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THE MODERN
WOMAN’S RIGHTS MOVEMENT

 

 

THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
NEW YORK · BOSTON · CHICAGO
SAN FRANCISCO

MACMILLAN & CO., Limited
LONDON · BOMBAY · CALCUTTA
MELBOURNE

THE MACMILLAN CO. OF CANADA, Ltd.
TORONTO

 

 

 

THE MODERN
WOMAN’S RIGHTS MOVEMENT

 

A HISTORICAL SURVEY

 

 

BY

DR. KAETHE SCHIRMACHER

 

 

TRANSLATED FROM THE
SECOND GERMAN EDITION
BY
CARL CONRAD ECKHARDT, Ph.D.
INSTRUCTOR IN HISTORY, UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO

 

 

New York
THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
1912
All rights reserved

 

 

 

Copyright, 1912,
By THE MACMILLAN COMPANY.

Set up and electrotyped. Published January, 1912.

 

Norwood Press
J. S. Cushing Co.—Berwick & Smith Co.
Norwood, Mass., U.S.A.

 

 


 

 

“Unterdrückung ist gegen die menschliche Natur”
“Oppression is opposed to human nature”

 

 


[Pg vii]

TRANSLATOR’S NOTE

Hitherto there has been no English book giving a history of the woman’s rights movement in all countries of the world. English and American readers will therefore welcome the appearance of an English edition of Dr. Schirmacher’s “Die moderne Frauenbewegung.” Since Dr. Schirmacher is a German woman’s rights advocate, actively engaged in propaganda, her book is not merely a history, but a political pamphlet as well. Although the reader may at times disagree with the authoress, he will be interested in her point of view.

In the chapter on the United States I have added, with Dr. Schirmacher’s consent, a number of translator’s footnotes, showing what bearings the elections of November, 1910, and October, 1911, have had on the woman’s rights question. An index, also, has been added.

Boulder, Colorado,
November, 1911.

[Pg viii]

 

 


[Pg ix]

PREFACE

The first edition of this book appeared in 1905. That edition is exhausted,—an evidence of the great present-day interest in the woman’s rights movement. This new edition takes into account the developments since 1905, contains the recent statistical data, and gives an account of the woman’s suffrage movement which has been especially characteristic of these later years. Wherever the statistical data have been left unchanged, either there have been no new censuses or the new results were not available.

The facts contained in this volume do not require of me any prefatory observations on the theoretical justification of the woman’s rights movement.[1] From the remotest time man has tried to rule her who ought to be comrade and colleague to him. By virtue of the law of might he generally succeeded. Every protest against this law of might was a “woman’s rights movement.”

History contains many such protests. The modern[Pg x] woman’s rights movement is the first organized and international protest of this kind. Therefore it is a movement full of success and promise. Leadership in this movement has fallen to the women of the Caucasian race, among whom the women of the United States have been foremost. At their instigation were formed the World’s Christian Temperance Union, the International Council of Women, and the International Woman’s Suffrage Alliance.

In many lands, even in those inhabited by the white race, there are, however, only very feeble beginnings of the woman’s rights movement. In the Orient, the Far East, and in Africa, woman’s condition of bondage is still almost entirely unbroken. Nevertheless, in these regions of the world, too, woman’s day is dawning in such a way that we look for developments more confidently than ever before.

In all countries the woman’s rights movement originated with the middle classes. This is a purely historical fact which in itself in no way implies any antagonism between the woman’s rights movement and the workingwomen’s movement. There is no such antagonism either in Australia, or in England, or in the United States. On the contrary, the middle class and non-middle class movements are sharply separated in those countries whose social democracy uses class-hatred as propaganda. Whether the woman’s rights[Pg xi] movement is also a workingwomen’s movement, or whether the workingwomen’s movement is also a woman’s rights movement or socialism, depends therefore in every particular case on national and historical circumstances.

The international organization of the woman’s rights movement is as follows: the International Council of Women consists of the presiding officers of the various National Councils of Women. Of these latter there are to-day twenty-seven; but the Servian League of Woman’s Clubs has not yet joined.[2] To a National Council may belong all those woman’s clubs of a country which unite in carrying out a certain general programme. The programmes as well as the organizations are national in their nature, but they all agree in their general characteristics, since the woman’s rights movement is indeed an international movement and arose in all countries from the same general conditions. The first National Council was organized in the United States in 1888. This was followed by organizations in Canada, Germany, Sweden, England, Denmark, the Netherlands, Australia (with five councils), Switzerland, Italy, France, Austria, Norway, Hungary, etc.

[Pg xii]As yet there are no statistics of the women represented in the International Council. Its membership is estimated at seven or eight millions. The National Council admits only clubs,—not individuals,—the chairmen of the various National Councils forming the International Council of Women solely in their capacity of presiding officers.

This International Council of Women is the permanent body promoting the organized international woman’s rights movement. It was organized in Washington in 1888.

The woman’s suffrage movement, a separate phase of the woman’s rights movement, has likewise organized itself internationally,—though independently. Woman’s suffrage is the most radical demand made by organized women, and is hence advocated in all countries by the “radical” woman’s rights advocates. The greater part of the membership of the National Councils have therefore not been able in all cases to insert woman’s suffrage in their programmes. The International Council did sanction this point, however, June 9, 1904, in Berlin.

A few days previously there had been organized as the International Woman’s Suffrage Alliance, likewise in Berlin, woman’s suffrage leagues representing eight different countries. The leagues which joined the Alliance represented the United States, Victoria, [Pg xiii]England, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and the Netherlands. Since then the woman’s suffrage movement has been the most flourishing part of the woman’s rights movement. The International Woman’s Suffrage Alliance, which was pledged to hold a second congress only at the end of five years, has already held three congresses between 1905 and 1909 (1906, Copenhagen; 1908, Amsterdam; 1909, London), and has extended its membership to twenty-one countries (the United States, Australia, South Africa, Canada, Great Britain, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, Finland, Russia, Hungary, Austria, Bulgaria, Italy, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Servia, and Iceland). The first president is Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt.

The chief demands of the woman’s rights movement are the same in all countries. These demands are four in number.

1. In the field of education and instruction: to enjoy the same educational opportunities as those of man.

2. In the field of labor: freedom to choose any occupation, and equal pay for the same work.

3. In the field of civil law: the wife should be given the full status of a legal person before the law, and full civil ability. In criminal law: the repeal of all regulations discriminating against women. The legal[Pg xiv] responsibility of man in sexual matters. In public law: woman’s suffrage.

4. In the social field: recognition of the high value of woman’s domestic and social work, and the incompleteness, harshness, and one-sidedness of every circle of man’s activity (Männerwelt) from which woman is excluded.

A just and happy relationship of the sexes is dependent upon mutuality, coördination, and the complementary relations of man and woman,—not upon the subordination of woman and the predominance of man. Woman, in her peculiar sphere, is entirely the equal of man in his. The origin of the international woman’s rights movement is found in the world-wide disregard of this elementary truth.

The subject which I have treated in this book is a very broad one, the material much scattered and daily changing. It is therefore hardly possible that my statements should not have deficiencies on the one hand, and errors on the other. I shall indeed welcome any corrections and authoritative information of a supplementary nature.[3]

THE AUTHORESS.

PARIS, JUNE 3, 1909.

 

 


[Pg xv]

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 PAGE
Translator’s Notevii
Prefaceix-xiv
 
I. THE GERMANIC COUNTRIES
The United States of America2
Australia42
Great Britain58
Canada96
South Africa100
The Scandinavian Countries101-126
Sweden103
Finland110
Norway116
Denmark122
The Netherlands126
Switzerland133
Germany143
Luxemburg157
German Austria158
Hungary169
 
II. THE ROMANCE COUNTRIES
France175
Belgium190
Italy196
[Pg xvi]Spain206
Portugal211
The Latin-American Republics of Central and South America212
 
III. THE SLAVIC AND BALKAN STATES
Russia215
Czechish Bohemia and Moravia230
Galicia232
The Slovene Woman’s Rights Movement235
Servia236
Bulgaria239
Rumania242
Greece242
 
IV. THE ORIENT AND THE FAR EAST
Turkey and Egypt245
Bosnia and Herzegovina250
Persia251
India252
China256
Japan and Korea260
 
Conclusion263
 
Index267

 

 


[Pg 1]

THE MODERN WOMAN’S RIGHTS MOVEMENT

 

CHAPTER I

THE GERMANIC COUNTRIES

The woman’s rights movement is more strongly organized and has penetrated society more thoroughly in all the Germanic countries than in the Romance countries. There are many causes for this: woman’s greater freedom of activity in the Germanic countries; the predominance of the Protestant religion, which does not oppose the demands of the woman’s rights movement with the same united organization as does the Catholic Church; the more vigorous training in self-reliance and responsibility which is customarily given to women in Germanic-Protestant countries; the more significant superiority in numbers of women in Germanic countries, which has forced women to adopt business or professional callings other than domestic.[4][Pg 2] The woman’s rights movement in the Germanic-Protestant countries has been promoted by moral and economic factors.

 

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Total population:91,972,267.
Women: about45,000,000.
Men: about47,000,000.
The General Federation of Women’s Clubs.
The National American Woman’s Suffrage Association.


North America is the cradle of the woman’s rights movement. It was the War of Independence of the colonies against England (1774-1783) that matured the woman’s rights movement. In the name of “freedom” our cause entered the history of the world.

In these troubled times the American women had by energetic activities and unyielding suffering entirely fulfilled their duty as citizens, and at the Convention in Philadelphia, in 1787, they demanded as citizens the right to vote. The Constitution of the United States was being drawn up at that time, and by 1789 had been ratified by the thirteen states then existing. In nine of these states (Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, North and South Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island) the right to vote in[Pg 3] municipal and state affairs had hitherto been exercised by all “free-born citizens” or all “taxpayers” and “heads of families,” the state constitutions being based on the principle: no taxation without representation.

Among these “free-born citizens,” “taxpayers,” and “heads of families” there were naturally many women who were consequently both voters and active citizens. So woman’s right to vote in the above-named states was practically established before 1783. Only the states of Virginia and New York had restricted the suffrage to males in 1699 and 1777, Massachusetts and New Hampshire following their example in 1780 and 1784.

