Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Beyond the garden gate: Local insight into the Victorian female suffrage movement

In 1891 more than 28,000 women signed the Woman's Petition requesting the right to vote. Joanna Fitch has prepared this set of six case studies investigating the possible suffrage involvement of women in selected towns and suburbs in Victoria in the years following 1891. The six areas are St Kilda, Bairnsdale, Hawthorn, Casterton, Maryborough and Colac.

The general information in the book is gleaned from secondary sources and the information used in the case studies is primarily from newspaper articles and / or books written about the local history of the area. No attempt appears to have been made to investigate the minute books and records of the women's organisations during the period up to 1908 when women in Victoria won the right to vote in State government elections.

The case studies however do provide an insight into some of the factors that would have contributed to the possible involvement or non-involvement of women in working to win suffrage. The many footnotes provide a guide for further research.

A list of numbers of women in towns and suburbs is provided as well as suggestions for locating additional information about some of the women who signed the 1891 petition.

A copy of this publication is available online from the Victorian Women's Trust website - www.vwt.org.au. Copies of the book can be purchased from the Victorian Women's Trust.

The index to the 1891 Woman's Petition can be found online.
Additional information about the collection of the petition signatures in 1891 is available in the online exhibition - The WCTU & the 1891 Woman's Petition

1 comment:

Pauline said...

I had no idea Casterton was one of the selected areas, Vicki. My grandmother was a teacher in the area at the time, so she could have been involved. She later married my grandfather, who was so against women's advancement that he refused to pay pay my aunt's Melbourne University graduation fee, and she had to borrow it from an aunt. Thanks, Vicki. I'll delve into it and tell the family. Pauline M.