Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Petitions part 2

 Petitions

A petition is a "formal written request, typically one signed by many people, appealing to authority in respect of a particular cause" - Oxford English Dictionary. Petitions are a tool used to ascertain level of support for a cause. Petitions can also promote a cause by alerting members to issues covered by the petition.

Many petitions were collected and presented to parliaments in the campaign for woman suffrage throughout Australia and elsewhere in the world.
In the month that the Monster Petiton was presented to the Legislative Assembly a number of other petitions requesting womanhood suffrage were also presented including one smaller petition on the same day as the Monster Petition.

During the next 17 years petitions continued to be used to show the support for woman suffrage in Victoria. Signatures were also collected for petitons showing that women did not want the vote.
In New Zealand and in South Australia petitions also played a major role in the campaign for female suffrage.

New Zealand 
Suffrage display near Auckland Art Gallery
featuring New Zealand's monster petition
Photographer-Suzie Geemans
 In September 1893 women in New Zealand won the right to vote after campaigning for many years. The Woman's Christian Temperance Union in New Zealand was a major contibutor to the campaign for womanhood suffrage in that country. A major petition containing approximately 20,000 signatures was presented in 1892. This was followed by New Zealand's "monster petition" where pages containing 23,853 signatures were combined on a roll and presented with a further 7,000 signatures in 1883.

Further information about petitions and the campaign for womanhood suffrage in New Zealand:
Women's Suffrage Petition (New Zealand)

New Zealand women and the vote


South Australia
Women in South Australia received the right to vote in South Australian parliamentary elections in 1894. In August 1894 a petition containing 11,600 signatures asking for woman suffrage was presented to parliament.

Women's suffrage in South Australia

Chronology of Women's Suffrage in South Australia 

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