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Even a newspaper editorial of 1954 posed the question: Why no women in Parliament?

The following editorial is reprinted from The News with kind permission from The Advertiser Newspapers Limited. Although there had been a lot of work behind the scenes to effect this change, this was a very public statement which no doubt helped to raise awareness of an unusual situation which was not to be rectified until 1959.

The News Wednesday, March 10, 1954

The decision of the Adelaide divisional committee of the LCL to nominate a woman candidate for the coming Federal election is a matter for congratulation irrespective of party politics. South Australia has never had a woman member of the State Parliament. No woman has been sent from this State to the House of Representatives or the Senate.

Why not?

In both the Federal and State spheres in other States women have proved competent and successful Parliamentarians. In Britain, in the Mother of Parliaments, woman after woman has proved conclusively that all prejudices against women as the people's representatives are completely unfounded. Both as Ministers of the Crown and as representatives of their electorates a whole chain of distinguished women of all parties have made an invaluable contribution at Westminster in the past 30 years.

Women like Margaret Bondfield, Ellen Wilkinson, Edith Summerskill on one side of the House and Florence Horsburgh, Lady Astor, and the Duchess of Atholl on the other have brought considerable gifts to the service of the nation. It is to be hoped that both parties in South Australia in the Federal and State spheres alike will henceforth nominate more women candidates. Sooner or later one or more will break through the lingering prejudice.

Our Parliaments will be the richer for it.


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