confer the municipal and the provincial vote on 

At the Congress of the Democratic League, M. Verhagen, a 
Deputy, said that among the advocates of the abolition of plural 
voting he had not found one so illogical or unjust as to wish to 
exclude women from equal suffrage. 

M. YVanwermant, another Deputy, was enthusiastically cheered 
when he spoke of votes for women. Now that the public has 
become accustomed to seeing women express their opinions on 
matters of common interest in the elections of the Councils of 
Experts, it seems probable that Belgian women will be enfranchised 
when the electoral law is next amended. 

At the beginning of 1913, many feminist societies, catholic and 
socialist, sent petitions to both Houses of the Legislature, in order 
to draw their attention to ' the opportuneness and necessity of 
granting the parliamentary suffrage to women on the same terms as 


Population, 1911 34,687,000 

Franchise. Italian women acquired the right to vote for 
Councils of Experts (Conseils de Prudhommes) in 1907, and for 
Councils of the Chambers of Commerce, in 1912. 

Eligibility. Women have been eligible to Poor Law Relief 
Committees (Commissions d'Assistance), since 1890; to Commercial 
Courts (Tribinaux de Commerce), since 1893 ; and to School 
Committees, since 1907. 

Right to YOte. Women do not exercise the vote for the 
Members either of the Legislature or of the Municipal Councils. 
The question has been before the country since the kingdom was 
constituted and before the legislature repeatedly. Both in 1904 
and 1905 the Chamber discussed a Woman Suffrage Bill, introduced 
by M. Mirabelli ; again, in February, 1907, the Chamber had to 


consider a petition, supported by a large number of Italian women 
demanding voting rights. The following resolution was adopted : 

Relying on the Government to prepare a bill to recognise the right of 
women to political and administrative votes, the Chamher refers 
the petition to the President of the Council. 

In February, 1910, the Chamber considered a Bill introduced 
by M. Carlo Gallini. Again, in 1912, at the time of the passage of 
the manhood suffrage bill, an amendment seeking to enfranchise 
women was introduced and discussed but was lost by 48 votes to 
210, because of the opposition of the Government. 

The present franchise law gives the right to vote to every 
citizen of 21 years, who can read and write and who pays 20 lires 
in direct taxes. As the Act makes no specific mention of sex, 
certain local women suffrage committees sought to have the names 
of women electors put on the voting registers. In 1906, some 
hundreds of women succeeded in being enrolled, especially in places 
where there were socialists on the Municipal Council. These 
entries were, however, annulled by the higher authority at every 
court of appeal except one, that of Ancona. 

The women suffrage campaign is carried on by committees of 
distinguished women in Rome, Milan, Turin, Geneva and Naples 
by means of lectures, meetings, congresses, literature, petitions, etc. 

The only political parties who have put woman suffrage on 
their programmes are the Socialists and the Republicans. 


Population, 1910 19,588,688 

No women suffrage movement has yet arisen in Spain, not that 
the women take no interest in social questions, but because the 
majority of Spanish women who do take part in politics are free- 
thinkers. They wish first of all to oppose clericalism and to 
establish secular education. 

At the International Congress of Free Thought, held in Rome 
in 1904, a Spanish delegate said that in his country woman would 
never try to improve her civil, economic or social condition so long 
as she was so completely under the yoke of the priest. This, 
doubtless, explains why many Spanish militant women think it best 
to confine their agitation to an anticlerical campaign. 


Population, 5,975,000. 

The suffrage movement in Portugal is closely competed with 
the political situation in that country. The woman's movement 
was in its very infancy when the leaders of the Republican Party 
made an appeal to the women to come to their help in over-throwing 


the monarchy. With the help of these men the " Republican 
League of Portugese Women " was founded, and at the same time 
officially recognised by the Republican Party as a political organisa- 
tion and invited to take part in their meetings and assemblies. 
Under the leadership of Ur. Anna de Castro Osorio the League took 
so active a part in the Revolutionary movement that it was in no 
small measure due to the services rendered by it that after the 
League had been in existence barely two years the Republic was 
successfully established on October 5th, 1910. 

Under the new regime seeing that the political object for 
which the League had been formed was now attained, its name was 
changed from that of Republican League to Woman's League. 

The women naturally expected now that the Republic had been 
established and their friends now forming the provisional Govern- 
ment were in power, that they would be given the reward that had 
been promised to them, the political franchise. It caused therefore 
both surprise and disappointment when it became known that the 
Franchise Bill brought in by Dr. d' Almeida on March 14th, 1911, 
excluded women as well as non-commissioned officers and privates, 
putting them in the same category as idiots and undischarged 
bankrupts, for while no express mention was made of women, their 
position was left entirely undefined. As the result of a considerable 
agitation the Government conceded the franchise to non-commis- 
sioned officers and privates, but made no mention at all of the 
women, although they did not dare to expressly exclude them in so 
many words, under the new law. 

It was at this juncture that the Woman's Suffrage Society 
determined to request that the names of two of its members should 
be entered on the voting register. The names were those of the 
President of the League Anna de Castro Osorio, an authoress 
and journalist, and that of the President of the Society, Dr. 
Carolina Beatriz Angelo,a woman doctor. Their request for registra- 
tion was refused and the question was referred to the Government. 
The Government replied (unofficially) that the law did not refer to 
women at all. Dr. Beatriz Angelc now appealed to the law courts, 
and by a fortunate chance the case came before a Judge of very 
high standing, Dr. Juan Baptista de Castro, father of the Anna de 
Castro who has been already mentioned. He examined the law in 
the impartial spirit due to his high position and, convinced of the 
justice of the case, gave his decision in favour of the plaintiff. This 
was how it came to pass that Dr. Beatriz Angelo made her 
appearance at the ballot-box where she received a public ovation. 1 

This performance on her part created a precedent, but it was 
destined to remain a unique case, as immediately afterwards the 
elections were brought to an end. 

At the general meeting of the " Associacio de Propaganda 

1 Shortly afterwards after presiding at a Woman's Suffrage Meeting, 
Beatrix. Ancjelo died of a heart attack on October 3rd, 1911. Since then 
Miria Velleda, a zealous worker has been President of the Association. 


Feminista " which took place shortly afterwards, the committee 
resolved to present a petition to the newly appointed National 
Assembly asking them in return for political services rendered to 
give the franchise (l) to women over 21 years of age holding the 
certificate of a secondary education, or (2) women holding the 
certificate of a complete course of instruction in an advanced 
elementary school (3) women at the head of a household able to 
read and write (4) women engaged in trade with the same qualifica- 
tion. As well as this the Association demanded the right for 
women to vote and to be eligible to stand as candidates in both 
Communal and Municipal elections. 1 

This petition was handed, on July 19th, 1911, to Dr. Bernardino 
Machado, who was at that time Secretary for Foreign Affairs under 
the Provisional Government, as also a Member of Parliament, to be 
presented by him to the Chamber at the proper time. Parliament 
rejected the petition. A year later on July 12th, 1912, the Senate, 
which had meanwhile been appointed by the now permanently 
established Government, after deliberating on the Suffrage Bill 
rejected a Universal Suffrage, excluding from the vote, for example, 
soldiers of every rank employed in active service as well as men 
servants. After an obstinate struggle keenly contested on both 
sides, the Senate however declared itself ready to give political 
franchise to women who were over 25 years of age who had gained 
a College certificate or one in a special course of instruction. 
This measure was passed by twenty votes to seventeen. On the 
following day it is true, two Senators explained that they would 
have voted against it had they been present while the Union of 
Socialist Women objected that the suffrage was for too limited a 
number of women. 

The Senate's proposal requires now the sanction of Parliament, 
the majority of whom are opposed or indifferent to the woman's 
movement. A zealous supporter of Woman's Suffrage, a young 
author and editor of the Revista do Ban, Luisd' Almeida Nogueria, 
informs us that this honourable proposal on the part of the Senate 
was received by the majority of the Deputies with derisive laughter. 
In spite of such being the case the women have found some very 
warm supporters. 