In view of this retrograde movement American women attempted at the Convention in Philadelphia to secure a recognition of their civil rights through the Constitution of the whole federation of states. But the Convention refused this request; just as before, it left the conditions of suffrage to be determined by the individual states. To be sure, in the draft of the Constitution the Convention in no way opposed woman’s suffrage. But the nine states which formerly, as colonies, had practically given women the right to vote, had in the meantime abrogated this right through the insertion of the word “man” in their election laws, and the first attempt of the American women to secure[Pg 4] an expressed constitutional recognition of their rights as citizens failed.

These proceedings gave to the woman’s rights movement of the United States a political character from the very beginning. Since then the American women have labored untiringly for their political emancipation. The anti-slavery movement gave them an excellent opportunity to participate in public affairs.

Since the women had had experience of oppression and slavery, and since they, like negroes, were struggling for the recognition of their “human rights,” they were amongst the most zealous opponents of “slavery,” and belonged to the most enthusiastic defenders of “freedom” and “justice.”

Among the Quakers, who played a very prominent part in the anti-slavery movement, man and woman had the same rights in all respects in the home and church. When the first anti-slavery society was formed in Boston in 1832, twelve women immediately became members.

The principle of the equality of the sexes, which the Quakers held, was opposed by the majority of the population, who held to the Puritanic principle of woman’s subordination to man. In consequence of this principle it was at that time considered “monstrous” that a woman should speak from a public platform. Against Abby Kelly, who at that time was[Pg 5] one of the best anti-slavery speakers, a sermon was preached from the pulpit from the text: “This Jezebel has come into the midst of us.” She was called a “hyena”; it was related that she had been intoxicated in a saloon, etc. When her political associate, Angelina Grimke, held an anti-slavery meeting in Pennsylvania Hall (Philadelphia) in 1837, the hall was set on fire, and in 1838 in the chamber of the House of Representatives in Massachusetts a mob threatened to take her life. “The mob howled, the press hissed, and the pulpit thundered,” thus the proceedings were described by Lucy Stone, the woman’s rights advocate.

Even the educated classes shared the prejudice against woman. To them she was a “human being of the second order.” The following is an illustration of this:

In 1840 Abby Kelly was elected to a committee. She was urged, however, to decline the election. “If you regard me as incompetent, then I shall leave.” “Oh, no, not exactly that,” was the answer. “Well, what is it then?” “But you are a woman....” “That is no reason; therefore I remain.”

In the same year an anti-slavery congress was held in England. A number of American champions of the cause went to London,—among them three women, Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Elizabeth[Pg 6] Pease. They were accompanied by their husbands and came as delegates of the “National Anti-slavery Society.” Since the Congress was dominated by the English clergy, who persisted in their belief in the “inferiority” of woman, the three American women, being creatures without political rights, were not permitted to perform their duties as delegates, but were directed to leave the convention hall and to occupy places in the spectators’ gallery. But the noble William Lloyd Garrison silently registered a protest by sitting with the women in the gallery.

This procedure clearly indicated to the American women what their next duty should be, and once when Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton came from the gallery to the hotel Mrs. Stanton said, “The first thing which we must do upon our return is to call a convention to discuss the slavery of woman.”

This plan, however, was not executed till eight years later. At that time Elizabeth Cady Stanton, on the occasion of a visit from Lucretia Mott, summoned a number of acquaintances to her home in Seneca Falls, New York. In giving an account of the meeting at Washington, in 1888, at the Conference of Pioneers of the International Council of Women (see Report, pp. 323, 324), she states that she and Lucretia Mott had drawn up the grievances of woman under eighteen headings with the American Declaration of[Pg 7] Independence as a model, and that it was her wish to submit a suffrage resolution to the meeting, but that Lucretia Mott herself refused to have it presented.

Nevertheless, in the meeting Elizabeth Cady Stanton herself, burning with enthusiasm, introduced her resolution concerning woman’s right to vote, and, as she reports, the resolution was adopted unanimously. A few days later the newspaper reports appeared. “There was,” relates Elizabeth Cady Stanton, “not a single paper from Maine to Louisiana which did not contain our Declaration of Independence and present the matter as ludicrous. My good father came from New York on the night train to see whether I had lost my mind. I was overwhelmed with ridicule. A great number of women who signed the Declaration withdrew their signatures. I felt very much humiliated, so much the more, since I knew that I was right.... For all that I should probably have allowed myself to be subdued if I had not soon afterward met Susan B. Anthony, whom we call the Napoleon of our woman’s suffrage movement.”

Susan B. Anthony, the brave old lady, who in spite of her eighty-three years did not dread the long journey from the United States to Berlin, and in June, 1904, attended the meetings of the International Council of Women and the International Woman’s Suffrage Alliance, was in early life a teacher in Rochester, New[Pg 8] York, and participated in the temperance movement. She had assisted in securing twenty-eight thousand signatures to a petition, providing for the regulation of the sale of alcohol, which was presented to the New York State Legislature. Susan B. Anthony was in the gallery during the discussion of the petition, and as she saw how one speaker scornfully threw the petition to the floor and exclaimed, “Who is it that demands such laws? They are only women and children...,” she vowed to herself that she would not rest content until a woman’s signature to a petition should have the same weight as that of a man. And she faithfully kept her word. After a life of unceasing and unselfish work, Susan B. Anthony died March 13, 1906, loved and esteemed by all who knew her. At the commemoration services in 1907, twenty-four thousand dollars were subscribed for the Susan B. Anthony Memorial Fund (to be used for woman’s suffrage propaganda). Susan B. Anthony was honorary president of the International Woman’s Suffrage Alliance.

It is to be noted that a number of European women (such as Ernestine Rose of Westphalia), imbued with the ideas of the February Revolution of 1848, were compelled to seek new homes in America. These newcomers gave an impetus to the woman’s suffrage movement among American women. They were greatly[Pg 9] surprised to find that in republics also political freedom was withheld from women.

This was strikingly impressed upon the women of the United States in 1870. At that time the negroes, who had been emancipated in 1863, were given political rights throughout the Union by the addition of the Fifteenth Amendment to the Federal Constitution.[5] In this way all power of the individual states to abridge the political rights of the negro was taken away.

The American women felt very keenly that in the eyes of their legislators a member of an inferior race, if only a man, should be ranked superior to any woman, be she ever so highly educated; and they expressed their indignation in a picture portraying the American woman and her political associates. This represented the Indian, the idiot, the lunatic, the criminal,—and woman. In the United States they are all without political rights.

Since 1848 an energetic suffrage movement has been carried on by the American women. To-day there is a “Woman’s Suffrage Society” in every state, and all these organizations belong to a national woman’s suffrage league. In recent years there has arisen a vigorous woman’s suffrage movement within the[Pg 10] numerous and influential woman’s clubs (with almost a million members) and among college women the College Equal Suffrage League, the movement extending even into the secondary schools. The National Trades Union League, the American Federation of Labor, and nineteen state Federations of Labor have declared themselves in favor of woman’s suffrage. The leaders of the movement have now established the fact that “the Constitution of the United States does not contain a word or a line, which, if interpreted in the spirit of the ‘Declaration of Independence,’ denies woman the right to vote in state and national elections.”

The preamble to the Constitution of the United States reads as follows: “We, the people of the United States ... do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” Women are doubtlessly people. All the articles of the Constitution repeat this expression. The objects of the Constitution are:

1. The establishment of a more perfect union of the states among themselves,

2. The establishment of justice,

3. The insurance of domestic tranquillity,

4. The provision of common defense,

5. The promotion of the general welfare,

6. The securing of the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.

[Pg 11]All of these six points concern and interest women as much as men. Supplementary to this is the “Declaration of Independence.” Here are stated as self-evident truths:

1. “That all men are created equal,”

2. “That they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,”

3. “That to secure [not to grant] these rights, Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

On this last passage the Americans comment with especial emphasis: they say the right to vote is their right as human beings,—they possess it as a natural right; the government cannot justly take it from them, cannot even grant it to them justly. So long as the government does not ask the women for their consent, it is acting illegally according to the Declaration of Independence. For it is nowhere stated that the consent of one half, the male half, will suffice to make a government legal.

On the basis of this declaration of principles the American women have made it a point to oppose every individual argument against woman’s suffrage. For this purpose they frequently use small four-page[Pg 12] pamphlets, which are issued as the “Political Equality Series” by the American Woman’s Suffrage Association. They say “It is generally held that:

1. “Every woman is married, loved, and provided for.

2. “Every man stays at home every evening.

3. “Every woman has small children.

4. “All women, when they have once secured political rights, will plunge into politics and neglect their households.”

“What is the exact state of affairs in these matters?

1. “A great many women are not married; many are widows who must educate their children and seek a means of livelihood. Thousands have no other home than the one they create for themselves, and they must often support relatives in addition to themselves. Many of the married women are neither loved, provided for, nor protected.

2. “Many men are at home so seldom in the evening that their wives could quietly concern themselves with political matters without being missed at all. And such men, seconded by bachelors, clamor most about the ‘dissolution of the family’ through politics.

3. “The children do not remain small indefinitely; they grow up and hence leave the mother.[Pg 13] It may be true that the mother, instead of participating in political affairs, prefers to sew flannel shirts for the heathen, or prefers to read novels, but one ought at least to permit her the freedom of making the choice.

4. “The right to vote will not change the nature of woman. If she wished to leave the home as her sphere of activity, she would have found other opportunities long ago.”

Further fears are the following: 1. The majority of women do not wish the right to vote at all. To this we must answer that we cannot yet come to a conclusion concerning the wish of the majority in this respect. The petitions for woman’s suffrage always have a greater number of signatures than any other petitions to Congress. 2. Women will use the right to vote only to a limited extent. The statistics in Wyoming and Colorado prove the contrary. 3. Only women “of ill repute” will vote. Thus far this has been nowhere the case. The men guard against attracting these elements. Moreover, the right to vote is not restricted to the men “of good repute” either, etc., etc.

