previous
next

Women Citizenship—A Fact.

Now we come to the practical part of the subject. Women are citizens in South Australia. Women are entitled to have their names placed on the Electoral Rolls. Women enrolled will have the right to vote at the next General Election. The names, therefore, of all women so entitled ought to be placed on the Electoral Rolls—and all women ought to vote.

The prime necessity at this present juncture is to arouse in women that interest in their political rights, privileges and duties which their importance to the State and to women themselves demand. In the need for such action we discern the evidence that the women of the colony as a whole were not desirous to become voters, and that the passing of the Women's Suffrage Bill by the Parliament was premature and in advance of the public sentiment and demand of women, That there were most intelligent, earnest, and eager championesses of Women's Suffrage is admitted, that they formulated their claim and expressed it by speeches, pamphlets, and petitions, is a matter of history. But it is indisputable that the majority of the women of the Colony held aloof from the movement and were silent, and not with a silence that meant consent.

Now that Women's Parliamentary Suffrage is the law, adequate measures must be taken that all women citizens be enrolled, that all women citizens be informed on political matters and the burning, smouldering, and coming questions, that all women citizens be impressed with the responsibilities which are cast upon them, that all women citizens be urged on no account to abstain from voting, and that at the polling booths a separate entrance and a separate compartment be provided so that all women citizens may be able to record their votes without having to run the gauntlet of the touts and hangers-on who congregate about the polling places.

previous
next