Dr. Alfonso Costa, who was appointed Prime Minister at the 
end of last year and under the Provisional Government, held the 
office of Minister of Justice, a man of the most remarkable ability, 
has declared himself in favour of political equality for educated 
women though not under the present conditions of society in 

On the day on which the measure of the Senate will be voted 
on in Parliament he will absent himself, it is said, or refrain from 
voting. His example will probably be followed by the Radical 
Party of which he is the leader, and who are also in the main 

1 The Woman's League also sent a petition to Parliament on the same lines 
as these. 


favourably disposed to Woman's Suffrage. Dr. Antonio Jose 
d' Almeida, the framer of the Bill, who is leader of the Party of 
Evolutionists, is also in favour of Woman's Suffrage. Dr. Brito 
Camacho, former Minister of Public Worship and leader of the 
Unionist Party is opposed to it. A zealous champion of Woman's 
Rights is Dr. Magalhaes Lima, Grand Master of the Free Masons, 
Editor of the Vanguarda, a distinguished public speaker and 
journalist, who during the time the Provisional Government was in 
power was ambassador in Paris. Sen. Jose Relvas who was at that 
time Chancellor of the Exchequer, is likewise in favour of the 
movement. Notwithstanding all this support it is expected that 
Parliament will reject the Senate's Bill. 

In conclusion let us quote from the opinions expressed by some 
ot our leading men, to shew the sympathy that is felt for the cause 
among persons of weight and intelligence and which is bound to 
assure for the Woman's movement a favourable issue at no very 
distant period. Dr. Bernardino Machado, at present Ambassador 
to Brazil, who has long been a convinced supporter of Woman's 
Rights, advocated many years ago the question of Woman's 
Suffrage in Parliament. In the course of one of his speeches he 
said : " Are women to have nothing to do with politics ? How is it 
possible to deny to woman the right to interest herself, I will not 
say in her own fate, but in that of her husband, her children, her 
whole surroundings ? How can women be expected to educate 
their sons as citizens, if they themselves do not know what citizen- 
ship is nor are allowed to practise it ? " 

Dr. Theophilus Braga, who was Prime Minister under the 
Provisional Government and is Doyen of the Academy and of 
the Savants and Authors of Portugal, is also in favour of political 
rights for women. Not long ago, for instance, at the reception of 
the Committee of the Women's League for Suffrage he made a 
speech of some length, in the course of which he proved the justice 
of their claim in the light of rational intelligence, and ended with 
these words : "The cause must win, no matter what its opponents 
do, or whatever these people may say, who, when they find they 
have no arguments on their side to oppose to right thinking and 
right feeling trot out a lot of empty phrases and think themselves 
very clever." 

In consequence of a Parliamentary Report of January 13th, 
1913, one of the Deputies, Jacintho Nunes, has spoken against any 
restriction being placed on the rights guaranteed by the Civil Code 
to both men and women alike. He demands Woman's Suffrage on 
the ground of there being no specific law excluding women from 
voting. " Where is the consistency," he asks, " in forbidding a 
woman to vote or be voted for, and yet allowing her to rule as 
Queen or Empress ? " 

He maintains that to give women the franchise is only what is 
in accordance with justice and common sense. A woman," he says, 
" is allowed to practise any profession, she can be a doctor, a 


lawyer, or a professor. Why then is it that she can neither vote 
nor be voted for ? Why is she not to he allowed to show an 
interest in the politics of her native land ? The one and only reason 
that exists for refusing woman the vote lies in the selfishness of 
man. It is due to nothing else. But if woman is not to be given 
the rights of a citizen, what right have we to take her money for 
public purposes ? " 


Total European 

Population, 1910 163,778,800 118,690,600 

Municipal and Administrative Vote. Women do not them- 
selves vote either for the Municipal Councils or for the Provincial 
Councils (zemstvo), but those who pay the land tax according to 
the conditions applicable in each province have, since 1866, had the 
right to vote by proxy through their husbands, brothers, sons, 
grandsons, or sons-in-law. 

In the elections of the nobility a woman of the nobility may 
appoint as her proxy a man of the nobility of the same district. 

For the management of schools there are several bodies. 

1. School Boards have admitted women on the same terms 
as men as managers since 1874. Both men and women managers 
have the right to vote on questions concerning their school. 

2. Committees set up by social, municipal or provincial 
(zemstvo) organisations have the power to consult experts of either 
sex and are as follows : 

(a) Preparatory Committees in which both men and women 

have the same right of voting. 

(b) Executive Committees on which only the members (muni- 

cipal or provincial) take part. 

(c) Medical Committees of the province (zemstvo) on which 

women doctors have the same rights as men. This is 
true also of the towns, but there are very few municipal 
medical committees. 

Public Poor Relief Committees do not exist. There are, 
however, private philanthropic bodies, whose object is to help the 
poor, and whose members, men and women, have the same rights. 

Women have no votes for members of the Committees which 
impose the taxes. 

Political Yote. For the legislature (Douma Imperiale) women 
may not vote in person but may appoint as their proxies to vote for 
them their husbands, brothers, sons, grandsons, or sons-in-law. 


This provision of exercising their right to vote through a man is 
not much taken advantage of. 

School Management. To the Councils of religious schools 
women may be admitted by the archbishop. He can also appoint 
them as honorary managers of any of the religious schools in his 

A bill dealing with compulsory education, which was passed 
by the third Duma but rejected by the Council of State, proposed 
to give women the right to vote for School Boards. 

In the municipal schools of Moscow there are 1,400 women 
teachers and only 100 men teachers, while in Petersburg, with the 
exception of some three or four, all the teachers in the municipal 
schools are women. The Petersburg Municipal Council (Douma 
Municipal) has decided to appoint women only as teachers in the 
municipal schools because it is considered that their intuitive gift 
for education is more highly developed and they are better fitted 
for the work. 

In districts which have Provincial Councils (zemstvo) three- 
quarters of the teaching staff in the schools of the zemstvo are 
women. On the other hand, in districts where the zemstvo has not 
been introduced, one-fourth only of the teaching staff are women. 

Prison Management. Since 1900 women have been appointed 
as managers of women's prisons. Their work, which is honorary 
and philanthropic, is to look after the prisoners and their children. 

Wcman Suffrage and the Political Parties. The woman 
suffrage movement started at the time of the revolution, in 1905, 
when the Union for the Equality of Women in Russia was formed. 
The active work of this society has had a great influence on public 

The General Assembly of the zemstvo in September, 1905, 
refused to discuss the question of woman suffrage. Two months 
later, however, the Bureau of the said Assembly, instructed to 
consider and complete the zemstvo Bill dealing with the fundamental 
laws of the state, decided in favour of the equality of the sexes 
with respect to suffrage. 

In that same year (1905), when political parties were being 
organised, the Social Democrats, the Revolutionary Socialists, and 
the Labour Party put woman suffrage on their programmes. The 
Constitutional Democrats (the Party of the Liberty of the People) 
wished first to make certain reservations. While recognising the 
abstract right of women to the suffrage they feared that to declare 
themselves in favour of the complete equality of the sexes, an ultra 
radical principle in the eyes of the greater part of the nation, would 
retard other great social and political reforms. The Union for the 
Equality of Women used all its influence and for three months 
carried on an active campaign. At the same time it passed a 
resolution declaring that none of its members would belong to the 
Constitutional Democrats while Women Suffrage was not included 
in its programme. The Party split on this woman suffrage question. 


At its first general meeting, in January, 1906, the advocates of 
woman suffrage carried the day and inserted sex equality in political 
rights in its programme. 

Woman Suffrage was foreshadowed in the reply of the first 
Imperial Duma at its opening to the speech of the Emperor, and 
woman suffrage figured in the speeches of its supporters, the 
members of the progressive parties. 

A proposal for adult suffrage was elaborated in a committee of 
the second Imperial Duma. If the proposal has up to the present 
not been successful,, the fault is not that of the progressive parties ; 
all were faithful to the women. 

In general, Russian progressive public opinion is decidedly in 
favour of woman suffrage. For long years men and women worked 
together to free their country and the men have too long known 
the evils of their own bondage to wish to impose a like bondage on 
the women of their country. 

It is to be noted, writes Mme. Zenedie Mirovitch, who has 
given these particulars, that the majority of the more enlightened 
peasants share these views. In 1905-1906 the Union of Peasants 
declared itself for the equality of the sexes. Many peasants wish 
to give the suffrage to women, because, they say, women are against 
our two most dangerous enemies, alcohol and war. 

Population, 1910 4,329,108 

Eligibility. In 1908, Bulgarian women were made eligible 
for appointment to School Councils, the bodies Avhich appoint both 
the men and the women teachers of the primary schools. This is 
the one victory in Bulgaria. 

Suffrage Propaganda. Several different feminist societies, 
founded after 1889, combined in 1900, to form the Union of 
Bulgarian women, which became an auxiliary of the International 
"Woman Suffrage Alliance in 1908. At a Congress held in 1908 it 
decided to work for the municipal franchise and instructed its 
Executive to organise a campaign. 