The American women can obtain the political franchise by two methods: 1. At the hands of every individual legislature (which would occasion 52 separate legislative acts,—48 states and 4 territories).[Pg 14] 2. Through the adoption of a sixteenth amendment to the national Constitution by Congress.[6] Let us consider the first method. The franchise qualifications in the United States are generally the following: male sex, twenty-one years of age, American citizenship (through birth, or by naturalization after five years’ residence).

Amendments to the state constitution must be accepted by the state legislature (consisting of the lower house and the senate),[7] and then be accepted in a referendum vote by the (male) electorate. To secure the adoption of such an amendment in a state legislature is no easy task. In the first place the presentation of a woman’s suffrage bill is not received favorably; the Republicans and Democrats struggle for control of the legislature, the majority one way or the other never being large. Therefore the party leaders usually consider woman’s suffrage not on the basis of party politics. Matters are decided on the basis of opportuneness. Especially is this the case in those states where the bill must be passed by two successive legislatures. In this case, between the time of the first passing of a bill and the referendum, there is a new election, and the opponents of woman’s suffrage can defeat the adherents of the measure at[Pg 15] the polls before the women themselves can exercise the right of suffrage.

Changing the national Constitution through the adoption of a sixteenth amendment has difficulties equally great; the amendment must pass the House of Representatives and the Senate by a two-thirds vote and then be ratified by three-fourths of the state legislatures or specially called conventions.

To the present time only two of the Presidents of the Union have publicly expressed themselves in favor of woman’s suffrage,—Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt. In 1836 Lincoln addressed an open letter to the voters in New Salem, Illinois, in which he said: “I go for all sharing the privileges of the government who assist in bearing its burdens”; and he was in favor of “admitting all whites to the right of suffrage who pay taxes or bear arms (by no means excluding females).” Garfield, Hayes, and Cleveland gave their attention to the question of woman’s suffrage; the last two supporting motions in favor of the movement. Theodore Roosevelt, in 1899, as Assemblyman in the New York State Legislature, spoke in favor of woman’s suffrage: “I call the attention of the Assembly to the advantages which a general extension of woman’s right to vote must bring about.”

In order to attain their end,—political emancipation,—the American women use the following means[Pg 16] of agitation: petitions, the submission of legislative bills, meetings, demonstrations, the distribution of pamphlets, deputations to the legislatures of the individual states and to the Congressional House of Representatives, the organization of workingwomen, requests to teachers and preachers to comment on patriotic memorial days on woman’s worth, and to preach at least once during the year in favor of woman’s suffrage.

To the present time four states of the Union have granted full municipal and political suffrage to women (active suffrage, the right to vote; passive suffrage, eligibility to office). The states in question are Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, and Idaho. Wyoming and Utah inaugurated woman’s suffrage in 1869 and 1870, respectively, when they were still territories; and in 1890 and 1895, when they were given statehood, they retained woman’s suffrage. Colorado granted it in 1893 and Idaho in 1896. The political emancipation of woman in the State of Washington is close at hand,[8] in South Dakota,[9] Oregon,[9] and Nebraska it seems assured. In Kansas, since 1887, women have possessed active and passive suffrage in municipal elections. In the State of Illinois they are[Pg 17] about to secure it.[10] All of these are western states with a new civilization and a numerical superiority of men.

Practical experience with woman’s suffrage shows the following: everywhere the elections have become quieter and more respectable. The wages and salaries of women have been generally raised, partly through the enactment of laws, such as laws regulating the salaries of women teachers, etc., partly through the better professional and industrial organization of workingwomen, who are now trained in political affairs. A comparison of the salaries of women teachers having woman’s suffrage with salaries in states not having woman’s suffrage shows the value of the ballot. The public finances have been more economically administered, intemperance and immorality have been more energetically combated, candidates with immoral records have been removed from the political arena. Inasmuch as women have full political rights in the four states named (six, including Washington and California), they also vote for presidential electors, and thus exercise an influence in the national presidential elections. It is the woman with good average abilities that is most frequently the successful candidate in political campaigns.

[Pg 18]But as yet the number of women who devote themselves to a political life is not large. The women in Colorado seem to have a special ability for this. Without any consideration for party affiliations they secured the reëlection of Judge Lindsey of the Juvenile Court. Generally speaking, they have devoted their efforts everywhere to the protection of youth. At the present time the establishment of a special bureau for the protection of youth is being advocated, and a national conference to discuss the welfare of children is to be held in Washington, D.C.[11]

Because the English anti-woman’s suffrage advocate, Mrs. Humphry Ward, expressed the familiar fear that “the immoral vote would drown the moral vote,” the Reverend Anna Shaw declared at the Woman’s Suffrage Congress at London (May, 1909), that she openly challenges Mrs. Humphry Ward to produce one convincing proof for her assertion. She herself had carefully investigated the recent elections in Denver, Colorado, to ascertain how many, if any, of the “immoral” women voted, and received as[Pg 19] answer that these women, who naturally are in a minority, generally do not vote at all; first, because they pursue their trade under false names, secondly, because most of them are not permanently domiciled and for both reasons are not entered on the voting lists; these women vote only when an influence is exerted on them from above or by persons around them.

In the State of Utah, where woman’s suffrage has existed since 1870, “the women have quietly begun and continued without a break the exercise of that power, which from the remotest time had been their right. They have concerned themselves with political and economic questions, and if they have committed any errors, these have not yet come to light. They have been delegates to county and state conventions, they have represented the richest and most populous electoral districts in the state legislature, and they serve as heads of various state departments” (state treasurer, supervisor of the poor, superintendent of education, etc.). In Colorado (with woman’s suffrage since 1893) the women have organized clubs in all cities, even in the lonely mining towns (Colorado is in the Rocky Mountains), and have informed themselves in political affairs to the best of their ability. In the capital city, Denver, a club has been formed in which busy women can meet weekly to inform themselves on political affairs. In Colorado parental authority[Pg 20] over children prevails now (in place of the exclusively paternal). In Idaho (with woman’s suffrage since 1896) the women voters exerted a strong influence against gambling. The enfranchised women, who had a right to vote in the little town of Caldwell, had supported a mayor who was determined to take measures against gambling. The barkeepers, topers, gamblers, and ne’er-do-wells were against him. The women presented the magistrate with a petition, which was read together with the signatures. “During the reading of the names of the unobtrusive housewives who were rarely seen beyond their own thresholds, the countenances of the men became serious. For the first time they seemed to grasp what it really meant for a city to have woman’s suffrage.” The barkeepers and the gamblers got the worst of it and disappeared from the town hall. An old municipal judge said, “When have our mothers ever demanded anything before?”[12] In the same way the women of Kansas have employed their municipal suffrage since 1887.

Concerning an election in which women voted, the “Women’s Rights Movement” reports the following: “Almost all the women (about one third of the population) in Wyoming, voted” (7000 votes out of 23,000).[Pg 21] “In Boise, Idaho, it was one of the quietest election days in the annals of the city. Everywhere the women came to the polls in the early part of the day.” “In Salt Lake City, Utah, there was no interruption of traffic, no disturbance of any kind ... the women came alone without having their husbands accompany them to the ballot-box during the noon-hour.”

Because of the unsatisfactory experiences which America has had with universal suffrage[13] as such, the woman’s rights movement had suffered also and has been retarded; but owing to the proceedings of the English suffragettes during the past three years it has been given a new impetus. In the state legislatures throughout the various parts of the country, legislative bills have, during this time, been introduced; on these occasions the women presented their demands in the so-called “hearings” (which take place before the legislature). This took place in 1908 in Rhode Island, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, New York, Illinois, South Dakota, Kansas, Oklahoma[14], Maine, Massachusetts, California, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, and Washington. In the latter state the House has just passed a woman’s suffrage amendment; if the Senate passes it, the amendment will be submitted to[Pg 22] popular vote.[15] A very active woman’s suffrage campaign in the State of Oregon (1906) failed, owing to the opposition of the friends of the liquor interests and the brothels.[16] It is both significant and gratifying that the woman’s suffrage movement is spreading to the Eastern States; an example of this is the great demonstration of February 22, 1909, in Boston.

The woman’s suffrage societies of the various states are formed into a national league: the National Woman’s Suffrage Association, with about 100,000 members. The President is the Reverend Anna Shaw. This Association has recently drawn up an enormous petition to Congress in order to secure woman’s suffrage through federal law, and has established headquarters in Washington, the federal capital. During eleven weeks 6000 letters and 1000 postal cards were written, and 100,000 petition-blanks were distributed.

To the present time only a small number of women have sought state legislative offices; women members of city councils are rather numerous. At the present time there is a woman representative in the legislature of Colorado. The former governor, Mr. Alva Adams, alluded to her as “a bright, efficient woman,” who has[Pg 23] introduced many bills and secured their passage. For, says the governor, “it must be a pretty miserable law which a tactful woman cannot have enacted, since the male legislators are usually courteous and kindly disposed, and disregard party interests in order to accept the measure of their female colleague.” From which we conclude that the women legislators strive especially for measures which are for the general good.[17]

In the United States there is also an “Association Opposed to Woman’s Suffrage.” Its chief supporters are found among the saloon-keepers, the habitual drunkards, and the women of the upper classes. But the American women believe “that if every prayer, every tear can be supported by the power of the ballot, mothers will no longer shed powerless tears over the misfortunes of their children.”[18]

