Australian Women's Register

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The Victorian Women's Suffrage Society (1884 - 1908)

From
1884
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
To
1908
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Occupations
Women's Rights Organisation

Summary

The Victorian Women's Suffrage Society, the first women's suffrage society in Australia, was founded in 1884 largely due to the efforts of Henrietta Dugdale and Annie Lowe. Dugdale, very much a 'freethinker', claimed to been Victoria's first activist for women's suffrage-having publicly advocated women's suffrage since 1868, along with married women's property rights and the admission of women to the universities. In 1883 she published a utopian novel, A Few Hours in a Far Off Age, which she used as a vehicle for her then radical ideas about education, marriage, Christianity and rational dress for women. The Society's platform was 'To obtain the same political privileges for women as now possessed by male voters'. It had both male and female members.

Details

Archival note:
As of 2003, it appears that there is no specific collection of papers relating to the Society. Its activities were, however, extensively reported in the Melbourne press and women's journals, particularly, for the years 1900-1905, Vida Goldstein's The Australian Woman's Sphere.

Related entries

Archival resources

Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales

  • Woman Suffrage, Leaflets and Press Cuttings on Australian and Overseas Movements, MSS 38/39; Mitchell and Dixson Libraries Manuscripts Collection, State Library of New South Wales. Details

Jane Carey

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

National Foundation for Australian Women The University of Melbourne, eScholarship Research Centre

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