Male Female 


,503,511 1,408,190 


Population, 1910 

Woman Suffrage has been discussed in Servia for many years. 
In 1902, the Senate voted in favour of a bill conferring votes on 
women, but the tragic events immediately following prevented the 
ultimate adoption of the reform. It was not till 1909 that an 
Association for Woman Suffrage was founded. Its activities have 
been compulsorily in abeyance for several months (1913). The 
political parties seem to be all in favour of votes for women. 




Population, 20,886,487. Men, 10,345,333 ; Women, 10,541,154. 

Traditions in Hungary are very favourable to the demand for 
Woman's Suffrage and the political emancipation of women. It is 
only since the year 1848 that the Hungarian woman has been 
completely deprived of her rights. The law prior to that date as 
also the law of an earlier age gave her certain definite rights. 1 
These rights were as follows : The widow of a territorial magnate 
had the right to vote both for representatives to the Provinicial 
Assembles and to Parliament. This right she did not exercise in 
person, but by means of a delegate. It was as a delegate of this 
kind on behalf of a magnate's widow that Louis Kossuth, the famous 
patriot, entered Parliament for the first time. It is not easy to 
determine at what precise period the wives of magnates first 
obtained this right, but in laws of the 17th Century the right of the 
widows of magnates to vote is mentioned as a custom which had 
long ago become an established right. 

There are no historical documents in existence dealing with the 
political rights of the smaller gentry, but Lorenz von Toth, former 
President of the Supreme Court, asserts in the preface to one of his 
historical works that these women did not make much use of their 
franchise and did not always exercise it in person either for the 
Provincial Assemblies or the Diet. From this it is evident that 
these women must also have at one time possessed the franchise. 

Hungarian women could also as the widows of magnates, 
representing a minor son, hold the position of Governor of the 
Province (Obergespan), a dignity hereditary in certain families of 
magnates. The history of Hungary contains the names of several 
women who filled this important position with conspicuous success, 
presiding in person at the sittings of the Assembly, carrying through 
all business in a manner conducive to the welfare of the district 
entrusted to them and thereby gaining for themselves a high 
reputation. Among such women we find the names of Anna 
Bathori, Governor of Kraszna and Kozepszolnok (1545). Ilona 
Zrinyi (Mother of the hero Franz Rakoczy), Governor of Sarose 
and Countess Elizabeth Czobor, Governor of Moso. 

The revolution of 1848 and the new constitution which was then 
established swept away the old political rights of women. Since 
then the woman of noble rank in Hungary has been as destitute of 

1 This was naturally only the case with women belonging to the nobility as 
it was also cnly men of noble rank who possessed political rights at that time. 


political rights as were formerly the women of the burgher and 
peasant class. 

Communal Franchise. In Hungary a woman who is of age, 
unmarried, a widow, or legally separated from her husband, 
possesses the active, indirect communal franchise on a property 
basis. That is to say she can vote, but not in person, only by 
means of a male proxy. She possesses this vote, however, only in 
the election of representatives in small and large communes and in 
towns with a nominated magistrate. In towns which have a muni- 
cipality women do not possess this right, nor do they for provincial 
municipal bodies. A law of the year 1886, providing for the 
conduct of communal elections, contains the following clause relative 
to this question. XXII. j32. "The right to elect members (to 
these bodies) belongs in half to the largest direct taxpayers, or 
owners of property, who are of legal age, as also to the proxies of 
women of legal age, who are unmarried, widows, or legally separ- 
ated from their husbands, who belong to the largest class of tax- 
payers (Virilisten) on account of property they possesss in the 

§38. " Women of legal age who possess property in the 
commune .... are to be represented at the poll by a proxy." 

There is nothing new in these enactments. They only mean 
the restoration to women of a small portion of the ancient rights 
possessed by the Hungarian women of noble rank. The only 
advance consists in this that by this law women of the middle class 
are given the right to vote in communal elections. 

It was not without a protest that the women allowed themselves 
to be deprived of their rights. In 1871 a deputy, Paul Medocsanyi, 
laid before the House the petition of several widows who in view of 
the new arrangements for the conduct of county and communal 
affairs, petitioned for the restoration of their ancient rights. The 
law of 1886 only partially satisfied their demands. 

Women are nowhere as yet allowed to stand as candidates in 
communal elections ; their right to vote, however, they make use of 
everywhere as much as they can. 

It cannot be said that there have been as yet any important 
results from the women having secured this franchise. This is due 
to the fact that their right is, on the one hand, only an active one, 
that is to say, the right to elect but not to be elected, and on the 
other hand it is not direct but indirect, that is to say, it has to be 
exercised by means of a male proxy difficult, or impossible, to 
control, and altogether it is very restricted. Nevertheless, those 
very deficiencies obvious to everyone afford excellent justification 
for the demand for a proper communal franchise for women. This 
demand has already met with a considerable amount of support 
from the ranks of those who are not as yet sufficiently advanced to 
be able to be enthusiastic about the question of political equality 
for men and women. Such men and women are not, however, as a 
rule, opposed to the principle of the political enfranchisement of 


women. They merely regard the time as not yet ripe for this 
reform and the communal franchise as a suitable half-way house, a 
species of educational establishment for instruction in citizenship 
which will in course of time render women ready to claim with 
justice a complete equality in citizenship with men. 

In the more conservative circles there seems to be a specially 
strong desire for women to take part in the care of the Poor. 

Women possess the right both to vote for representatives and 
themselves to be elected to the Boards of Sick Insurance Societies 
and of the Chambers of Trade and Commerce. In these they vote 
for representatives just as the men do, but as yet no woman has 
herself been elected. In 1909 a woman candidate was put forward. 
She secured a large number of votes, but not a clear majority. As 
teachers women can also be members of Education Committees. 
In 1910 women teachers were elected for the first time to the 
Education Committee of the town of Nagyvarad, and in 1912 to 
that of the Capital, Budapest. 

In all religious communities in Hungary belonging to the 
Protestant faith (Augsberg confession) a widow, an unmarried 
woman, or a wife separated from her husband as also a married 
woman should she be the wife of a mixed marriage, is allowed to 
vote indirectly on the basis of her rating as a taxpayer. The 
qualification is the same for both men and women, and is a very 
low one. In the parishes of Budapest for example, it is only 5 

In all Reformed Protestant communities in Hungary women 
are allowed to vote by reason of the church law that says, 1. ?18. : 
" The payment of church and school assessments gives the right to 
vote to widows, spinsters, and wives separated from their husbands, 
as well as to those wives who belong to a mixed marriage, or a 
wife whose husband has been out of the country for a year. Such 
women shall be entitled to vote provided they are of legal age 
(24 years old), have been declared of age, or have become of age 
through marriage. 1 

The Unitarian Church has ever since the time of the Reforma- 
tion given women the right to vote at general meetings of the 
churches. The right to vote is generally claimed at the election of 
a minister. The qualification for a vote is to be a householder as 
well as a low tax qualification. A vote is given to widows, spinsters 
and wives separated from their husbands — provided that their 
conduct is irreproachable — and that they fulfil the aforesaid condi- 
tions. The qualification is the same for both men and women. At 
present women are only allowed to vote, but the right to stand for 
election is already in near prospect and a strong desire has been 
expressed in influential circles that women should be allowed both 
to sit and vote on churcn committees. 

By the law of Hungary a girl who is a minor becomes of age by marriage. 


Political Franchise. 

In 1872 three deputies brought a bill into Parliament for 

equal political rights for women. The bill, however, never reached 
the stage of being put to the vote. The first serious attempt to 
secure political rights for women in view of present day needs, was 
made by a large organisation of women wage-earners — the National 
Union of Hungarian Woman Employees (women employed in 
commercial houses and offices). The leading spirits in this organi- 
sation acting along with certain other women also belonging to the 
wage-earning class and with some men who were in sympathy with 
their views, were the first to take up seriously the idea of political 
equality and to organise a campaign on its behalf. They achieved 
— even before they had been properly organised — the following 
results : A deputy, Johann Benedek, brought in a bill for granting 
civic rights for such women as were wage-earners. Another 
deputy, Ludwig Hentaller, supported this measure and succeeded 
in winning over to his side the majority of the Independent Party. 1 
Parliament was, however, suddenly dissolved and so again the Bill 
was never brought to the vote. 

