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The Woman's League 1895—1897

The Woman's League was founded after the granting of female suffrage, and the closing of the Woman's Suffrage League. Did some of the women involved in the earlier group feel at a loose end, and so decided to continue their efforts to educate the community and Parliament on the need for further work in equality of opportunity for women?

The State Library of South Australia holds the minute books and papers of the meetings of this organisation, which lasted two years 1895-97, as SRG 690. The minutes show the handwriting and signatures of Catherine Helen Spence, Lucy Morice, Annie Montgomerie Martin, Elizabeth Nicholls and Rosetta Birks, among others. The founders of the league believed that women shared fundamental interests that could be advanced through a non-party organisation. Their first object was to educate women in social and political matters and to engender in them the idea that their vote was a 'sacred trust' to be used by them as individual women and not be surrendered to any political party. The second object of the league was 'to stand together as women apart from all consideration of class and party, and to interest ourselves especially in questions affecting women and children.'

The Woman's League lasted only two short years from 1895 to 1897. Their general philosophy was picked up 12 years later by the Women's Non-Party Political Association which formed in 1909, with many of the same membership.


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This page last updated on Monday 29 July 2019



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