The American women had to struggle not only for their rights as citizens, but they encountered great difficulty in securing an education. At the beginning of the nineteenth century the education of girls in the United States was entirely neglected; the secondary as well as the higher institutions of learning were as good as closed to them. Woman’s “physical and intellectual[Pg 24] inferiority” was referred to, just as with us [in Germany]; woman’s “loss of her feminine nature” was feared, and it was declared “that within a short time the country would be full of the wrecks of women who had overtaxed themselves with studies.” To all these fears the American women gave this answer: Women, you say, are foolish? God created them so they would harmonize with man. As for the rest they awaited developments. As early as 1821 the first institution for the higher education of women, Troy Seminary, was founded with hopes for state aid. In 1833, Oberlin College, the first coeducational college, was opened with the express purpose “of giving all the privileges of higher education to the unjustly condemned and neglected sex.” Among the first women students was the youthful woman’s rights advocate, Lucy Stone. She wished to learn Greek and Hebrew, for she was convinced that the Biblical passage, “and he shall rule over thee,” had not been correctly translated by the men. In 1865 with the founding of Vassar College, the first woman’s college was established. To-day both sexes have the same educational opportunities in the United States. The four oldest universities (Harvard, Yale, Columbia, and Johns Hopkins), established on the English model, still exclude women, and do not grant them academic degrees. However, the latter point is of comparatively minor[Pg 25] importance in its relation to the educational opportunities of women. Most of the western universities are coeducational; in the East there are special woman’s colleges. In the colleges and universities the number of women students is a little over one-third of the number of men students, but in the high schools the girl students outnumber the boys. The removal of all restrictions to woman’s instruction in the secondary and higher institutions of learning is furthering the activity of the American women in the professions. As teachers, they are employed chiefly in the public schools, in which they constitute 70 per cent of the total staff. So the majority of the “freest citizens” in the world are educated by women. The number of women teachers in the public schools is 327,151. In the higher institutions of learning there is nothing to prevent their appointment. Among university teachers (professors and those of lower rank) there are about 1000 women. Their salaries are equal to those of the men, which is not always the case in the elementary schools, since the tendency is to restrict women to the subordinate positions.[19]

The women who teach in the woman’s colleges must, in every case, possess a superior individuality. Thus a woman president of a college must possess academic[Pg 26] training in order to control her teaching force; she must possess a deep insight into human nature in order that her educational relations with the public may be successful; she must have a knowledge of business in order to administer the property of her institution satisfactorily and command the respect of the financiers of her governing board.

Fifteen thousand American women are students in woman’s colleges, and twenty thousand in coeducational colleges and universities. In the latter, the women have distinguished themselves through application and ability so that frequently they have taken all the academic honors and prizes to the exclusion of the men. Since they can no longer be excluded on the ground of their inferiority, their superiority is now the pretext for their exclusion. But a suspension of coeducation in the United States is not to be considered. The state universities, supported with public funds, are all coeducational. The existence of non-coeducational colleges and universities in addition to state institutions is regarded as a guarantee of personal freedom in matters pertaining to higher education.

Since the public school system in the United States is in great part coeducational, the exclusion of women from conferences pertaining to school affairs and their administration would indicate that an especially great injustice were being committed. This was indeed[Pg 27] recognized, and women were given the right to vote on school affairs not only in the five woman’s suffrage states [Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Idaho, and Kansas], but also in twenty-three other states, in which women are without political rights in other respects. The famous deaf-blind woman, Helen Keller, was appointed to serve on the state committee on the education of the blind. In Boston trained nurses are employed to make visits to the homes of the school children. An agitation is on foot to have women inspectors of schools.

In all woman’s suffrage states special attention is devoted to educational matters. Thus the State of Idaho appropriated $2500 for the establishment of a lectureship in domestic science. From 1872 to 1900 the number of women students has increased 148.7 per cent (while the number of men students increased 60.6 per cent). Among women there are also fewer illiterates, drunkards, and criminals; in other words, women are the more moral and better educated part of the American population; and it is these who are excluded from active participation in political affairs.

The number of women lawyers is estimated at one thousand; in twenty-three states they may plead in the Supreme Court. Women lawyers have their own professional organizations.

In Ohio, women are employed in the police service; in Pennsylvania they are appointed as tax-collectors;[Pg 28] in the city of Portland a woman was appointed as inspector of markets with police power. Women justices of the peace are as numerous as women mayors. In Oregon a woman is secretary to the governor, for whom she acts with full authority.

In all woman’s suffrage states women act as jurors. Besides these states only Illinois permits women to serve as jurors—and then only in a juvenile court.

There are said to be about 2000 women journalists. Their writings are often sensational, but in the United States sensationalism is characteristic of the profession.

Of women preachers there are 3,500, belonging to 158 different denominations. Among these women preachers there are also negresses. The women study in theological seminaries, are ordained and devote themselves either to the real calling of the ministry, social rescue work, or to the woman’s rights propaganda, as does the excellent speaker, the Reverend Anna Shaw. The women preachers who devote themselves to social rescue work usually study medicine also, so that they can first secure confidence as persons skilled in the cure of the body, and then later the cure of the soul is less difficult.

There are 7000 women in the medical profession,—more than in any other profession. The first women who studied medicine were American, Elizabeth Blackwell having done so as early as 1846. Only the [Pg 29]University of Geneva (New York) would admit her; in 1848 she graduated there. Then she continued her studies in Paris and London, returning in 1851 to New York, in order to practice. Her first patients were Quakers. Elizabeth Blackwell and her sister Emily (Blackwell) then founded in New York the “Hospital for Indigent Women,” to which the medical schools in Boston and Philadelphia sent their graduates to obtain practical work.[20] A large number of women lawyers, preachers, and doctors are married. In 1900 the total number of women in the professions (exclusive of teaching) was 16,000. In 1900, 14.3 per cent of the female population were engaged in industries; since 1880 the number of women engaged in the professions and industries increased 128 per cent (while that of the men increased 76 per cent).[21]

Most of the technical schools admit women. There are fifty-three women architects. The Woman’s Building of the World’s Exposition in Chicago (1893) was designed by Sophia Haydn and erected under her supervision. It is not unusual for women who are owners of business enterprises to take technical courses. Thus Miss Jones, as her father’s heir, became, after a careful[Pg 30] education, manageress of her large steel works in Chicago. The Cincinnati pottery [Rookwood], founded by women, is also managed by them. There are five women captains of ships, four women pilots, and twenty-four women engineers.

During twenty-five years, women have had 4000 inventions patented. The women of the South produced fewest inventions. But in these fields women still meet with prejudice and difficulties. In increasing numbers women are becoming bankers, merchants, contractors, owners or managers of factories, shareholders, stock-brokers, and commercial travelers. About 1000 women are now engaged in these occupations. As office clerks women have stood the test well in the United States. They are esteemed for their discretion and willingness to work. They are paid $12 to $20 a week. According to the most recent statistics on the trades and professions (1900) there were 1271 women bank clerks, 27,712 women bookkeepers, and 86,118 women stenographers.

In the civil service we find fewer women (they are not voters): in 1890 there were 14,692, of whom 8474 were postal, telephone, and telegraph clerks, and 300 were police officials. In 1900, the total number of women engaged in commerce was 503,574.

The prejudice against the women of the lower classes is still evident. Here at the very outset there is a great[Pg 31] difference between the wages of men and women, the wages of the latter being from one third to one half lower. This is caused partly by the fact that women are given the disagreeable, tiresome, and unimportant work, which they must accept, not being given an opportunity to do the better class of work,—frequently because they have not learned their trade thoroughly. A further cause for the lower wages of women is that they are working for “pocket-money” and “incidentals,” and thus spoil the market for those who must pay their whole living expenses with what they earn. Among the women workers of the United States there are two classes,—the industrial class and the amateurs. The latter make the existence of the former almost impossible. Such a competition is unknown to men in industrial work. Mrs. v. Vorst[22] proposes a solution—to make the industrial amateurs become special artisans by means of a longer apprenticeship, thus relieving the industrial slaves from injurious competition.

Office work and work in the factories enables the American women of the middle and lower classes to satisfy their desire for independence; those who are not obliged to provide for themselves wish at least to have money at their disposal. That is a thoroughly sound aspiration. These girls become factory [Pg 32]employees and not domestic servants, (1) because work in their own home is not paid for (the general disregard of housework drives the women striving for independence away from the house); (2) because of the absence of regularity in housework; (3) because the domestic servants are not free on Sundays; (4) because they must live with the employers. These facts are established by answer to inquiries made by Miss Jackson, factory inspector of Wisconsin.

The women employed in the stores and factories are in general paid about the same wages, $4 to $6 a week. A saleswoman, upon whom greater demands are made as to dress and personal appearance, finds it more difficult to live on these wages than would the woman employed in the factory. As pocket-money, however, this sum is a very good remuneration, and this explains why the girls of these classes, in imitation of the bad example set them by the members of the upper ranks of society, manifest such an extraordinary taste for costly clothes and expensive pleasures. In 1888, an official inquiry showed that 95 per cent of the women laborers lived at home; in 1891 another official inquiry showed that one third of the women laborers earned $5 a week; two thirds from $5 to $7, and only 1.8 per cent earned more than $12, while the men laborers earned on the average $12 to $15 a week. Women laborers are organized as yet only to a small extent[Pg 33] (1 per cent, while 10 per cent of the men are organized). There are separate social-democratic organizations of women, formed through the Federation of Labor.

The workingwomen especially will be helped by the right to vote. In the “Political Equality Series” appears a pamphlet entitled Why does the Working-woman need the Right to Vote? In the first place she needs the right to vote in order to secure higher wages. Just suppose that the members of the typographical union were to-morrow deprived of their right to vote. Only their full political emancipation could again restore them to their former position of prestige among the working classes. This is exactly the case with the women, and they have not even reached the highly-developed organization of the typographers. A politically unfree laboring class is also unable to maintain its vocation against a laboring class possessing political rights; if the vocation is remunerative the unfree class will be deprived of it or be kept from it altogether. The oppression of the workingwomen has its effect also on men through its tendency to lower wages. Therefore at the present time the trades-unions have recognized that to organize women is in the interests of all workingmen, and while the women were refused organization forty years ago, the Federation of Labor is to-day paying trades-union organizers to induce women to become members of trades-unions. The introduction of[Pg 34] a low rate of wages in one branch of a trade (pursued by both men and women) is always a menace to the branches that survive the reduction. The number of women engaged in the industries in 1900 was 1,315,890. The number of married women engaged in industrial pursuits is small; in 1895, an official investigation showed that in 1067 factories 7,000 workingwomen out of 71,000 were married. The chief industries in which women are employed are the textile industry (cotton), laundering, the manufacture of ready-made clothing, corsets, carpets, millinery, and fancy-goods. Women work alongside the men in wool-spinning, in bookbinding, and in the manufacture of shoes, mittens, tobacco, and confectionery.

