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Housewives Association (Australia) South Australian Division (1926 - )

From
1926
Occupations
Lobby group, Women's Rights Organisation and Membership organisation

Summary

TheHousewives Association (Australia) South Australian Division was formed in 1926 Its foundation president was Agnes Goode. The Association's aims were to 'support, protect and raise the status and interests of the home, women and children; to promote and establish co-operation among housewives; to oppose profiteering in every practical manner; to encourage the greater use of Australian-made goods'. (Housewife, April 1929) The nature of their aims meant that they were politically active. For instance in 1929 then President, Leonora Polkinghorne, protested against increases to the price of gas by warning them that members would vote against them in the next election. She also stood as an Independent for Sturt in the 1930 election backed by the Women's Non-Party Political Association but was unsuccessful. The Association also had a monthly publication called the Housewife, and spoke regularly on the ABC radio station

Details

In support of their aims, the Association lobbied politicians, canvassed support door-to-door; appeared before government enquiries. The Association was non-party political, and included women who were active in both the Australian Labor Party (ALP) and the Liberal Union, and supported their efforts to stand for Parliament. These organisations lobbied governments on a wide range of important issues, and succeeded in achieving some notable legislative reforms.
They lobbied on:
• Changes to the minimum age of marriage for girls. As late as 1927, this was 12 years.
• Equal rights for women in the guardianship and custody of children.
• Equal pay for women.

Sources used to compile this entry: Allen, Margaret (Margaret Ellen), 1947- ; Hutchison, Mary and Mackinnon, Alison, 1942-, Fresh evidence, new witnesses : finding women's history, South Australian Government Printer, Netley, SA, 1989, 284 pp; Helen Jones, In her own name. A history of women in South Australia from 1836, Wakefield Press, Adelaide, 1986, 356 pp.

Related entries

Archival resources

State Library of South Australia, Mortlock Library of South Australiana

  • Housewives Association, S.A. Division : SUMMARY RECORD, 1926 - 1981, SRG 581; Housewives Association (Australia) South Australian Division (1926 - ); State Library of South Australia, Mortlock Library of South Australiana. Details

Robin Secomb

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

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

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