In the winter of 1904, there was founded in connection with the 
International Alliance for Woman's Suffrage, the Union for 
Woman's Rights. This union has ever since worked with great 
energy towards the realisation of the political aspirations of 
Hungarian women. Shortly after the founding of this organisation 
a memorial was presented to Parliament asking for Universal and 
Equal suffrage by ballot for women, basing its claims on the tradi- 
tions of Hungarian history, the evolution of modern industrial 
conditions and the advance of democracy. Since 1905, Hungary 
has been on the eve of a franchise reform on democratic lines and 
so it was natural that women in claiming the rights of citizens 
should claim it on the broadest democratic foundation. The union 
set on foot during that year an unwearied campaign throughout the 
length and breadth of the country and among all ranks and conditions 
of the people. Endless, most successful and crowded meetings were 
held, interesting and educative lectures were delivered, millions of 
pamphlets were distributed, a woman speaker was sent to every 
public meeting, every opportunity was embraced for adding to the 
number of supporters of the cause. The Union for Woman's 
Rights has allied itself with no political party, nor with any group 
in any party. At elections it supports any candidate who will give 
a definite pledge to support Woman's Suffrage in Parliament. 
After a hard fight the Union has succeeded in overcoming a mass 
of prejudice and in winning for the question of Woman's Suffrage 
a favourable public opinion. 

Its greatest success has been so far in the camp of the 

1 The Nationalist Radical Party in the Hungarian Parliament which belongs 
as a rale, as it does at present, to the opposition. 


moderate conservative party. To this party belongs in Hungary, 
not only a certain number of the aristocracy, as well as large 
numbers of the upper and lower middle classes, but also a consider- 
able number of the intellectuals. The woman's movement has been 
successful in winning to its side important members of this class. 
Some of the most eminent lawyers, professors, and representatives 
of the modern Catholic movement in clerical circles, are whole- 
heartedly infavour of the woman's movement. It was only among 
the ultra-conservatives and the clerical party that any determined 
opposition was experienced, as also curiously enough among the 

The Radical Party 1 oppose the woman's movement without 
giving any reason for so doing, and have acted' in so ridiculous and 
at the same time so inconsiderate a manner, that their conduct has 
won for the women the sympathy of many persons who had hitherto 
shewn no interest one way or the other. 

The Socialists base their opposition on the well-known 
argument of the exigencies of " party-tactics." 

The leaders of the Organisation for Woman's Rights belong 
mostly to the Democratic Party, but there are amongst them others 
who belong to the Moderate Conservative Party. In the work of the 
association women of all ranks take part, but women engaged in 
industrial occupations have, on account of the prohibition of their 
Unions, to keep out of the women's movement in general. 

In 1905 a large deputation led by Rosa Schwimmer, was sent 
to Julius Andrassy, a member of the cabinet, who at that time was 
preparing a Bill dealing with electoral reform. (The Bill was 
afterwards rejected by Parliament.) The women demanded that 
universal woman's suffrage should be included in the Bill. The 
minister replied courteously but evasively. 

In 1909 the woman's movement succeeded after a short 
campaign in getting a special motion dealing with the franchise 
carried in the Association of Hungarian Women's Unions. In 1910 
the Men's League for Woman's Suffrage was formed which has 
since then displayed a great deal of activity and has a membership 
of three hundred. 

The movement for the political enfranchisement of women 
received an unexpected impetus from a measure recently introduced 
dealing with the question of the salaries of state officials and 
teachers. Until now in Hungary with regard to the salaries of 
those in Government employment and in the teaching profession 
the principle has been acknowledged of equal pay for equal work. 
The new law will upset this principle and will act in a manner 
altogether most detrimental to the interests of women. Owing to 
the combined efforts of the Woman's Union and the National Asso- 

1 The radicals are quite a small body in Parliament, for on account of the 
very restricted male franchise the greater number of the membe-s returned are 
Conservatives or Clericals. The Democratic Party has only three seats and the 
Social Democrats not yet one single one. 


ciation of Women Employees the part of the conditions that would 
act most unfavourably on women has been struck out of the bill. 
The agitation against the proposed bill however still continin . 
The excitement that this question has raised has had a very favour- 
able effect upon the movement for woman's suffrage, as it I 
aroused large numbers of working women out of their former state 
of indifference. 

The organisation for Woman's Suffrage comprises as well as 
the Central Woman's Union in Budapest, two branch unions, eighty- 
seven active branches in towns in different parts of the country, as 
well as four other organisations allied to it, namely, the National 
Union of Women Public Employees, the Free Association of 
Agricultural Workers and Peasants, the Men's League for Woman's 
Suffrage, and the Junior Branch of the Woman's Union. 

The political events that took place in Hungaryin the months of 
May and June, 1912, are well known. Street riots in favour of 
universal manhood suffrage and an organised system of obstruction 
by Members of Parliament to the Army bill in the Chamber of 
Deputies combined to try to bring about the overthrow of Count 
Stephan Tisza, their common enemy. As is well known, they 
were not successful in their attempt. Count Stephan Tisza as 
President of the Chamber overcame their obstruction by a parlia- 
mentary manoeuvre, while the demonstrations in the streets were 
suppressed by help of the police and soldiers. 

The Army Bill was carried and the Government now hoped to 
be able to carry through an electoral reform bill of its own. 

In August, 1912, the Woman's Union sent a memorial to the 
Government asking that women should be included in the new 
electoral reform bill and that the women of Hungary should be 
given full political equality with men. 

Another memorial on similar lines was presented to the 
Government by the National Union of Women Employees and 
by the Men's League for Woman's Suffrage ; while at the same 
time a petition was forwarded from the Association of Hungarian 
Women's Unions in which they asked the franchise for a limited 
number of women, i.e. those who should have qualified by taking 
the full course of eight classes at school. 

The Prime Minister, Ladislaus von Lukacs, in connection with 
those memorials received a deputation consisting of the following 
members : Rosa Schwimmer, President of the Women's Political 
Committee ; Professor Gustav Dirner, President of the Men's 
League and Augusta Rosenburg, President of the Association of 
Hungarian Women's Unions. After listening to the various views 
expressed, the reasons submitted and the information supplied by 
each member of the deputation, Herr von Lukacs held out the 
prospect of his introducing a limited franchise into the electoral 
reform bill about to be brought into Parliament, provided that his 
political friends should not be opposed to it. 


Never before had the daily press devoted so much time and 
attention to the question of woman's suffrage as it did during the 
following weeks, after the position taken up by the Prime Minister 
had suddenly brought this question into the realm of practical 
politics. Every newspaper had long articles bearing upon the 
subject. Determined opponents suddenly became the champions 
of Woman's Suffrage, declaring at the same time that they had 
always been so ! A strong impression was created by the publica- 
tion of an article on Electoral Reform by one of the most prominent 
writers of to-day in Hungary on legal subjects, Desider Markus, a 
Judge of the Supreme Court, which was printed by an important 
newspaper in close touch with the Government in a series of leading 
articles. This article demanded a progressive franchise on the 
basis of an intelligence test for both sexes. A few weeks later, 
however, the Prime Minister withdrew his promise, declaring that 
while he was still in favour of the principle of woman's suffrage, 
the present political situation rendered woman's suffrage impossible. 

The reason of this sudden change of front was partly the 
determined opposition of Count Stephan Tisza to woman's franchise 
and partly the desire to please the socialist party — which in Hungary 
has always been opposed to it — whose support the Governmeni was 
at that time anxious to secure. 

On the 16th of September, the Woman's Union arranged for a 
monster meeting to be held at its headquarters in Budapest, in 
which 10,000 persons took part. 

In spite of an outrageous noise and disturbance made by the 
socialists, this meeting proved a brilliant demonstration in favour of 
woman's suffrage. 

About sixty branches were represented and hundreds of 
telegrams of congratulation were received. 

On the 30th of December, 1912, the Government at last brought 
in their Electoral Reform Bill. It was received with a very wide- 
spread feeling of dissatisfaction throughout the country, as the 
concessions proposed to be granted even to the male sex do not by 
any means meet the demands of public opinion. 1 The very first 
paragraph of this bill shews its hostile attitude to woman's franchise. 
It is there stated: " The right to elect members of Parliament belongs 
to all those male citizens who, etc., etc." This bill, however, shews 
a certain advance over former ones inasmuch as on this occasion 
the Government at least consider it necessary to try to justify and 
explain their omission of woman's suffrage. They go on to explain 
that while it would be fair and just to grant women the franchise 
on the basis of their independence, education or property, it would 
nevertheless at this present time be an impossibility "because" 
without an intelligence test women could not at present be given 
the vote. This intelligence test would lead to a great deal of 
injustice as it would exclude a large number of wage-earners. On 

1 According to the figures in the Bill it is proposed to raise the present 
number of voters from 1,009,480 to 1,868,172. 


the other hand, numbers of highly educated women who occupy a 
distinguished position either in public or private life would not have 
the vote simply because having been educated at home, they would 
not be in a position to produce the required school ceitificate. 

