New Zealand was the first country to give women the vote.
Then came South Australia (in 1894) which not only gave women the vote but also allowed them to be elected into parliament. It sounds like something rather special doesn't it? But there's a story behind it:
In the 1890s the people of South Australia were calling for a referendum which asked the question, Should women be allowed to vote?
The politicians were totally against the idea but eventually realised they were going to have to have the referendum anyway, so they set about looking for ways to get the people to answer "No" instead of "Yes". They changed the wording of the referendum which now asked: Should women be allowed to vote and get elected into parliament?
The politicians were convinced that while the male voters might be prepared to give women the vote, hardly any of them would be prepared to have women in parliament and lording it over the men. The politicians were convinced that the last part of the referendum question would guarantee the desired "No" vote. History shows they were wrong and so the women in South Australia were the first in the world who were given the vote and the right to be elected into parliament.
But here's the thing: It wasn't because the people of South Australia were forward thinking liberal types. South Australian women were the first in the world to gain the right to get elected into parliament only because the politicians were trying to prevent them from getting the right to vote!
People today (who don't know the full story) regard the 1894 referendum with great pride, but the politicians of 1894 regarded it as a complete and utter debacle; the end of civilisation as they knew it.
Edited by Joe Bloe, 08 March 2019 - 06:19 AM.