The inability of workingwomen to exercise political rights makes minors of them when compared with workingmen, and this decreases their importance as human beings. Women cannot protect themselves against injustice, and these things put them at a great disadvantage.

The American women became involved in a lively conflict with President Roosevelt (otherwise favoring woman’s rights) concerning his gift to a father and mother for bringing twenty children into the world. The women declared in the Woman’s Journal that it is wrong to encourage an immoderate procreation of children among a population 70 per cent of[Pg 35] which possesses no property.[23] Above all, this encouragement is not only a menace to the overworked and oppressed workingwomen, but it is inhuman, and really lowers woman to the position of a machine for bearing children.

The institution of factory inspection does not as yet exist in the whole Union. According to the report of Mrs. v. Vorst[24] the factories and the homes of laborers in the Southern States are extremely unsatisfactory. Child labor is exploited there, a matter which is now being dealt with by the National Child Labor Committee. According to this same work (the inquiry of Mrs. v. Vorst) the living conditions in the North and Central States are better, and the moral menaces to the young girl are inconsiderable. The women of the property-holding classes are attempting to do their duty toward the women of the factories and stores by founding clubs, vacation colonies, and homes for them. Within recent years the great department stores have appointed “social secretaries,” who look after the weal and woe of the employees. It would be well to have such secretaries in the factories and mills also. Since 1874 the working week of sixty hours for women in industry and commerce has spread from Massachusetts to almost the entire Union. Since 1890,[Pg 36] night labor has been prohibited by law. The working girls have been provided with seats while at work, partly as a result of legislation and partly by the voluntary act of the employers.

In agriculture women find a profitable field of activity. Of course they are never field hands, but are employers and laborers in the dairy business, in poultry farming, and in the raising of vegetables and fruit. Women have introduced the growing of cress, cranberries, and cucumbers in various regions, and have cultivated the famous asparagus of Oyster Bay and the “Improved New York Strawberries.” In 1900, there were 980,025 women engaged in agriculture (as compared with 9,458,194 men). The number of women domestic servants in the United States amounts to 2,099,165; fifty per cent of the families dispense with servants, since they cannot afford to pay $15 to $20 a month for a servant, or $30 for a cook. Educated women, called visiting housekeepers, undertake the supervision of some of the households of the better class, aided, of course, by help in the house.

The legal status of the American women is regulated by 52 sets of laws, corresponding to the number of states and territories. The civil code is unfavorable to woman in most of the states. In the National Trade Union League (New York) the Reverend Anna Shaw declared recently that in 38 states the property laws[Pg 37] made “joint property holding” legal, as a result of which the wife has no independent control of her personal earnings or her personal effects, e.g. her clothes. In 38 states the wife also has no legal authority over her children. For full particulars the reader is referred to Volume IV of the History of Woman’s Suffrage. To an increasing extent the women are using their right to administer their property independently, and the men are usually proud of the business ability and success of their wives.

A legal regulation of prostitution (such as prevailed formerly in England and as prevails now in Germany) does not exist in the United States. Cincinnati is the only city which in the European sense has police control of prostitution. Public opinion has successfully resisted all similar attempts. (Woman’s Journal, July, 1904.) The American Commission, which went to Europe to study the regulation of prostitution, declared that the American woman cannot be expected to sanction such an arrangement, and that, moreover, the system had not stood the test. In the police stations, police matrons are employed. The law protects the woman in the street against the man and not, as in Europe, the man against the woman.

In order to combat the double standard of morals the “Social Purity League” was formed. The membership is composed of those men and women who are[Pg 38] thoroughly convinced that there is only one standard of morality for both sexes, since they have the same obligations to their offspring. Founded in 1886, this organization has spread since 1889 throughout the entire Union.

The “World’s Woman’s Christian Temperance Union,” the second largest international woman’s organization, originated in America. It was founded in 1883 by Frances E. Willard (her father was Hilgard, from the Palatinate). The Union has 300,000 members in the United States at the present time, and 450,000 members in the whole world. In 1906 it met in Boston. It is the determined enemy of alcohol, and gives proof of its convictions through the work of its soldier’s and sailor’s department, its committees on railroads, tramways, police stations, cab drivers, etc. This Union, as well as the “Social Purity League,” is a firm advocate of woman’s suffrage.

The emancipation of the American women is promoted through sports. If on the one hand they appreciate an elaborate toilette, on the other hand they recognize the advantages of bloomers, the walking skirt, and the divided skirt. In these costumes they play basketball, polo, tennis, and take gymnastic exercise, fence, and row. The woman’s colleges are centers of athletic life. There the girls now play football in male costume, the public being excluded. In all large cities there are[Pg 39] athletic clubs for women, some extremely sumptuous (with a hundred-dollar fee) as well as very simple clubs for workingwomen of sedentary life.

We have seen that the legal status of women in many states is still in need of reform. All the more instructive is the survey of laws concerning women and children in the woman’s suffrage states, published by Mrs. C. Waugh McCullock, a woman lawyer, of Chicago. The wife disposes of her wages and her dowry (in Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, and Idaho). Men and women receive equal pay for the same work. All professions and public offices are open to women. Women act as jurors. They have the same right of inheritance as men. Divorce is granted to either party under the same circumstances. The claims of the wife and the children under age are given a decided preference over those of creditors. Education from the kindergarten to the university is free and is open to women. The labor of women in mines is prohibited. The maximum working-day for women is eight hours. All houses of correction and institutions for the protection of women and children must have women physicians and overseers. The age of consent is 18 years. Gambling and prostitution are prohibited. Both father and mother exercise parental authority. The surviving husband is guardian of the children. The sale of alcoholic liquors and tobacco to children is prohibited. No child[Pg 40] under 14 years of age may work in the mines. Pornographic literature and pictures are prohibited.

In conclusion I shall take several points from the lecture which Professor F. Laurie Poster held before the Political Equality League in Chicago, after the women of Chicago had waged a vigorous campaign for the right to vote in municipal affairs.

Why is the value of woman placed so low? Merely because she is more helpless than man. Children are valued even less than women because they surpass the women in helplessness. Only animals have less power of defense; therefore they have the lowest value placed on them. In the United States it has now been demonstrated that whoever possesses the right to vote is esteemed more highly than he who does not have that right. We see this in the woman’s suffrage states; here the women have made provisions not only for themselves, but for the children as well, for it is one of the fundamental instincts of woman to protect her little ones. In most of the states of the Union, however, women can help directly neither themselves nor their children. That women should be forced to struggle for these ends against the opposition of man is one of the most unfortunate phases of the whole movement.

When woman became property, a possession, the overestimation of her sexual value began. Her sex was her weapon, and her capabilities became stunted.[Pg 41] This over emphasis of the sexual causes a great part of the most flagrant evils among civilized peoples. To-day we have reached a stage where we despise him who sells his vote. Unfortunately it is still permitted to sell one’s sex. In this roundabout way woman attains most of the good things in life. Her economic successes depend almost entirely on the resources of the man to whom she belongs. Both sexes suffer as a result of this attitude of society. Woman’s uncertain feeling, that she must concentrate her interests and responsibilities in the one who provides for the family, has created exceedingly peculiar customs and a wholly absurd code of honor for both man and woman. Thereby woman is directed to a roundabout way for everything she wishes to obtain. Whatever she wishes for herself must appear as a domestic virtue, if possible as a sacrifice for the family. Man thinks it very natural that he should do what he desires, that he should pursue his pleasures and gratify his passions, for he is indeed the one who possesses authority and does not need first to stamp his wishes as virtues. But it seems just as natural to him that the women of the family should be endowed with a double portion of piety, economy and willingness to make sacrifices,—virtues in which he is so lacking. Women are created especially for that. By nature they are better, and indeed they make great efforts to cover the faults of the offending[Pg 42] one and forgivingly accept him again. In fact they do it gladly; it gives them pleasure, and man certainly does not wish to deprive them of the opportunity for such great joys. Therefore man is instantly at hand to warn woman when she shows any inclination toward adopting “masculine” habits. But he certainly would be more conscientious and more moral if woman no longer assumed these virtues vicariously for him. Woman must make her demands of man. For that she must be free.[25]

 

AUSTRALIA[26]

Total population:4,555,662.
Women:2,166,318.
Men:2,389,344.
An association of women’s clubs in each of five colonies.
The Australian Women’s Political Association, embracing six colonies.


It is a rare thing for Europeans to have a definite conception of the Australian Commonwealth. This is[Pg 43] the more to be regretted since this federation of republics is among the countries that have made the greatest progress in the woman’s rights movement. In no other part of the world has such a radical change in the status of woman been effected in so short a time and with such comparatively insignificant struggles.

Till 1840, Australia had been a penal colony. Since then,—after the discovery of the first gold fields,—a multitude of fortune-seekers, gold-miners, and adventurers joined the population of deported convicts. The good middle-class element for a long time remained in the minority. Certainly nobody would have believed that there existed at that time in Australia all the conditions necessary for the growth of a flourishing and highly civilized commonwealth. Nevertheless, such was the case. There were formed seven democratic states, whose people were not bound by any traditionalism or excessive fondness for time-honored, inherited customs; these people wished to have elbowroom and were determined to establish themselves on their own soil in their own way. This all took place the more easily since England gave the growing commonwealth in general an exceedingly free hand, and because the inhabitants were by nature independent. Australia was colonized by those who, having come into conflict with the laws of the old world, found their sphere of life narrow and restricted.

[Pg 44]Because Australia to-day has only about five million inhabitants, the country is confronted only in a limited way with the problem of dealing with congested masses of people, a condition which is favorable to all social experimentation. Those in authority believe they can direct and eventually mold the development of the Commonwealth.

Sixty-five per cent of the population are Protestant; the Germanic element predominates. The women constitute not quite 50 per cent of the population. Thus in many respects the Australian colonies possess conditions similar to those prevailing in the western states of the American Union, and the results of the woman’s rights movement are in both regions approximately the same. Mrs. M. Donohue, one of the delegates from Australia, declared at the London Woman’s Suffrage Congress that her country had brought about “the greatest happiness for the greatest number.”

