WHY WOMEN SHOULD VOTE .  This is the story of our Grandmothers and Great-grandmothers; they lived only 90 years ago.

If you think this isn't true - check Snopes.  http://www.snopes.com/politics/ballot/womenvote.asp

 All credit for the subject content of this site goes to Connie Schultz   Many thanks to her for putting together this powerful piece so that we can share it with the women in our lives!

Remember, it was not until 1920 (In Canada it was 1918) that women were granted the right to go to the polls and vote.

The women were innocent and defenceless, but they were jailed nonetheless for picketing the White House, carrying signs asking for the vote. And by the end of the night, they were barely alive.Forty prison guards wielding clubs and their warden's blessing went on a rampage against the 33 women wrongly convicted of 'obstructing sidewalk traffic.'

They beat Lucy Burns, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air.

They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cellmate, Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and suffered a heart attack.Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging, beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the women.Thus unfolded the 'Night of Terror' on Nov. 15, 1917, when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson's White House for the right to vote.For weeks, the women's only water came from an open pail. Their food - all of it colorless slop - was infested with worms.

When one of the leaders, Alice Paul, embarked on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured  liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks until word was smuggled out to the press.http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/suffrage/nwp/prisoners.pdf

So, refresh my memory. Some women won't vote this year because - why, exactly? We have carpool duties? We have to get to work? Our vote doesn't matter? It's raining?

HBO released the movie 'Iron Jawed Angels' on video and DVD .

I wish all history, social studies and government teachers would include the movie in their curriculum

Show it on Bunco night, too, and anywhere else women gather.   I realize this isn't our usual idea of socializing, but we are not voting in the numbers that we should be, and I think a little shock therapy is in order.

It is jarring to watch Woodrow Wilson and his cronies try to persuade a psychiatrist to declare Alice Paul insane so that she could be permanently institutionalized. And it is inspiring to watch the doctor refuse. Alice Paul was strong, he said, and brave. That didn't make her crazy.
The doctor admonished the men: 'Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity.'

History will continue to be made.  BBC UK Women's History Timeline

When Women Got the Vote

1869 - Wyoming Territory in the USA is the first place in the world to give votes to women.

1893 - New Zealand is the first country to give women the vote.

1902 - Australia , although aboriginal women were not eligible to vote until 1967, when along with aboriginal men, they were granted full citizenship.

1906 - Finland is the first country in Europe to give women the vote.

1917 - Russia

1918 - United Kingdom (partial), Germany, Canada, Austria.

1920 - The USA, but not Native American women.

1925 - Italy

1928 - United Kingdom (full), Ireland

1930 - South Africa , but only to white women. Indian and 'coloured' women won the vote in 1984 and black women in 1994.

1931 - Spain

1932 - Brazil

1944 - France

1945 - Italy

1946 - Kenya, Palestine

1947 - China, Pakistan

1948 - Israel, Iraq

1950 - India

1952 - Greece

1953 - Mexico

1956 - Egypt, Tunisia, Mauritius

1957 - Malaysia

1962 - Algeria

1971 - Switzerland

1974 - Jordan

1976 - Portugal

2001 - Bahrain