Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Petitions part 13

Suffrage and Temperance

Suffrage and Temperance Organisations
Two other women's suffrage groups in Victoria in 1891 were the Victorian Suffrage Society and Australian Women's Suffrage Society.

Victorian Women's Suffrage Society
The Victorian Women's Suffrage Society (VWSS) was created in 1884 by Henrietta Dugdale and Annie Lowe.
The first general meeting of the VWSS was held on 23 June where Henritta Dugdale proposed the motion, seconded by Annie Lowe, -
To obtain the same political privileges for women as now possessed by male voters, with the restriction of an educational test by writing legibly the name of the candidate on the ballot paper.
By July 1886 membership of the VWSS had reached 257. A major proposal was to work towards the introduction of a women's suffrage bill annually into Parliament until successful.
In the late 1880s membership of the VWSS decreased, partly due to the creation of new suffrage groups.

Further information
The Victorian Women’s Suffrage Society (1884 - 1908) - Australian Women's Archives Project
O'Donnell, Kate. Henrietta Dugdale: He-woman or pioneer suffragist in They are but women: the road to female suffrage in Victoria. 2nd ed.Suffrage City Press. 2008

Australian Women's Suffrage Society
Brettena Smythe formed the Australian Women’s Suffrage Society in 1888 after leaving the Victorian Women’s Suffrage Society because of her outspoken opinions on birth control.
Membership of the society was open to both men and women and a prominent member was Dr William Maloney, a member of the Victorian Legislative Assembly, who regularly introduced several (unsuccessful) women’s suffrage bills into parliament.
The Australian Women's Suffrage Society disbanded after Brettena Smythe died in 1898.

Further information
O'Donnell, Kate. Henrietta Dugdale: He-woman or pioneer suffragist in They are but women: the road to female suffrage in Victoria. 2nd ed.Suffrage City Press. 2008
The Australian Women’s Suffrage Society (1888 - 1898) - Australian Women's Archives Project

In the 1880s the various temperance groups in Victoria had formed an affiliated organisation and lobby group - the Victorian Alliance.

Victorian Alliance
Victorian Alliance for the Suppression of Liquor Traffic was formed in 1881. It had evolved from the Permissive Bill Association. James Munro was founding president of the Victorian Alliance.
It was the Victorian Alliance that arranged for the deputation on Woman Suffrage to the premier in May 1891 and members of the Victorian Alliance strongly supported the work of the WCTU, especially in relation to the collection of signatures for the Woman's Petition.
The Victorian Alliance provided the voice for many of the smaller temperance organisations in Victoria primarily through the publication of the Alliance Record - from 1881 to October 1887 as a monthly publication then bi-weekly until July 1892 when it returned to monthly publication. The issues published in 1891 included a page for the WCTU to use for communication with WCTU members. The Alliance Record therefore was a valuable tool for providing WCTU members and other readers with the latest information about WCTU activities. The Victorian Alliance annual conference provided opportunity for members of temperance groups to get together to discuss issues and strategies. In 1891 a section of the conference was devoted to the discussion of woman suffrage. Transcriptions of many of the sessions were published in the Alliance Record.

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