Until now it has been chiefly from among the members of the 
Independent Party (which forms the greater part of the opposition) 
that the supporters of woman's ..uftrage have been recruited. The 
leader of the most important group in this party, Julius von Justh, 
has frequently openly declared himself a staunch supporter of 
woman's suffrage. Political exigencies have lately brought about 
an alliance between this party and the socialists, and together they 
have entered on a campaign against the Army Bill and in favour of 
Adult Manhood Suffrage. 

This new combination has had an important bearing on the 
woman's cause. Justh's party lias now allowed itself to join in the 
tactics of the socialists, with the result that the speakers of the 
Woman's Union have been refused a hearing at public meetings and 
demonstrations, have been laughed down, forcibly removed from 
the platform and generally insulted. 

In August, 1912, a request was sent to the various leaders of 
the combined opposition to take up a definite stand for woman's 
suffrage. The following leaders of that party promised to take up 
the woman's cause, viz., Count Albert Apponyi.and Louis Kossuth, 
leaders of the Independent Party, Edmund von Toth, Vice- 
President of the Party, Wilhelm Vaszonyi, leader of the Democratic 
Party (he had formerly been opposed to woman's suffrage but was 
now one of its best friends), and a clergyman, Herr Giesswein, the 
representative of the Christian Socialists. The Party of the Small 
Landed Proprietors had long ago declared itself as a body in favour 
of woman's suffrage. 

In spite of all this apparent support the opposition has since 
come to a compromise with the leaders of the Socialist Party on the 
question of electoral reform, although this compromise must be 
regarded on the part of the Socialists and even more on that on the 
Radicals as a yielding of the very point on which they had hitherto 
taken up their stand. 

The new bill to be introduced will enfranchise 2,400,000 men. 
After the appearance of this measure the women sent a message to 
remind the party leaders of their pledge and at the same time made 
certain proposals to them which the joint action on the part of the 
opposition would have made possible. Finally on the 17th of 
January, 1913, after repeated pressure they received the following 
official reply : The opinion of the opposition is so divided on 
the question of woman s suffrage in the ueivly united opposition, 
that it would be impossible to do anything with regard to it on 
account of the understanding that has been arrived at by all 
Parties in the compromise on the Electoral Reform Bill." 

It was not long, however, before representations on behalf of 
woman's suffrage were again made in the public press by men 


whose words carried with them great weight. The evening paper 
Az Est, which has a very large circulation, published articles by 
Professor Doleschall and Professor Negyessy, who expressed in a 
very emphatic manner their sympathy with the woman's movement. 
On the 22nd of January a deputy, Stephan Pop, brought in a bill 
in the name of the Ruman Nationalist Party in which he asked for 
the franchise for all persons of full age without distinction of sex. 
On January 30th, another petition of the Woman's Union was laid 
before the House of Deputies by the representative of the moderate 
democratic party, Wilhelm Vaszonyi. 

The precarious position in which the present Government now 
finds itself situated and the topsy-turvy condition of the various 
political parties, unfold vistas of unexpected possibilities and endless 
political surprises. Unfavourable as may seem the present position 
of affairs to the pessimistic observer, the women of Hungary have 
no thought of abandoning hope and intend to continue the struggle 
for political freedom not only with unabated vigour, but with, if 
possible, a still greater spirit of determination than before. 


Estimated Population, 1910 6,966,000 

Administrative Committees. Women have voted for School 
Committees since 1891 but possess no other electoral right. 

Poor Relief is not nationally organised but women play an 
important part in the administration of private charities for the 
relief of the poor. 

Political Vote. The question of woman suffrage has hardly 
arisen in Roumania. The Socialist Party, which stands for adult 
suffrage, is the only one which recognises the principle of the 
political equality of the sexes. 

Women's Movement. In 1891, on the advice of Mme. Marya 
Cheliga, Mme Eugenie de Reuss Iancalescu tried unsuccessfully to 
establish a feminist society. Three years later (1895), however, 
she founded at Jassy the League of Women, with Mme. Cornelie 
Emilian, wife of a professor of the University, as president, and 
this society for several years carried on a propaganda campaign in 
the country. In 1904, after the publication of her novel " Vers 
L'Imancipation," Mme. de Reuss Ianculescu arranged at the 
Atheneum at Bucharest, a series of feminist lectures, which were 
afterwards continued by M. Demche Negulescu, a professor of the 

At last, in 1910, there was founded the Women's Rights 
Society with its present presidents, Dr. Nicolas Minovici and Mme. 
Reuss Ianculescu. M. Constantin Disescu, the Minister of Educa- 
tion, was pleased to accept the office of Honorary President. A 
campaign was begun, in 1912, by a meeting held at Galatz by 


Mme. de Reuss Iai i u at the time of the Congress of the 

Association for the Advancement of Science. The favourable line 
taken by the press gave the lecturer a second hearing in Bucharest. 
The movement has prominent supporters, both men and women, 
and its propaganda is furthered by a monthly review, the Droit des 
Fenunes, edited by Mme. de Reuss Ianculescu. 



Turkey in Europe (mainland only) 6,130,200 

Greece (1907) 2,631,952 

Montenegro 250,000 

Mile. Selma Riza reports that Turkish women have no voting 
rights and that the question has not been discussed in the Ottoman 

It has not been possible to get any definite information 
regarding Greece and Montenegro. 

Attention has been turned from suffrage to other questions by 
the sudden outbreak of war in the Balkans and the Greek Peninsula. 
From every nation, it may be noted, women have given their 
services. Even the women Mussalmans of Turkey came out of 
their harems and met together to try to find how they could help 
their unhappy country. The courage and energy of the women will 
perhaps forward the suffragist cause as much as many years of 




Population, 1911 12,115,217 

Municipal suffrage, but not eligibility for women 1884 

Qualifications. The Secretary of the Municipality of Rangoon 
has kindly supplied the following information about the exercise of 
the franchise by women in that city. The Municipal Board of 
Rangoon was placed on an elected basis by the Municipal Act of 
1884, under the election rules of which women were given the 
franchise on the same terms as men. Under Election Rule 1 the 
inhabitants are divided into five nationalities. Of the Burmese the 
number of women voters is about the same as that of the men but 
of the other four classes few women desire the vote and the Hindu 
and Mussulman women are prohibited by caste or religion from 
taking part in public affairs. Electors require to be over twenty- 
one, to be registered, and must either own, rent or inhabit premises 
of a certain value ; partners in business firms are also qualified. 1 
Eligibility is confined to men inasmuch as Election Rule 5, which 
defines the qualification, uses the expression ' he," whereas in 
Election Rule 2, which defines the voter's qualification, the 
corresponding expression is he or she." 

Mrs. Chapman Catt ascertained during her visit to Burmah 
that women have had complete control over their property from 
time immemorial and that, consequently, a large proportion of 
women are qualified to vote under this property test. Quite half 
the business transactions there have a woman as one of the 
principals. The Municipal Secretary reported that women exercise 
their vote quite generally. 


Population 244,267,901 

The India Office, in London, informed me, in February, 1913, 
that they are making an enquiry as to whether or not women exercise 
the Municipal franchise in India. They are able to state that, while 
in most of the Provinces of India the privilege of voting is confined 

1 Municipal Election Rules, Not. No. 114. Dated Rangoon, the 9th October, 



to persons of the male sex, there is no such restriction in certain 
areas, including Bombay and Burmah. Mrs. Catt reports with 
respect to Bombay Municipal Council that a considerable number 
of Parsee, Hindu and Mohammedan women have voted there. 


Population, 1910 30,098,008 

Mrs. Chapman Catt reports that in Java the adult landowners 
of every village elect a head man. The women landowners, though 
there are few of them, are not excluded. Like the Burmese, nearly 
all the women earn their own living and have their own pocket 
books. The Regents in different parts of the island report that the 
women use their privilege. The number is not known but there 
must be some millions of them. 


