On this day: Women Demonstrate in Scotland

_The_Great_Procession_and_Women's_Demonstration_,_1909_on_Princes_Street,_EdinburghThe Great Procession and Women's Demonstration - Edinburgh. 9th October 1909. Scotland. Women's Suffrag

This photograph shows the so-called Great Procession and Women’s Demonstration that took place in Edinburgh, Scotland on the 9th of October, 1909.

Amongst the banners being carried are those calling for Votes for Women. Women in the United Kingdom were not given equal voting rights as men until 1928.

On this day: Class of 1913

Members of the Barnard College‘s class of 1913 walk out on the 4th of June. The women-only college in New York was founded in 1889 in response to Columbia University refusing to admit women.

Barnard_College,_June_4,_1913_(LOC) Members of the Barnard class of 1913

On this day: Women’s Suffrage in Norway.

Norwegian women, participating in a woman suffrage parade in New York, 1913. women's suffrage

Norwegian women participate in at a suffrage march in New York in 1913. X

Women in Norway earned the right to vote in stages, however a milestone was reached on the 14th of June, 1907, when middle class women were finally granted permission to vote in parliamentary elections.

While women’s suffrage came fairly early to Norway, by this point in time women in countries such as New Zealand and Australia had had full voting rights for several years.

At the parliamentary election in 1909, women of the bourgeoisie and middle class were entitled to vote for the first time.

Women vote in 1909.

The first Norwegian parliamentary election to include women was held in 1909.

It was not until 1913 that women’s voting rights equal to men’s were granted.

On this day: the Irish government stands up to the Catholic Church

On the 12th of March, 1985, the government of the Republic of Ireland finally stood up to the powerful Catholic Church and legalised contraception.

feminists-on-the-platform-of-connolly-station-dublin-in-1971-prior-to-boarding-the-belfast-train-contraceptive-train-contraception-illegal-in-the-republic-of-ireland

Women leave Dublin on their protest journey to Belfast.

The 1970s saw feminists travelling to Belfast in Northern Ireland and returning home with contraceptives, risking arrest for importing illegal products. They were met by protestors upon their arrival home.

Illegal in the Republic in all circumstances until 1980, a new law allowed some contraception to be dispensed by a pharmacist to people with a doctor’s prescription.

This highly restrictive law was finally changed five years later, despite conservative opposition.

american-letter-to-complain-about-womens-rights-and-ireland-legalising-contraception

Some Americans were so outraged that “Holy Ireland” now allowed contraception, they wrote to the Prime Minister to complain.

Even so, advertising of contraceptives was still banned, and Ireland continued to have one of the highest birth rates in the developed world.

On this day: the murder of Hulda Stumpf

Hulda_Stumpf

American missionary Hulda Stumpf was murdered in Kijabe, Kenya on the 3rd of January, 1930.

Stumpf, who had spoken out in opposition of Female Genital Mutilation, a widespread and often life-threatening tradition performed across Africa to this day, and practiced in the region of Kenya where she lived, was found dead in her home on the morning of Friday the 3rd. She had been brutally beaten, and then strangled.

Hulda_Stumpf,_Africa_Inland_Mission_conference 1917

Stumpf sits on the bottom left of this 1917 photograph

In the end, no strong conclusions could be drawn about her death.

 

When Australian women were accidentally given the vote.

Australian Suffragettes

Australian suffragettes in London in 1911

In the nineteenth century, in the colony of Victoria in Australia, the Electoral Act 1863 was passed. According to the act, “all persons” who owned property were entitled to vote. Though it was not intended to include women in this, there were plenty in the state who did, indeed own property.

In the 1864 elections, some women took advantage of this error and went to the polling stations, where their votes were recorded:

The Argus  , 5 November 1864, p 4. When women in Australia accidentally got the vote.

“At one of the polling booths in the Castlemaine district a novel sight was witnessed. A coach filled with ladies drove up, and the fair occupants alighted and recorded their votes.”
The Argus , 5 November 1864, p 4.

The oversight was quickly fixed, and a new law in 1865 once again took voting rights away from women. However, Australia was very early in granting women full voting rights, in 1902.