Naturally, the Australian governments had originally a series of material problems to solve, real problems of existence, as, for example, to find a satisfactory agricultural policy in a predominantly farming and cattle-raising country. When the economic basis of the country seemed sufficiently secure, the intellectual interests were given attention. A country which never had slavery or a feudal regime, a Salic Law, or a Code Napoleon; a country which has no divine right of kings,[Pg 45] and is not oppressed with militarism; a country which judges a man by his personal ability and esteems him for what he is, such a country certainly could not tolerate the dogma of woman’s inferiority. Between 1871 and 1880, the school systems of the various colonies were regulated by a series of laws. Elementary instruction, which is free and obligatory, is given in public schools to children of both sexes between the ages of five and fifteen, but in most cases the sexes are segregated. In the public schools of the whole continent about 20,000 teachers are employed (9,000 men and 11,000 women). The men predominate in the leading well-paid positions. The secondary school system (as in England) is composed largely of private schools, and is to a great extent in the hands of the Protestant denominations and the Catholic orders. The governments subsidize these institutions. Girls and boys enjoy the same educational opportunities in the schools, part of which are coeducational.

The four Australian universities—Sidney (New South Wales), Melbourne (Victoria), Adelaide (South Australia), and Aukland (New Zealand)—are to-day open to women, who can secure all academic degrees granted by the philosophical, law, and medical faculties.[27]

The number of students in the universities is as follows: in Sidney, 1054 (of whom 142 are women);[Pg 46] in New Zealand University, 1332 (of whom 369 are women); in Melbourne, 853 (of whom 128 are women). The total number of students in Adelaide and Hobart is 626 and 62 respectively, but the number of women students is not given. The educational problem is thus solved for the Australian woman in a favorable manner: she has equal and full privileges in the universities.

What are the conditions in the occupations? “All occupations are open to women,” is stated in a report which I have used.[28] But that is not entirely correct. Women are teachers, but they are not lecturers and professors in the universities. As preachers they are admitted only among the Nonconformists. There are women doctors and dentists, and in four colonies (New Zealand, Tasmania, West Australia, and Victoria) women are permitted to practice law, but they are confronted with a certain popular prejudice when they attempt to enter medicine, law, technical science, and a teaching career in the universities. The state employs women in the elementary schools; in the postal and telegraph service; as registrars (permitting them to perform marriage ceremonies); and as factory inspectors. But the salaries and wages in Australia are not always the same for both sexes. Thus, for [Pg 47]example, in South Australia the male head masters of the public schools draw salaries of 110 to 450 pounds sterling, while the women draw 80 to 156 pounds sterling. Since school affairs are not affairs under the control of the Commonwealth, the federal law (equal wages for equal work) cannot be applied in this particular. In Tasmania[29] (where the women have voted since 1903) women are teachers in the public schools, employees in the postal, telegraph, and telephone systems, supervisors of health in the public schools, and assistants to the quarantine and sanitary boards; they are registrars in the parishes, superintendents of hospitals, asylums, prisons, etc. Public offices in the army, the navy, and the church alone remain closed to them.

It is to be noted here that Mrs. Dobson, of Tasmania, was the official representative of the Australian government at the International Woman’s Suffrage Congress held in Amsterdam in 1908.

The official yearbook of the Australian Federation gives the following industrial statistics for 1901: state and municipal office holders, 41,235 women (69,399 men); domestic servants, 150,201 women (50,335 men); commerce, 34,514 women (188,144 men); transportation, 3429 women (118,730 men); industry, 75,570 women (350,596 men); agriculture and forestry,[Pg 48] fisheries, and mining, 38,944 women (494,163 men). In all fields, with the exception of domestic service, the men are in a numerical superiority; therefore the matrimonial opportunities of the Australian woman are favorable. For every 100 girls 105.99 boys were born in 1906; the statistics for 1906 showed a greater number of marriages than ever before (30,410). The difference in the ages of the married men and women is 4.5 years on the average; the number of children per family is about 4 (3.77).

Five Australian colonies (New Zealand, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, and New South Wales) have enacted the following laws for the protection of workingwomen:

1. Maximum working time—48 hours a week.

2. The prohibition of night work (except in Queensland).

3. Higher wages for overtime.

The eight-hour day is necessitated throughout Australia by the climate. The other provisions are perhaps not stringently enforced. Children under thirteen years cannot be employed in the factories. Socialistic regulations, such as fixing the minimum wages in certain industries, and the establishment of obligatory courts of arbitration, have been instituted in several colonies (Victoria, New South Wales, etc.).

In the beginning the English Common Law regulated[Pg 49] the legal status of the Australian women. During the past fifty years this law has undergone many modifications. Each colony acted independently in the matter, and therefore there is no longer uniformity. In all cases separate ownership of property is legal. However, joint parental authority is legally established only in New Zealand. The divorce laws are prejudicial to women in almost all respects.

In the field of legislation the influence of woman’s suffrage has already made itself definitely felt. Each colony has its state legislature which consists of a Lower House and a Senate. Every Australian who is twenty-one years old is a voter in both state and municipal elections. (There is a property qualification only for those voting for the Senate.) In 1869 the woman’s suffrage movement began in Australia (in Victoria). The right to vote in school and municipal affairs was given to women as a matter of course.[30] The right to vote in state affairs was granted to women first in New Zealand in 1893, in South Australia in 1895, in West Australia in 1899, in New South Wales in 1903, in Queensland in 1905, and in Victoria in 1908.

When the six Australian colonies (excluding New Zealand) formed themselves into a federation in 1900, an Australian Federal Parliament was established. The women of all of the six colonies voted for the [Pg 50]parliamentary officers on an equality with men. Here was a curious thing—the women of the four conservative colonies voted for the members of the Federal Parliament but could not vote for the state legislature.

On the basis of the documents dealing with Victoria I shall give a more detailed account of the history of woman’s suffrage in this colony. The greatest statesman of Victoria, George Higinbotham, in 1873 introduced the first woman’s suffrage bill before Parliament. This met with no success. A number of similar attempts were made until 1884. In this year there was founded the first “Woman’s Suffrage Society” in Victoria. The movement then spread rapidly, and in 1891 thirty thousand women petitioned Parliament for the suffrage in state affairs. For the time being this attempt likewise met with failure. But the political organization of the women was strengthened through the formation of the “United Council for Woman’s Suffrage.” Every year after 1895 this Council gave advice to the Lower House concerning the framing of woman’s suffrage bills, and thus enlarged its influence. Hitherto the passing of the suffrage bill had been prevented by the opposition of the Upper House (which was not chosen by universal suffrage). On November 18, 1908, the bill was finally passed by the House of Obstruction, and thus the women, who had worked for the suffrage, were finally[Pg 51] emancipated. Since 1893, the year of the emancipation of women in New Zealand, the opponents of woman’s suffrage put off the women with the request to wait and see how the plan worked in New Zealand; in 1896 the women were asked to wait and see how the plan worked in New South Wales; in 1902 they were asked to see how woman’s suffrage worked in the federal elections. In 1908 it was possible to secure only 3500 signatures against woman’s suffrage.

In New Zealand the women have exercised active suffrage since 1893. There also, the gloomiest predictions were made when this “unprecedented” measure was adopted. There were, of course, women opponents of woman’s suffrage. Such, for example, was Mrs. Seddon, the wife of the Prime Minister of New Zealand. She said: “It seemed to me that the women ought to remain away from the tumult and riotous scenes of the polling booths. But I gave up this view. With us, the women benefited the suffrage and the suffrage benefited the women. The elections have taken place more quietly and women have indicated a lively interest in public affairs.

“Woman’s suffrage has not caused family dissensions. It has frequently happened that whole families have voted for the same candidate. In other cases different members of one family voted for different candidates. But this has not disturbed domestic [Pg 52]tranquillity, for nowhere have family feuds been engendered by one member or another of the family boasting of the success of his candidate. The fear that the women would vote largely for Conservative candidates, through the influence of the clergy, was not realized. Already the women have twice contributed to the reëlection of a Liberal minister. Neither the Protestant nor the Catholic clergy endeavored to influence the votes of the women anywhere.” The Countess Wachtmeister, a Californian traveling in Australia, confirms this opinion, “Thanks to woman’s suffrage the respectable elements that formerly often remained away from the political arena have now again stepped to the front; they have presented successful candidates, and have begun to play an important part in the political life of the country.”

Since women have exercised the right to vote in New Zealand the following legal reforms have been enacted:

1. Divorces are granted to the wife and to the husband upon the same grounds.

2. The husband can no longer deprive the wife and children of their inheritances by means of a will.

3. The conditions of suffrage in municipal elections were made the same for both women and men.

[Pg 53]

4. The saloons are closed on election days.

5. Women are admitted to the practice of law.

6. The age of consent for girls was raised to 17.

Similar reforms were enacted in South Australia. There Mrs. Mary Lee is the leader in the woman’s suffrage movement, and founder of the “Women’s Suffrage Society.” When the woman’s suffrage bill was passed in 1895 the Prime Minister, the Minister of Public Instruction, and the Lord Mayor gave Mrs. Lee an impressive reception in the town hall; they thanked her for the untiring efforts which she had devoted to the cause, and the Prime Minister said, “Mrs. Lee is the originator of the greatest reforms in the constitutional history of Australia.” What enlightened views the ministers in the antipodal countries do have! Are they really our antiscians to such a degree?

Since 1896, the following reforms have been effected by the South Australian Parliament:

1. A modification of the marriage law (the husband must provide for the wife and children if his brutality leads to a divorce). An enlargement of woman’s sphere in the business world. Separate property rights.

2. Greater strength was given to the law compelling the father of illicit children to fulfill his pecuniary duties.

[Pg 54]

3. A severer penalty for trafficking in girls.

4. The increasing of the age of consent to 17.

5. Improved laws providing for the care of dependent children.

6. A maximum working week of 52 hours for children engaged in industry.

7. Laws suppressing pornography.

8. Laws prohibiting the sale of liquor and tobacco to children.

9. Women were appointed to the positions of inspectors of schools, prisons, hospitals, etc.

In West Australia, where women have voted since 1899, the women were admitted to the practice of law; the age of consent was raised to 17 years; and the conditions on which divorce are granted were made the same for man and woman. In Europe people still question the practical value of woman’s suffrage.