Population 433,533,030 

The events accompanying the Revolution of 1912 show that 
the women there are awakening. To the Nankin National Assembly 
(1912), was sent from the Chinese Committee on Women's Rights 
a petition urging that the Chinese Constitution should confer on 
women the right of suffrage and eligibility. It was for China to set 
an example to other nations. 2 Mrs. Chapman Catt reports that 
during her visit to Canton (1912), she herself sat in the gallery 
looking down on the Provisional Assembly, in which sat nine 
women members. The women of the Canton Province voted for 
their Provisional Assembly but not those of any other Province. 

Some two to four thousand women were armed, drilled and 
employed as soldiers during the Revolution. After the war they 
formed themselves into suffrage societies to demand an equal voice 
in the new republic, but, so far, without success. 

1 Jus Suffragii, September, 1912. 

2 Jus Suffragii, May and October, 1912. 



Males. Females. Total. 
Population, 1911 3,069,610 2,888,889 5,958,499 

Transvaal. 4 5 

The Volksrad gave votes to burghers' wives 1S54 1 

Women granted yotes, but excluded from eligibility, 
for Town Councils on the same terms as men, 
viz., that they are white British subjects owning 
rateable property of assessed value of ^"100 or 
occupying rateable property of the assessed 
value of £l\ (Municipal Elections Ordinance 
No. 38 1903). Husband and wife may not be 
enrolled in respect of the same property. 1903 

White women granted eligibility but not the vote 
for School Boards, if residents (Act 25 of 
1907). 1907 

Cape Colony 2 

Women granted the vote for Town Councils on 

the same terms as men, viz., one vote to the 
owner or occupier of property of the annual 
value of ^"10, two votes if the property is 
over ,£"100. 1882 

Women granted the vote for School Boards, in 
towns on the same basis as the municipal 
vote ; in the country on a property qualification, 
with a provision that women ratepayers vote 
if they occupy as well as own their house. 
Eligibility also granted. 1906 

Natal 3 

Women granted eligibility to sit on School Boards, 
and to vote as proxies for absent male parent. 
The electors are parents of children attending 
the Government School. 1910 

1 Our Claim to Enfranchisement, p. 48. Published J. C. Jute and Co., 1912. 

2 Letter from Mrs. Solly, Hon. Secretary, W.E.L., Cape Colony, 2nd April, 

8 Letter from Mrs. Timewell, Hon. Secretary, W.E.L., Durban, 1912. 

4 Letter from G. P. Griffiths, Secretary, W.E.L., Tohannesburg, 18th March, 

§ Letter from Miss Hv tt, Hon. Sei ret try, V. E A., Pretoria, 6th March, l! 



Orange River Colony 

Resident Householders are qualified to vote for, and 
resident voters owning immovable property of 
£200 or occupying such property of ^"600 are 
qualified to be elected to Municipal Councils 
(Municipal Corporations Act, No. 6, 1904). 1904 

Parents of children attending a Public School are 
qualified to vote for and white persons resident 
within the School district are eligible to be 
elected to School Management Committees 
(Education Act, 35 of 1908). 1908 

Numbers eligible to yote for Town Councils. As the 

qualification as voters is in every case based on property the 
number of women relatively to men is small. Pretoria may be 
taken as a typical case. There the number of women on the 
municipal voters' roll for 1911 was 540 out of a total of 6,012 or 
something less than 10 per cent 1 . No figures are available of the 
number of those who voted. 

History. It is reported that the earliest Transvaal Volksrad 
passed a law, in 1854, giving municipal votes to burghers' wives. 
When the new constitution of United South Africa came into 
operation on May 31st, 1910, on the one hand, while it safeguarded 
the existing rights of the male voters, including the coloured 
voters of Cape Colony, on the other, by sweeping away existing 
local councils for which women, especially in Cape Colony, had 
certain voting rights, and handing over their duties to the Provincial 
Assemblies (as the local legislatures are now called) for which 
women are not qualified to vote, it placed women in a worse 
position than before. To-day (1913) women may be qualified to 
vote for Town Councils except in Natal and are eligible to be 
elected to School Boards in all the Provinces. 

The Provincial Assemblies. Organised work for the reform 
dates from 1895, when the Women's Christian Temperance Union of 
Cape Colony formed a department to promote Women's Suffrage for 
the legislature. In the following year they were successful, by means 
of the women voters for the Town Council of East London, in 
turning out a licensed victualler and putting in a temperance man. 
A motion was brought forward in the Cape Colony Legislative 
Council of 1904 by the Hon. M. L. Neethling which sought to en- 
franchise widows and spinsters but did not go to a division/ In 1907 
the Cape Colony Women's Enfranchisement League having women's 
suffrage as its object was formed with Mrs. McFadyen as its first 
president. In the same year a resolution in favour of Women's 
Suffrage secured 24 supporters in the Cape Assembly; in 1908 the 
number voting for a similar resolution increased to 29 ; and in 1909 
the subject was discussed in the Council or Upper House and 

1 Letter from Miss Hyett, Hon. Secretary W.E.A.U., May 6th, 1912. 

2 Letter from Mrs. Solly. 3 Our Claim for Enfranchisement. 


secured a small vote in its favour. 1 In 1912 the membership of the 
League had increased to 1,000 in sixty-nine different places. 

The Women's Enfranchisement League of Natal, formed in 
1902, had, two years later, a petition with 548 signatures presented 
to the House of Assembly by Henry Anketill of Durban, and a bill 
introduced on which there was a discussion but no vote. In January 
of 1910, the bill was lost by 19 votes to 12. As the women in this 
province arc still without the Municipal vote they organised a petition 
in its favour in 1912. 2 

The Transvaal W.E.L., first formed in 1909, made a special 
effort in 1912 to secure the eligibility of women to Town Councils, 
resolutions in favour being passed in the Town Councils of Pretoria 
and Johannesburg. 3 The women are almost certain of success. 
It is also anticipated that women will be eligible to vote for and to 
sit upon the newly established Village Councils and Health 

The Union Parliament. In 1908, while the Convention to 
draft the Union Constitution was sitting, a petition signed by 4,000 
men and women representing each of the four colonies was presented 
asking that women might not be excluded. The refusal of the Con- 
vention to act on the appeal was based on the excuse of the danger of 
the coloured women's vote. As it is in the Province of Cape Colony 
only that the coloured men vote, and the property qualification 
necessary does not enfranchise more than a very small number, the 
women produced figures to show that, while 40.6 per cent, of the 
male white population of that colony were voters, only 2.5 of the 
coloured male population, or not more than 1.2 per cent, of the 
whole population, coloured or white, exercise the franchise. It is 
obvious that on a property qualification the number of coloured 
women qualified would have been infinitesimal. It is interesting to 
find that the very anti-suffragists who profess to object to women's 
suffrage on the ground that they cannot fight, voted in the British 
Parliament in favour of the clause in the Act establishing the 
Union of South Africa which provides that no full pay regular in the 
British army shall be entitled to vote for the South African 
Parliament or for the Provincial Assemblies. 4 

The right of extending or altering the franchise is not in the 
power of the Provincial Assemblies but of the Union Parliament. 
That body consists of two Houses, an Upper House or Senate, 
thirty-two of the forty Members of which have been elected by the 
Provincial Legislatures ; and a House of Assembly elected on the 
franchise which obtains in each of the Provinces for its Provincial 
Assembly. In the Cape Province a low property and educational 
test is imposed ; in Natal, there is a property qualification but no 
coloured person may vote ; in the Transvaal and the Orange River 
Colony there is white mnnhood suffrage. 3 

1 Letter from Mrs. Solly. Letter from Mrs. Timewell. 

s Letter from Miss Hyett. i South African ^ct, S. IX. (2). 


The Woman's Enfranchisement Association of the Union 
South Africa, 1 formed during the visit of the President of the 
International Woman Suffrage Alliance, Mrs. Chapman Catt, has a 
policy of united action in the four Provinces. Already its system- 
atic campaign includes a uniform election policy and the pub!i< ation 
of a suffrage paper. On April 2nd of the following year, 1912, two 
petitions, one with 11,553 signatures and another with 500 women's 
signatures, were presented to the Union Parliament. A motion in 
favour of the enfranchisement of women had been set down for the 
same day but was blocked. On February 11th, 1913, for the first 
time in the Union Parliament the subject was debated on a resolu- 
tion in favour introduced by the Labour Party. The discussion 
was, however, adjourned without a division. 2 

1 Letter from Miss Hyett, Secretary W.E.A., Pretoria, May 6th, 1912. 

2 Scotsman, February 12th, 1913. 



Stanton, Anthony, Gage and Harper, "The History of 
Woman Suffrage " in four volumes, Rochester, N.Y., 1881, 
1882, 1885 and 1902. 

