women vote

Women vote, women’s pay and Clinton

A history lesson on women's voting rights, what battles are still being fought and why we care.

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My how far we’ve come. I’m exhausted reading and writing about it. Indeed, how long it has taken for women to be allowed to vote let alone become president of the world’s most powerful country? A long time and yes we are still waiting for a verdict on the US elections.

We are also still waiting for so much more when it comes to women in leadership and women’s pay. But change is afoot and it’s not about being suffragists or being feminists, it’s about being heard.

As I watch twitter feeds go crazy over #election2016 and cues of people on television line up to vote in the United States, I’m reminded of how privileged we are to live in a democracy where we are free to vote.

As Australians, some of us are often annoyed at the inconvenience of having to vote, especially when the weather is good and there are other tasks we’d rather do.

But if we take a minute to think that there are still women and men in the world refused the right to vote, then the simple act is quite humbling and victorious.

It was in the 1920s that women won the right to vote for the first time in the United States.

But it was even earlier that it happened in Australia – around 1884/5 to be exact and in South Australia before other states followed.

It then took a good 100 years before Australia saw it’s first woman as leader in Julia Gillard in 2010, well before it looks like Hillary Clinton will rule to United States of America in late 2016.

It’s for this reason, the sheer time it’s taken, and the rallies that have been held, that perhaps explain why many women are passionate about seeing others rise to leadership and indeed hopeful of a Hillary Clinton win.

It is also for this reason, that many men have championed this argument for equality and continue to do so proudly.

Yes, elections should come down to policies over gender, but the strangest thing about that as a statement is the latter is what’s been happening for over 100 years now.

It’s for this reason that I think it is okay to vote for someone who wants to see greater equality, woman or man, particularly when it comes to equalising pay in the sectors where it is unfairly out of wack.

It’s for this reason, that I also think it’s okay to want better for our children and it would be nice to think that one day the presence of women at the helm of the world’s most powerful nation wasn’t called out because of gender, but rather sheer merit.

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