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WOMAN'S SUFFRAGE.

Under the auspices of the Women's Chris- i tian Temperance Union a very large meeting of women was held last night to consider the question of Woman's Suffrage. The meeting was commenced in the Wesleyan Church , Sunday Schoolroom, and Mrs Nightingale was elected to the chair. As the matter j under consideration is of importance, we are glad to be able to give our readers a o brief account of the proceedings, but on this°occasion refrain from giving the names of the general speakers. Mrs Nightingale offered prayer that the blessing of the Most High might be vouchsafed upon their efforts, and then proceeded to say that all present were sisters, and that she hoped no one would be shy. She concluded by proposing, That this meeting believes the time has come for j women to be admitted to equal rights with men. . ! 'Ihe next speaker alluded to the old notion that women should stop at home and attend to their household duties, but she urged that they should not be incapacitated by these from taking party in political and sooial movements. She did not wish it to be understood that she contended that wives should go against their husbands, but she asserted that women were more likely to vote for a moral man, and that women were more religious than men, instancing that more women than men were to be found in the churches, and more men than women on the racecourses. Another lady, specially introduced on account of the position held by her husband, then read a paper, in which it waa contended that women need not be drudges, but Bhould take an interest in politics. Reference was made to the one man one vote principle, and it was pointed out that a man might present his wife with an acre of land here or there and so get an additional vote. It was also urged tbat woman was the weaker vessel owing to the state of slavery in which Bhehad always been kept. On the other hand it was admitted that women had done much harm in the world, and it was asked who mined Mark Antony but a woman. Tbe achieve- j inents by the Salvation Army were Blinded to as Bhowing what good bad been done by women, and it was urged that women would raise the moral tone of pohtioa. Tbe lady who presided then said that she wißhed that they had scoured the Provincial Hall for their meeting. She was pleased to see so many present, but the room was int onveniently small for bo many: However, Hi Isitt with his usual kindness had offered the use of the Wesleyan Church, and ehe enggested that they should adjourn thither. The suggestion was acted on, and speedily the Church was filled. The next speaker read the speech of Sir John Hall delivered in 1890 upon the question under consideration. The lady presiding invited any objections to the motion. Thereupon a lady declared her conviction tbat tbe movement was premature. She agreed with the principle one man one vote, but she did not think women were educated up to the point desirable before tbey were entrusted w T th the franchise, and that is was not neoessary they sKbuld take up such a position. The Lady presiding oombatted the views of the previous speaker, who then admitted tbat there was some argument in favor of widowed ladies of property being entrusted with the franchise. Another lady opposed the motion. She did not think that many ladies had considered the dan^ar of going to the poll, and she declared that had they had experience in Scotland or Ireland they would not desire to take part in snoh matters. The lady presiding had a better opinion of men tban to think they would make the exercise of Buoh a duty objectionable. Another speaker said it had been suggested that women mip^t vote through the post. The next lacu *lio spoke delivered an able speech. She ai^; \ that woman formed a part of society, aua therefore should help to frame the law 3 which governed society. She had greater influenoe in the family than man, and her interest was stronger, consequently she would take more interest in political movements. Referring to the temperance question she said women Buffered more from intemperance than men, and alluding to the recent strikes said it was the women and children who Buffered most from these. Had the question of striking been put to the women Bhe was convinced they would never have consented, for women looked further ahead. She took it for granted, practically, that it wonld not be married women who would go to Parliament. She said she had been asked to take up some of the objections to to the movement and in doing so she alluded to St Paul's injunction— Let wives keep silent. They should, she urged, go into the depths of Bible teaching and not be satisfied with the mere surface, and she urged that these words were used under the then condition of things, and not under the present. Another objection was that the giving to woman of equal rights would produce discord in the home, 1 but she did not think so. People could differ | in opinion and yet agree, and it was good to disousn matters with those holding opposite opinions* and was even good training for the | temper. The following speaker read an article from the 'Fortnightly Beview' alluding to the granting to women of the suffrage in Wyoming in 1869. The article contained some | little objections to women being allowed to I sit on juries. * A lady then read a paper in which she said the subject under discussion was not a new one. The larger proportion of the thinking men of the day were prepared to ! extend the suffrage to women, and she meni tinned the names of Sir J. Hall, Sir E. Stout, Sir H Atkinson, Mr Ballanoe, and Sir G. Grey, as amongst the number. Those names showed it was not a question of sides. She urged that it was an injustice to give votes to navvies, diggers, and shearers, who, though merely temporary residents in a locality could ewatnp those whose whole interests were centered in it. She knew many women v> ho would he an ornament to Parliament, and gave instances. She' also said that many young men who merely spent their time over a public house bar were given a vote, and | contended that an equal privilege Bhould be given the gir'B, The lady presiding said she was sure that women would obtain the suffrage, it was only a question of time, and she was glad to tell them that their member was in favor of it. | Tbe motion as proposed was then pat and carried. A vote of thanks was then accorded the Bey Mr Isitf for the use of the building in which they met; The ladies present were then asked to sign a petition in favor of woman's suffrage, and most of tho3e present complied. An adjournment was then made to an adjoining room . where refreshments were kindly supplied, and it wa3 intimated that a meeting would be held on the firßt Wednesday in eaoh month to further the object in hand. °

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/TC18910311.2.8

Bibliographic details

WOMAN'S SUFFRAGE., Colonist, Volume XXXIV, Issue 6057, 11 March 1891

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1,221

WOMAN'S SUFFRAGE. Colonist, Volume XXXIV, Issue 6057, 11 March 1891

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