Our social, theological and healthcare reformers stand on the shoulders of such “greats.” Why they should be celebrated during Australian Women’s History Month and for International Women’s Day.
I wept for Maud Watts’ plight. She was the central character in the 2015 film, Suffragette, which depicted the core group of women who fought to obtain the vote in 1912 London. A socio-political environment hostile to women’s suffrage led to a tragic set of circumstances where she was forced to give up everything she held dear. Her marriage, her son, her home, her job, her dignity and her health were stripped from her as she devoted herself to lobbying for a woman’s basic right to have a say about how things could be done better in her world.
The Commonwealth of Australia had already given women here that right a decade earlier. But progress was slow in the state governments, and it was not until 1926 that women were able to both vote and stand for all Houses of Parliament in all parts of the Commonwealth.