Sunday, February 17, 2008

Louisa Lawson helped bring women's vote to the world

Today according to Australian Eastern Standard Time when this item was posted
1848 Louisa Lawson (d. August 12, 1920), Australian feminist, inventor, poet, founder/editor of the Republican and (for 17 years) founder/publisher/editor of Dawn: A Journal for Australian Women; mother of Australian poet, Henry Lawson (1867 - 1922).

When female Australian British subjects won the vote with the Uniform Franchise Act (June 16, 1902), Louisa Lawson, who had had only two years of schooling, was hailed by her political sisters as "The Mother of Womanhood Suffrage". (Women in South Australia were the first in the world to win the right to vote and stand for election.)

Lawson was a poor, Mudgee-born bush battler, forced by marital breakdown, economic depression and drought to move with her four surviving children to the city. She was an idiosyncratic but indomitable woman, a prodigious worker, powerful writer and fine poet, a spiritualist, farmer, inventor, postmistress and shopkeeper.

Lawson spent thirty-five years of her hard life fighting for women's rights. She founded the Association of Women, and with Henry, in 1887 - '88 she published the journal, The Republican. Louisa Lawson then became founder, owner, publisher and editor of The Dawn, the new nation's foremost women's political magazine, announcing that it would battle for women's rights, and the vote. "Why should one half of the world govern the other half?" was Lawson's rallying cry ...

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