Women’s History Month

March in the United States is Women’s History Month and the theme for 2020 is “Valiant Women of the Vote” to honor “the brave women who fought to win suffrage rights for women, and for the women who continue to fight for the voting rights of others.”

White camelia, symbol of the suffragists. (image: Golladay, Wikimedia)

I got to thinking about New Zealand, the first country to grant all women over the age of 21 the right to vote. 
In 1893 as part of a continuing campaign the suffragists organised thirteen separate petitions to extend the vote or franchise to women. The largest was signed by 31,872 women nearly 25% of the European women in the country. Only one of these petitions survives and you can search here at Women and the Vote for more information and the database of surviving signatories (this includes a scan of each original signature). Read more