" The Statesman's Yearbook." Published by Macmillan Sc Co., 
London, 1912. 

Ostrogorski, ' The Rights of Women." Published by 
Sonnenschein, London, 1908. 

C. A. Reuterskjold, Politisk Rostratt for Kvinnor, Upsala, 

F. Buisson, " Le Vote des Femmes." Published by Dunod 
& Pinat, Paris, 1911. 

Seventy-third Annual Report of the Registrar-General of Births, 
Deaths, and Marriages in England and Wales (1910). 

J. W. Whitelaw, Manual of the Qualifications and Registration 
of Voters, Edinburgh, 1904. 

M. G. Fawcett, "Women's Suffrage." Published by Jack, 
Edinburgh, 1911. 

' Women's Position in the Laws of the Nations." Published 
by the International Council of Women. Karlsruhe i B 

The Reports of the International Woman Suffrage Alliance 

London, 1908, 1909 and 1911. 

"Jus Suffragii," Monthly Organ of the International Woman 
Suffrage Alliance, Rotterdam, Holland. 

Alice Zimmern, "Women's Suffrage in Many Lands." 
Published at 13, Breams Buildings, Chancery Lane 
London, 1909. 

Pamphlets. Eminent Opinions on Woman Suffrage, published 
by the National American Woman Suffrage Association. 
Frances Maude Bjdrkmann,Where Women Vote, by same 
publisher, 1912. A. Maude Royden, How Women Use 
the Vote, published by the National Union of Women's 
Suffrage Societies, London, 1912. Colonial Statesmen 
and Votes for Women, published by the Women's 
Freedom League, London, 1911. 



New Zealand. 

The Statutes of New Zealand. 

The Official Year-books of New Zealand, especially 1911, 

Wellington, N.Z. 
Mrs. K. A. Sheppard, " Woman Suffrage in New Zeaia: 

1907. Published by the International Woman Suffrage 

Lady Stout, " Woman Suffrage in New Zealand." Published 

by the Woman's Press, London, England, 1911 or 1912. 


The Statutes of the Commonwealth Parliament, and of the 

Legislatures of each of the States, South Australia, 

Western Australia. New South Wales, Tasmania, 

Queensland and Victoria. 
The Official Year-book of the Commonwealth of Australia, 

No. 5, 1912, and the Official Year Books of each of the 

States in the Commonwealth. 
Vida Goldstein, "Woman Suffrage in Australia." Published 

by the Woman's Press, London, 1911. 
" Australia's Advice." Published by the Woman's Press, 

London, 1911. 
Leaflets on Australia. Published by the National Union of 

Women's Suffrage Societies, London. 

The United States. 

The publications of the National American Woman Suffrage 
-ociation, among which the following may be mentioned : 
" The Woman's journal," weekly organ of the Association. 
Leaflets. Fruits of Equal Suffrage, Land II. ; Testimony 
from Wyoming ; Testimony from Colorado ; Testimony 
from Idaho ; Testimony from Utah, and many others. 
Pamphlets. Sarah Plait Decker and Ben B. Lindesay, 
'"How it works in Colorado"; Creel and Lindesay, 
" Measuring up Equal Suffrage," etc. 

John F. Shafroth, "Should Women have Equal Suffrage," a 
Statement before the Committee on Woman Suffrage of 
the United States Senate, 1910. Washington, 1910. 

Catherine W. McCulloch, " Guardianship of Children," a 
reprint from the Chicago Legal News of January 13th, 

Catherine W. McCuttoch, " Mavors of Five Stat . 

" Equal Suffrage in Colorado, 1908 to 1912, and I 393 to 1908." 
Published by the Colorado Equal Suffrage Association. 

Helen L. Sumner, " Equal Suffrage." New York, 1909. 

" The American Year Book," 1911. 

Abstract of the United States of America Census. 1910. 

Hampton's Magazine, April, 1911. 


Mrs. Borrowman Wells, "America and Woman Suffrage.' 

London, 1909. 
Ida H listed Harper, " History of the Movement for Woman 

Suffrage in the United States." New York, 1907. 

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. 

Helen Blackburn, " Record of Woman Suffrage." London 

and Oxford, 1902. 
Helen Blackburn, "A Handbook for Women." Bristoi, 1895. 
The Statutes of the United Kingdom. 
The Publications of the Women's Local Government Society, 

London, England. 
The Publications of the Irish Women's Suffrage and Local 

Government Association, Dublin. 
The Publications of the National Union of Women's Suffrage 

Societies, London ; in particular, " A Brief Review of the 

Women's Suffrage Movement, 1911." 
The London County Council's Publications, March, 1910, No. 

1333; February, 1912, No. 1479; and November 22nd, 

1912, No. 1552. Parliamentary Return, No. 247, dated 

22nd July, 1908. 
A. B. & M. Wallis Chapman, "The Status of W r omen, 1066- 

1909." London, 1909. 

South Africa. 

" Our Claim to Enfranchisement." Published by the Women's 

Enfranchisement League, Cape Town, 1912. 
The Statutes of South Africa and of its Provinces. 


Henrietta M. Edwards, " Legal Status of Canadian Women." 
Published by the National Council of Women of Canada. 
Calgary, Alta., 1908. 


Aino Malmberg, "Women's Suffrage in Finland." 


" Dokument des Fortschritts," Georg Reimer. 

" Jahrbuch der Frauenbewegung," 1912 and 1913, 13. G. 

Teubner. Leipzig. 
" Centralblatt des Bundes Deutscher Frauenvereine," 1910-11 

and 1911-12, B. G. Teubner. 
Martha Voss-Zietz, Die Politische Frauenbewegung, National - 

verein Munchen." 


The preliminary steps to the foundation of a federation of 
National Associations working in their different countries for the 
establishment of the suffrage for women were taken at a conference 
held in Washington, U.S.A., in 1902, when representatives were 
present from seven different countries, namely Australia, Canada, 
Germany, Great Britain, Norway, Sweden and the United States 
of America. 

A provisional Committee was formed which arranged a second 
Congress at Berlin in 1904, at which time all the National Suffrage 
Associations in the world, nine in number, united to form a perma- 
nent organisation called the International Woman Suffrage Alliance. 
Subsequent Congresses were held in 1906 at Copenhagen with 
eleven countries represented; in 1908 at Amsterdam with fifteen 
Countries represented ; in 1909 at London with twenty countries 
represented; in 1911 at Stockholm with twenty-three countries 
represented. In 1913 the organisations of twenty-six countries are 
affiliated with the Alliance and a National Woman Suffrage 
organisation of China has applied for affiliation. 

During its existence Australia has granted full electoral suffrage 
to its women in all State Legislatures, and the National Parliament. 
Finland has extended full suffrage and eligibility to its Parliament. 
Norway has extended municipal suffrage to its women upon a 
property qualification, and later followed it by granting parliamentary 
suffrage and eligibility. In the United States five states and one 
territory have bestowed full enfranchisement upon their women in 
the following order: Washington in 1910; California in 1911; 
Oregon, Kansas and Arizona in 1912; Alaska Territory in 1913. 

To be admitted into the Alliance National Associations from 
countries not already affiliated must have the following qualifications : 

(a) They must make the demand for the enfranchisement of 
women their sole object, except where local circumstances 
prevent such organisation, or where women suffrage is 
already granted ; and, 

(&) They must either have local branches, or admit individual 
members all over the country. 

Special rules make provision for the representation of those 
countries where local conditions make it difficult for women to 
organise or where the woman's movement is in a less advanced 



The attitude of the Alliance to special forms of suffrage is 
expressed in the following resolution passed at Stockholm in 1911 : 

•'It has been brought to the notice of this Convention that the 
wording of tin r< c-lution demanding the franchise for women on 
the same terms as i! is, or may be, exercised l>v men, has given 
rise to mi under tai ding, being misconstrued on the one hand as 
an expression of hostility to universal suffrage, and on the other 
hand as a pl< d ;;■ to support universal suffr — . 

" In view oi this misinterpretation, this Convention herein' declares 
that tiie International Woman Suffrage Alliance has on no 
occasion taken a position for or against any special form 
of suffrage. It has been clearly stated by the Alliance that 
(lie Affiliated Societies in each country should be left entirely 
tree to determine for themselves which form of suffrage they 
will demand at any time. This Alliance does not express any 
opinion as to what should be the qualifications for enfranchise- 
ment, its sole object being to establish the principle that sex 
should not be a disqualification." 