Following the establishment of woman’s suffrage in New South Wales and Tasmania, juvenile courts were introduced; New South Wales adopted a very stringent law regulating the sale of liquor (local option; no barmaids under 21 years could be employed; the sale of liquors to children under 14 years was prohibited).

Since women have voted in the elections for the Federal Parliament they have formed the Australian Woman’s Political Association. The President is Miss Vida Goldstein, of Victoria. To the Association[Pg 55] belong woman’s suffrage leagues, woman’s trade-unions, temperance societies, woman’s church clubs, and other organizations. For the present the women will not ally themselves with any of the existing parties, since the principles of none of them correspond exactly to the programme which the women have set up. The “Political Equality League” is satisfactory in one respect (equal rights for both sexes), but goes too far in its socialistic demands.

The women have succeeded in having federal laws enacted providing that all state employees be paid the same wages for the same work, and that the legal provisions for naturalization permit woman to retain her right of self-government and her individuality. The government will propose a federal law securing uniformity in the marriage laws (laws in regard to marriage, property, divorce, and parental authority).

In all the Australian colonies women have active suffrage, but not in all cases the passive. Wherever they possess the latter they have laid little claim to it:

1. because a part of the capable women believe they can work more effectively and achieve more if they are not attached to a political party;

2. because the established party programmes very frequently embody the demands of the women;

[Pg 56]

3. because for this reason the political parties expect no special advantage from the women, and it is difficult to secure the support of the great party papers for the women candidates;

4. because the Australian elections also cost money, and the capable women are not always well-to-do.

In 1903, Miss Vida Goldstein announced her candidature for the Federal Parliament and was defeated. In the federal elections of 1906 on an average 58.36 per cent of the registered men and 43.30 per cent of the registered women voted (against 53.09 and 30.96 per cent in 1903).

In two pamphlets,—Woman’s Suffrage in New Zealand, and Woman’s Suffrage in Australia,[31]—the leading men of the youngest region of the world have given their written testimony on the practical workings of woman’s suffrage. These men are prime ministers of the colonies, public prosecutors, the ministers of the various state departments, members of the lower houses in the parliaments, high dignitaries of the Church, the editors of large political newspapers. They all make the most favorable statements concerning woman’s suffrage.

[Pg 57]“The women have demanded nothing unreasonable from their representatives, and have always placed themselves on the side of clean politics and clean politicians.” “Woman’s suffrage has brought about neither the millennium nor pandemonium,” and the New Zealanders do not understand why it is that in other countries people “can still become agitated over anything so inherently reasonable as woman’s suffrage.”

All who wish to have the right to participate in a discussion on woman’s suffrage must first study these two books of testimonials. A mere knowledge of these facts will cause much insipid discussion to cease in public meetings.

From the French consul in Dantzig, Count Jouffroy d’Abbans, one familiar with Australian conditions, I learned the following isolated facts concerning woman’s suffrage. It has a salutary influence throughout. Women show a lively interest in political and municipal questions; for the sake of their political rights they neglect their “specifically feminine” duties so little that they come to the parliamentary sessions with knitting, embroidery, and sewing. They also engage in these feminine activities while attending the night sessions. On election days there is certainly often a cold dinner or supper. But that occurs on washing days, too, and no one has yet wished to deny women the privilege of doing the washing. It is safe to say[Pg 58] that the Australian woman’s rights movement will not fail because of this obstacle.

 

GREAT BRITAIN

Total population:41,605,220.
Women:21,441,911.
Men:20,163,309.
English Federation of Women’s Clubs.
Woman’s Suffrage League.


“England is the storm center of our movement,” declared the President of the International Woman’s Suffrage Alliance in the Amsterdam Congress. This was the conviction of the Congress, which therefore resolved to hold the next International Woman’s Suffrage Congress in London (in April, 1909). The fact is undisputed that the English suffragettes—whether one favors or opposes their actions—have made Great Britain the center of the modern woman’s rights movement. England is a European country, an old country with rigid traditions, which, nevertheless, are the freest political traditions that we have in Europe to-day. For fifty years the English women have struggled for the right to vote. In spite of the fact that their country has neither Salic Law nor continental militarism (two of the greatest obstacles to all woman’s rights movements), the English women have not as yet [Pg 59]attained their ends. This is an indication of the tenacity of the prejudices against women in the countries of older civilizations.

The opposition offered to the political emancipation of women in England is all the more remarkable since the English women were able to exercise the right to vote on an equality with men in national elections till 1832, and in municipal elections till 1835.[32] To that time we find the same conditions prevailing in England as prevailed in the nine American commonwealths previous to 1783. This parity of circumstances is explained by the English principle of representation: no taxation without representation. In 1832 and 1835, however, the English women, who as taxpayers were qualified to vote, had the right to vote in national and municipal affairs taken from them; for the word “persons” the expression “male persons” was substituted in the election law. When this disfranchisement took place none of those concerned cried out against it. For two hundred years the women had made no use worth mentioning of the right to vote. But a part of the women, especially those of the liberal and cultured circles, saw the significance of this retrograde step.

The political struggles of general concern during the[Pg 60] following period (such as the antislavery movement and the anticorn-law movement) furnished these women an opportunity to educate themselves in political affairs, and, like the American women of that time, they in many cases learned their political ABC by means of the same questions. Such men as Cobden, Pease, Biggs, Knight, and others were the advance guard of the political women in England. The earliest pamphlet on women’s suffrage preserved to us appeared in 1847. It is a small leaflet and says among other things, “As long as both sexes and all parties are not given a just representation, good government is impossible” (which is a paraphrase of the American principle—every just government derives its powers from the consent of the governed). The contrary view had been stated in the Encyclopædia Britannica as early as 1842 by the father of John Stuart Mill: “It is self-evident that all persons whose interests are identical with those of a different class are excluded from political representation without injury.” Certainly from such an arrangement the “representatives” will suffer no injury. That select group of intellectual women who trained themselves politically during the antislavery movement and the struggle for free trade consisted of the mothers, the sisters, and daughters of liberal politicians and academically trained men. Many of these women were themselves students and teachers. No antagonism[Pg 61] ever existed in England between the woman’s suffrage movement and the movement favoring the education of woman.

Such were the conditions in 1866. A new election law was to be introduced in Parliament; a new class of men was to be granted the right of suffrage by the lowering of the property qualification. The women decided to present a petition to the House of Commons requesting the right to vote in national elections. The women had decided to act thus publicly because of the presence of John Stuart Mill in the House of Commons, and because of an utterance of Disraeli’s, “In a country in which a woman can be ruler, peer, church trustee, owner of estates, and guardian of the poor, I do not see in the name of what principle the right to vote can be withheld from her.” Four petitions (one signed by 1499 women, one by 1605 taxpaying women, and two more signed by 3559 and 3000 men and women) were sent to the House of Commons; and on May 20, 1867, John Stuart Mill, after he had presented the petitions, moved that the right to vote be given to the qualified women taxpayers. His motion was rejected by a vote of 196 to 73. Thereupon there were formed for systematic propaganda, woman’s suffrage societies in London, Edinburgh, Manchester, Birmingham, and Bristol; these cities are still the center of the movement. The new election law gave women a[Pg 62] further advantage—the expression male person was replaced with the generic word “man.”[33] Since an Act of Parliament (13 and 14 Vict., c. 21) declares that in all laws the masculine expression also includes the feminine, unless the contrary is expressly stated, the friends of woman’s suffrage believed they could interpret this expression in favor of women. The attempt to do this was now made. A number of qualified women demanded that they be registered with the voters; they were determined to have recourse to the law if the government commission refused to register their votes. At this time the first public meeting of women in England was held in the famous “Free Trade Hall” in Manchester. But the courts and the Supreme Court interpreted the law against the women,—“they are disqualified neither intellectually nor morally, but legally.” Then a methodical propaganda by means of public meetings was begun; the first victory was won as early as 1869,—the women taxpayers were given the right to vote in municipal affairs in England, Scotland, and Wales.

Between 1870 and 1884, the political organization of the women was strengthened; the women of the aristocracy (Lady Amberly, Lady Anne Gore-Langton,[Pg 63] and others) were won over to the cause of woman’s suffrage. A “Central Committee for Woman’s Suffrage” was formed, and a number of excellent women speakers (Biggs, Maclaren, Becker, Fawcett, Craigen, Kingsley, Tod, and others) spoke throughout the country. A further success was achieved when the Parliament of the Isle of Man[34] (House of Keys) gave qualified women the right to vote.

In 1884, the property qualification was again reduced through a new election law; the friends of woman’s suffrage took advantage of this opportunity to present a motion in Parliament favoring woman’s suffrage, in support of which the following statements were made: “Two million men, many of whom are ignorant and uneducated, and possess only a small plot of ground, are to be given political rights. On what principle is the same right withheld from 300,000 women who are educated and who are landowners?” This motion was lost also. In 1885 the English women, in order to make their influence felt in political affairs, formed the “Primrose League,” which supported the Conservative candidates in the election campaigns; and in 1887 was formed the “Women’s Liberal Federation,” which supported the Liberals in a similar manner. The next attempt to secure woman’s suffrage[Pg 64] was made in 1897, but it was unsuccessful. During the Boer War woman’s suffrage receded into the background, and not until March 14, 1904, was a woman’s suffrage bill again introduced; this bill did not become law. At that time the woman’s suffrage movement was lifeless, and in a thoroughly hopeless condition. All the usual means of propaganda had been exhausted,—meetings, petitions, and personal work during campaigns made no impressions either on the members of Parliament, the government, or on public opinion. It was no longer possible to educe arguments against the right of qualified women to vote (it was not a question of universal suffrage, but, just as in the case of the men, it was a matter of granting the franchise to women holding property in their own name and earning their own living). Governments, however, wish to be coerced into granting the franchise, and the representatives of the woman’s suffrage movement were not determined enough to exercise the necessary coercion. Therefore, the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies transferred the leadership of the movement to the National Women’s Social and Political Union, whose members are known by the name of suffragettes. This transference of leadership took place during the autumn of 1905.

