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The Vote for Women in France


Gardian

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21 April 1944, apparently. France was one of the last countries in Europe to grant universal suffrage. Italy was last, in the following year.

The problem in France was that the Senate had repeatedly blocked all attempts to give women the vote.

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I think more than the vote itself being so late, it was that law that was passed in 1965 that always shocked me most:-

 

1965         Réforme du régime matrimonial de 1804 : la femme peut gérer ses biens, ouvrir un compte en banque, exercer une profession sans l'autorisation de son mari.

 

And that means that all my friends mothers who worked, always worked would have had to ask permission....... appalling idea.

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That's a good example TU.

I do believe in laws, where injustice based on prejudice needs righting, but it takes a long time for attitudes to change.

Going back to England, it was 1960 when the chief prosecutor in the Lady Chatterlys Lover 'obscenity' case asked the jury whether it was a book they felt was one they 'would wish your wife or servants to read?'.

It was a blinking miracle our mothers/grandmothers got the vote when they did!

Ian, what was the item on Antiques Roadshow that prompted the question?

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Australia granted universal sufferage years before the UK.  In the UK, women over 30 obtained the vote just after the First World War but it was not until 1928 that women gained the vote at 21.

Nowadays, it seems that few people can be bothered to vote at all!

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[quote user="Tresco"]

Ian, what was the item on Antiques Roadshow that prompted the question?

[/quote]

It was a relative of one of the suffragettes who had been imprisoned twice, had gone on hunger strike and was force fed (the cat and mouse act if my memory of school history lessons is right).  She had photos of her relative at the age of 100 on the cover of a 1970's Radio Times, and also the medal awarded to her by the suffragettes for her hunger strikes.

 

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[quote user="Tresco"]

Ian, what was the item on Antiques Roadshow that prompted the question?

[/quote]

An OBE, a hunger strike medal when in Armley Jail, and photos etc from Leonora Cohen (when she was 100 years old and still looked superb!) who was one of the Pankhurst's right hand women.  It was valued at £7000 (if I remember correctly), as the hunger strike medals are very rare.  What worried me is that the young daughters of the mother who had these family medals had very little idea about the fight for women's vote.  I have a memory that I know of Leonora Cohen from my days of living in Leeds when I first became involved in one of the organisations involved in helping women in what was in the 70s still a very male dominated and attitudinal society.  The hundred year's old photo would be from about that time.  How many of you remember that even as late as the mid 70s a women who was married could not take out a hire purchase agreement in her own name - it changed pretty rapidly as the equal pay and sex discrimination acts came into being, but as someone said, attitudes take much longer to change.

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[quote]21 April 1944[Will][/quote]

Yes and they first excercised it (nationally) in the referendum of 21 October 1945.

Source: L'Histoire de France pour les nuls (abridged edition - Historia Thematique #104 nov-dec 2006).

As for who was first, that seems to have been Pitcairn in 1838 followed, in 1866 by the Isle of Man!!!

http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Droit_de_vote_des_femmes#En_France

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