March is Women’s History Month.

March each year is allocated, internationally, as Women’s History Month.

This year Australia is highlighting, “Finding Founding Mothers”. The women who stood up for themselves and the ‘common’ folk, against the established order as it had been in England and in her colonies.

The Australian Women’s History Forum has pulled together some great stories on the theme of, ‘Finding Founding Mothers’, from the wealth of resources they have gathered on women’s history in Australia. Women from all the colonies are represented as the people struggle to create a nation, which will have equality for all.

Vida Goldstein was one such woman who had seen her mother’s , involvement with the Victorian Women’s Suffrage Society and at 19 took up the challenge to get signatures on the Women Suffrage Pettion. In 1891 it was handed to the Victorian parliament with 30,000 signatures. She went on to become the leader of the women’s reform movement in Victoria. Victorian women were the last to achieve the vote in 1908, 14 years after their sisters in South Australia (and by association Northern Territory!)

The Australian Dictionary of Biography or Women Australia are excellent places to find other great women from our past like Selina Sarah Elizabeth Anderson , was the first woman in Australia to contest an election. Selina supported the rights of women to become doctors, she promoted better conditions for tramway employees and objected to the importation of domestic servants! The Browse allows for searching by occupation, so one can find women from all walks of life. There’s a Poisoner, some Pro-conscriptionists and a Puppeteer as well as the Political Activists I was searching for.

Having a browse through some of these sites I have been reminded of how hard women fought for the many ‘rights’ we now take for granted. Have you found a favourite story of a woman from our past? 

There are books on display for borrowing at Sutherland Library, featuring important women from our past, titles similar to Trailblazers.