Any person may become an Honorary Associate Member of 
the Alliance on payment to the Treasurer (Mrs. Stanton Coit, 30, 
Hyde Park Gale, London, England) of £\ annually. Such Asso- 
ciates then receive copies of the Reports of the Alliance and its 
monthly paper, Jus Suf/ragii. 

Officers for the period 1909-1913 

President : Carrie Chapman Catt, 2, West 86th Street, New York, U.S.A. 

First Vice-Pr ident: Millicent Fawcett, LL.D., 2, Gower Street, London, 

Sceond Vice-President : Annie Furuhjklm, Helsingfors, Finland. 

Secretaries : Martina Kramers, Editor of Jus Suffraqii, 02, Kruiskade, Rotterdam, 

Anna Lindemann, Dagerlcch, Stuttgart, Germany. 
Signe Bergman, 10a, Arsenalsgatan, Stockholm. 

Honorary Treasurei : Adela Stanton Coit, 30, Hyde Park Gate, London, 

Auxiliaries in the Alliance, and dates of their Affiliation 

Australia. Women's Political Association, 1904. President : Miss Vida 

I i. ostein, Whitehall, Bank Place, Melbourne. 

Belgium. 1909. President: Mme. Dr. Jolie Gilain, 39, Rue Charles Marlel, 
i Irussels. 

Bulgaria. Woman's Rights Alliance, lt)08. President: Mmk. I. Malinoff, 
L'liza Graf-Ignatieff 11, Sofia. 


Canada. Dominion Woman Suffrage Association, 1904. President : Dr. 
Augusta Stowe Gullen, 4G1, Spadina Avenue, Toronto. 

Denmark. Danske Kvindeforenigers Valgretsforbund, 1908. President: M 
Eline Hansen, G, Falledvej, Copenhagen. 
Danske Landsforbundet. President : Mrs. Elna Munch, 138, Osterbrogade, 

Finland. Finsk Kvinnosaksforbundet Unionen, 1908. President: Annie 

Furuhjelm, Helsingfors. 
Svenska Kvinnoforbundet i Finland. President: Annie Furuhjelm, 

Suomalainen Naisliitto. President: Lucina IIagman, Helsingfors. 

France. L'Union francaise pour le Suffrage des Femmes, 1909. Presi lent : 
Mme. V. Vincent, 13, Rue de Paris, Asnieres (Seine). 

Germany. Deutscher Verband fiir Frauenstimmrecht, 1901. President: Frau 
Marie Stritt, 110, Diirerstrasse, Dresden. 

Great Britain. National Union of Women Suffrage Societies, 1904. President: 
Mrs. Millicent Fawcett, LL.D., 2, Gower Street, London. 

Hungary. Feministak Egyesulete, 1906. President: Fraulein Vilma Gluck- 
lich, VI Kernnitzer-u-19, Budapest. 

Iceland. 1911. President : Mrs. Briet Asmundsson, Reikjavik. 

Italy. Comitato Nazionale per il Voto alia Donna, 1908. President : Signora 
Giacenta Martini, Piazza Pilotta 5, Rome. 

Netherlands. Vereeniging voor Vrouwenkiesrecht, 1904. President: Dr. 
Aletta Jacobs, Amsterdam. 

Norway. Laniskvindestemraeretsforenigen, 1904. President: Fru. F. M. 
Qva.m, Gjaevran per Stenkjaer. 

Poland. 1911. President : Mme T. Orka, 30, Rue Penthievre, Paris. 

Portugal. Associacao de Propaganda Feminista, 1911. President: Mme. 
Jeanne d' Almeida Nogueira, Praca D. Luis 17-3 e D, Lissabon. 

Roumania. 1911. President : Princess Stourdza, C2, Rue Agnado, Dieppe, 

Russia. Union of Defenders of Women's Rights, 1903. President: Mme. P. 
Schischkina Javein, M.D., 20, Snamenskaya, St. Petersburg. 

Scrvia. Szpshi narodni zenski Saves, 1909. Secretary : Mlle. Helene 
Losanitch, 17, Brancova, Belgrade. 

South Africa. Cape Colony : Women's Enfranchisement League, 1903. 
President : Mrs. Irene Ashby Macfadven, Cape Town. 
Natal: Women's Suffrage League. President: Mrs. Oona Anketill, 160, 
Bellevue Road, Durban. 

Sweden. Landsforeningen for Kvinnans Politiska Rostratt, 1904. President: 
Miss Anna Whitlock, Glittne, Djursholm, Stockholm. 

Switzerland. Verband fiir Frauenstimmrecht, 1908. President: M. M. de 
Morsier, Deputy, Geneva. 

The United State3. National-American Woman Suffrage Association, 1904. 
President : Rev. Anna H. Shaw, Moylan, Penn. 

Affiliated Committees 

Austria. 1909. Frau E. von Furth, VIII Reichsratsgasse, Vienna. 

Bohemia. 1909. Miss M. Stepankova, 23, Vsehrdova, Prague III. 

Galicia. Polish Woman Suffrage Committee, 1911. President: Mrs. Melaxif 
Berson, 18, Tarnowskiego, Lemberg (Leopol). 


Jus Suffragii. The monthly organ of the Alliance, to be 
obtained from Martina Kramers, 92, Kruiskade, Rotterdam, 
Holland. Price per year, 2 Dutch Florins (or 3s. 6c/., or S9.82 or 
3kr., or 4.25frs., or 3.50mk.). 

Badges. The badge of the Alliance, a small brooch repre- 
senting the figure of Justice, to be had from Mrs. Pedersen Dan, 
Griffensfeldtsgade, Copenhagen, Denmark. Price from 6d. 
upwards according to pattern. 

Report of the Sixth Congress held in Stockholm. Sweden, 
June, 1911, second impression. Price Is. 6d. post free. A few 
copies of the reports of the Amsterdam Conference, in 1908, and of 
the London Conference, in 1909, may be had for public libraries. 

Measuring up Equal Suffrage, by George Creel and Judge 
Ben Lindesay, being the reprint of an article published in The 
Delineator. It deals with Colorado. The German edition to be 
had from Frau Winkler, Werben bei Cottbus, price 0.15mk. ; the 
French edition from Mine. C. Leon Brunschwieg, 53, rue Scheffer, 
Paris, price 0.20frs. 

The World Movement for Woman Suffrage, 1904 to 1911. 

Being the Presidential Address delivered by Mrs. Chapman Catt 
at the Sixth Convention of the I.W.S.A. Second impression, 
price 2d. 

Woman Suffrage in Practice, 1913. This gives an account 
of franchises now exercised by women throughout the world and 
their effects. By Marie Stritt, Maria Verone and Chrvstal 
Macmillan. In three editions, English, French and German. 
Price Is. 6d. net, or 35 cents. 

The Report of the Seventh Convention will be issued shortly. 

London : 

Women's Printing Society, Limited, 

Brick Street, Piccadilly. 


Jus Suffragii. The monthly organ of the Alliance, to be 
obtained from Martina Kramers, 92, Kruiskade, Rotterdam, 
Holland. Price per year, 2 Dutch Florins (or 3s. 6d., or $9.82, or 
3kr., or 4.25frs., or 3.50mk.). 

Badges. The badge of the Alliance, a small brooch repre- 
senting the figure of Justice, to be had from Mrs. Pedersen Dan, 
Griffensfeldtsgade, Copenhagen, Denmark. Price from 6d. 
upwards according to pattern. 

Report of the Sixth Congress held in Stockholm. Sweden, 
June, 1911, second impression. Price Is. 6d. post free. A few 
copies of the reports of the Amsterdam Conference, in 1908, and of 
the London Conference, in 1909, may be had for public libraries. 

Measuring up Equal Suffrage, by George Creel and Judge 
Ben Lindesay, being the reprint of an article published in The 
Delineator. It deals with Colorado. The German edition to be 
had from Frau Winkler, Werben bei Cottbus, price 0.15mk. ; the 
French edition from Mme. C. Leon Brunschwieg, 53, rue Scheffer, 
Paris, price 0.20frs. 

The World Movement for Woman Suffrage, 1904 to 1911. 

Being the Presidential Address delivered by Mrs. Chapman Catt 
at the Sixth Convention of the I.W.S.A. Second impression, 
price 2d. 

Woman Suffrage in Practice, 1913. This gives an account 
of franchises now exercised by women throughout the world and 
their effects. By Marie Stritt, Maria Verone and Chrystal 
Macmillan. In three editions, English, French and German. 
Price Is. 6d. net, or 35 cents. 

The Report of the Seventh Convention will be issued shortly.