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First Wave Feminism Analysis

Decent Essays
During the modern era there has been a successful historical change in Australia, established from a range of progressive ideas and movements. To a significant extent, the progressive ideology of first wave feminism achieved social and political change in Australia, shown through the Australian suffragette movement. Immense development through key features, values, motives, attitudes and beliefs of the suffragette movement has shaped Australia; supported by momentous individuals.
In the 19th century, first wave feminists had a significant impact on women’s entitlement for the Australian suffragette movement. Feminism can be defined as “the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes” (Oxford Dictionaries, 2016, online).
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In 1888 the first international women’s rights organisation was formed (History Net, 2016, online). “In 1894, South Australia became the first Australian colony to grant women the right to vote” (Argent, 2013). Vida Goldstein and Mary Lee were two significant figures that helped change feminism immensely. Women in the first wave of feminism were motivated by a sense of obtaining social justice, equality and aspired to be part of their community. Religion fuelled some of the initial social advancements women made at the beginning of the 19th century (How stuff works culture, 2016, online). The “first wave” feminist movement aimed to get women the right to vote, the second wave was to gain equal opportunity, and the third was gaining an equal share in power and positions of decision making (Government of South Australia, 2014, online). “In 1904 the vote was extended to women in federal elections, this Act forced those states that had not yet enacted female suffrage in state elections to follow suit” (Macdougall, 2008, p.…show more content…
when they ask to vote” (Galbally, 2014). Essentially women were treated awfully and were only used to provide other people’s needs. They did not get a say in how the nation was run nor did they get a position in parliament. Women were required to obey laws, yet they refused to tolerate laws that dictated their right to vote. The Australian suffragette movement saw the start of a new era and the beginning of feminism in Australia. In 2010 Australia witnessed the first female prime minister (Women Working Together Suffrage and onwards, n.d, online). The Australian suffragette movement has had a monumental impact on the history of Australia, changing and shaping the nation through the early protests in the late 1800’s right to 1902 when women were first granted the vote. To see a female prime minister in the 21st Century advises that the past historical change has greatly affected the history of today.

Australian feminism and its historical change during the late 19th Century and early 20th Century has successfully achieved social and political change in Australia to a prodigious extent shown through the Australian suffragette movement. This was accomplished with the help of historical individuals that shaped the nation, the beliefs, values, motives and attitudes from feminists and the early protests that have impacted on society
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