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Women's Right to Vote

Updated on June 30, 2013

Only men were allowed to vote

Queue of only men going to vote
Queue of only men going to vote

History of women's right to vote

The right of women to vote also known as women suffrage is the right of women to not only vote but to also stand for office. In ancient Democracy, only men were permitted to vote .The campaign for women’s right to vote began in earnest in the decades before the Civil War. The campaign for women's right to vote originated in France in the 1780s and 1790s, where women's right to votes was one of the main concerns in the national elections. Various countries, colonies and states granted restricted women's right to vote in the latter half of the 19th century.

In America, a group of activists,who were mostly women, and a few men gathered in Seneca Falls, New York, in 1848, to discuss the women's rights. Most of the delegates agreed that American women were autonomous individuals who deserved their own political identities.The delegates made a declaration that all men and women are created equal and that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights.

In the 1850s, the women's rights movement gathered steam, but they lost momentum when Civil War began. World War I slowed the suffragists' campaign.However,it helped them advance their argument.After many years of struggling, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution which gave women the right to vote was finally ratified on August 26, 1920.

Voting rights for women were introduced into international law by the United Nations which adopted the Convention on the Political Rights of Women.The convention went into force in 1954 and it gave women equal rights to vote, hold office, and access public services as set out by national laws.

Why weren’t women allowed to vote?

National Association Against women's suffrage- an association that was against women's right to vote
National Association Against women's suffrage- an association that was against women's right to vote

Here we will focus on why women were not allowed to vote and also why some people did not support the women's right to vote .When the campaign for women’s right to vote began some activists were against women being given the right to vote.Below are some major reasons why women weren’t allowed to vote and why anti-suffrage activists did not want women to be given this right.

  • Women were treated as second class citizens and were therefore not allowed to voice any opinions on political matters.
  • Politics was not considered to be women's business and in most countries, politics has often been a masculine business.Traditionally a woman’s role was to stay at home and take care of the family.
  • Some people thought that politics was not a suitable concern for women
  • Politics were seen as corrupting those who were involved.
  • Men thought women were delicate and there was a general belief that political matters would be too much for women.
  • Some people argued that there was no need for women participate in politics because women are already represented by their husbands
  • Many men probably didn't think women were smart enough to get involved. Only men were thought to have the knowledge and experience to understand politics
  • Personally I think the men decided to do those things out of their own insecurities inadequacies and fears regarding women.
  • The physical nature of women unfits them for direct com­petition with men.
  • There was a belief that most women do not want the vote.

An interesting perspective on why women should vote
An interesting perspective on why women should vote

Should women have the right to vote?

I have discussed why women weren’t allowed to vote and some people still do argue that women should not be allowed to vote but I believe that women have the right to vote.Below are some reasons why women should be allowed to vote.

1. Women just like men must obey the law .Its therefore only fair and right that if women are expected to obey laws,then they should also have a voice in making them by participating in political matters..

2. It would help those women who need help the most. States that allow women to vote, have far better enforcement of the laws which protect working girls.

3. If women participated in political matters and had the right to vote,they would be able to quickly amend laws that are unjust to them.

4. Disfranchisement helps to keep wages down. The lack of direct political participation is a major reason as to why women's wages have been kept at a minimum.

5. Equal suffrage would increase the proportion of educated voters.

6.Because the laws being voted for or against affect women as well.

7.Women have experience which can be helpful in the making of laws.

8.To deny women the right to vote is to lower their positon and underestimate them.

9.The right to vote increases a sense of responsibility in women.

10.The legislation for the protection of children would be secured more easily if women were allowed to vote.

11. Voting and participating in political affairs would make women more broadminded because the ballot can be an educator and therefore women will become more practical and more wise in using it.

12. A woman's ballot will make it hard for the bad candidates to be nominated or elected since both parties(male and female) have to put men of respectable character or lose the women's vote.

13. It would increase women's influence.

What's your view?

Should women be allowed to vote

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