The suffragettes then adopted militant tactics, making the government their point of attack. This was[Pg 65] a good stroke, for since 1905 England has had a Liberal Cabinet, and several of the ministers and over 400 of the 600 members of the House of Commons have declared themselves as friends of woman’s suffrage. “Then why don’t you grant us our political freedom?” asked the suffragettes.

The women are heads of families, they pay rent and taxes, just as the men. All their conditions of livelihood are as dependent upon the laws as are those of the men. A liberal government and liberal members of Parliament ought to be liberal towards women and grant them the suffrage. Many of these ministers and many members of Parliament owe their political careers, their election, and their influence to the practical campaign activities of women or to the woman’s suffrage movement, which they supported in order to enlarge their political influence. They have made use of the woman’s suffrage movement and now wish to do nothing in return. The fate of all woman’s suffrage bills introduced since 1870 (13 in number) proves that it is hopeless to have such bills introduced by private members. Women must turn their hopes to a bill introduced by the government. The present Liberal government needs only to treat the matter seriously; then a woman’s suffrage bill will be passed.

But the government has not treated the matter seriously; hence the suffragettes have declared war.[Pg 66] It is their determination to fight every ministry which is not kindly disposed toward the suffrage movement.

The struggle is carried on by the following means: organization of societies; meetings throughout the country; street parades and open air meetings (especially significant are those of June 13 and 21, 1908); the employment of first-class speakers, who make concise, clear, ingenious, and stirring speeches; the raising of large sums of money (20,000 pounds, i.e. $100,000 annually; there is a reserve fund of 50,000 pounds, i.e. $250,000); the publication of a well-managed periodical, Votes for Women.[35]

The leaders are Mrs. and Miss Pankhurst, Mrs. Drummond, Annie Kenney, Mr. and Mrs. Pethick Lawrence. These and the most determined of their associates undertake to send deputations to the Liberal Prime Minister, Mr. Asquith, and to ask the question in all public meetings in which members of the Cabinet speak,—when will you give women the right to vote?

The deputations go to Parliament because women, as taxpayers, have the right to speak to the Prime Minister, who continually receives deputations of men. Since the Prime Minister does not wish to grant women the right to vote, the deputations of women are prevented[Pg 67] from entering the Houses of Parliament by strong squads of police, both mounted and on foot; and if the women do not desist from their attempt to make known to the Prime Minister the resolutions of their meeting, they are arrested for the disturbance of the peace, the interruption of traffic, or the instigation of tumult and riot; they are arraigned in the police court and are sentenced to imprisonment in the ordinary prisons. The Liberal government stubbornly refuses to regard these women as political offenders and to punish them as such.

The woman’s suffrage advocates, who ask the Cabinet members questions in public meetings, direct their questions to both friends and opponents of woman’s suffrage. For, they inquire, of what use are our friends to us if they do nothing for us? The members of the English Cabinet have a joint responsibility for their political programme. If the friends of woman’s suffrage treat the matter seriously, they must either convert their colleagues or resign. As long as they do not do that, they are merely playing with woman’s suffrage and the women think it necessary to “heckle” them. The women who ask the questions are often ejected from the meetings in a very rough way.[36]

The suffragettes give the government conclusive proof of their political power when they oppose Liberal[Pg 68] candidates at all by-elections and contribute to the defeat of the candidates or cause a reduction of their votes. To the present this has occurred in fourteen cases. It is due to the success of these tactics that the whole world is to-day speaking about woman’s suffrage, which has become a burning political question in England. All along the people and the press are giving greater support to the suffragettes who have the courage to brave the horrors of the London prison, and there become acquainted with the distress of the poor, the destitute, and the helpless.

During the last three or four years of the activity of the suffragettes a great number of woman’s suffrage organizations were founded: The Woman’s Freedom League (Mrs. Despard), The Men’s League for Woman’s Suffrage, The Artists’ Suffrage League, The Conservative and Unionist Women’s Franchise Association, The Actresses’ Franchise League, The Writers’ League, etc. Scotland and Ireland have their own woman’s suffrage associations.

In opposition there have been formed the National Women’s Antisuffrage Association and a Men’s League for Opposing Woman’s Suffrage (those are supported chiefly by the aristocratic circles). They declare that woman does not need the right to vote since she exercises an “enormous indirect influence”; that woman does not wish the right to vote; that her [Pg 69]subordination is based on natural law since brute force rules the world; woman’s suffrage would result in England’s destruction, if a majority of women voters (England has a majority of women) were permitted to decide questions concerning the army and navy.

The leader of the suffragettes, Mrs. Fawcett, recently established the fact that the newly formed Association has a considerably smaller number of prominent names among its members than the organization formed two years ago, which soon came to an inglorious end. She emphasized the fact that the two important women, who at that time still favored the antisuffrage movement,—Mrs. Louise Creighton and Mrs. Sidney Webb,—have since gone over to the suffrage advocates. On the occasion of Mrs. Fawcett’s public debate with Mrs. Humphry Ward, the leader of the antisuffragists (in February, 1909), it happened that 235 of those present favored woman’s suffrage and 74 were opposed.

The argument against the brute force statement was treated in three excellent articles in Votes for Women under the title “The Physical Force Fallacy.”[37] The most influential of the English women, together with the women in the industries, the students of both sexes, the workingwomen,—in short, the intellectual and professional women are in favor of the suffragettes;[Pg 70] and the woman’s suffrage advocates have “the spiritual certainty” that moves mountains. Let no one believe that the appeals made on the streets, the parades of the women as sandwich-men, or the noisy publicity of their tactics are gladly indulged in by the women. These actions are entirely opposed to woman’s nature. But the women have recognized that these tactics are necessary and they act accordingly because it is their duty. Such movements have always been successful.

Women do not possess the right to vote in parliamentary elections; but, if taxpayers, they can vote in municipal affairs in the whole of Great Britain and Ireland. The married women of England and Wales have a restricted right of suffrage, however: they are “persons” and therefore voters in parochial elections, in the election of poor-law administrators, and of urban and rural district councillors; but they are not regarded as “persons” and are not voters in elections for the borough and county councils. In one single case, in the County of London, by the law of 1900, married women were given almost the same rights as those exercised by married women in Scotland and Ireland.[38] The right of single or married women to hold office (passive suffrage)[39] has prevailed in England and Wales[Pg 71] since 1869 in respect to the offices of guardians of the poor, overseers, waywardens, churchwardens,—and since 1870 (Education Act) in respect to school boards.[40] At the very first school elections women were elected, which induced women to have themselves presented also as candidates for the offices of poor-law administrators. In 1875 the first unmarried woman was elected to that office, the first married woman in 1881. In the discharge of their duties in both classes of offices the women have acted admirably. Nevertheless, the reactionary Education Act of June, 1903, took away from the women the right to hold office as members of school boards in the County of London. They can still secure administrative offices by governmental appointment, but no longer by an election. In 1888 were created the county councils for England and Wales; the county councils were at the same time organs for the self-governing municipalities. Since this law, like those of 1869 and 1870, did not specially exclude women from the right to hold office, two women, Mrs. Cobden and Lady Sandhurst, presented themselves as candidates for the office of county councillors of London. They were elected. Thereupon Mrs. Beresford-Hope, whom Lady Sandhurst had defeated, contested the legality of the election. In 1889, the Court of Appeals declared that women were eligible to public office only when this[Pg 72] is expressly stated.[41] This decision of the Court, which was in conflict with the English Constitution, also brought about the loss of the right of the women of Scotland and Ireland to hold office as county councillors.

As a result of this judicial decision, when the new Local Self-government Act for England and Wales was enacted (1894), it was necessary expressly to state the eligibility of women (unmarried and married) to hold the minor local offices (parish, urban, rural district councillors, poor-law guardians, etc.). Article 22, however (in spite of historical precedents), excluded women from the office of justice of the peace. In 1894 the same thing occurred in Scotland, and in 1898 in Ireland.

In 1899, the attempt to secure the eligibility of women to the metropolitan borough councils (for London only)[42] failed, owing to the opposition of the House of Lords.

The law of 1907,[43] known as the Qualification of Women Act, grants unmarried women the right to hold office in the borough and county councils (councillor, alderman, mayor). Married women have this right only in the County of London; elsewhere they can[Pg 73] merely vote for these officers.[44] On the occasion of the first elections under this act twelve women presented themselves as candidates; six were elected (one as mayor); hitherto the women had been elected only in small places, and then owing to exceptional circumstances. Whoever investigates the struggle of the women to secure their rights in the local government and studies the attitude of the men toward these exceedingly just demands will comprehend the exasperating circumstances under which the women are to-day struggling for the right to vote in the English parliamentary elections. In questions of power and of gaining a livelihood [Macht- und Brotfragen] the nobility of man can really not be depended upon.

The woman’s suffrage movement has led to the consummation of a number of legal reforms: the property laws now legalize the separation of the property of husband and wife[45]; in the United Kingdom the wife administers her own property and disposes of it, and has full control over her earnings. The remainder of the laws regulating marriage are still rather rigorous,—in England at least; the wife has no hereditary right to her husband’s property. If she economizes in the administration of the household, the savings belong to the husband. The wife cannot demand any pay in[Pg 74] money for performing her domestic duties; the mere expenses of maintenance are sufficient remuneration, etc. In normal cases the father alone has authority over the children. It is made very difficult for a woman to secure a divorce, etc.[46]

The women that have labored so untiringly in political affairs have very naturally made it a point to promote the educational opportunities of their sex. Since 1870, the elementary school system has been regulated by the school boards, which have introduced obligatory public instruction. In these institutions the boys and girls are segregated (except in the rural districts). On an average there is one male teacher to every three women teachers in these institutions. The secondary schools are private, as in Australia. Hence it was not necessary for the English women to wrest every concession from a reluctant government (as was the case in Germany); but private initiative, combined with the devotion of private individuals, made possible in a few years the full reorganization of England’s institutions of learning for girls. This reorganization began in 1868 and led to the following results: the establishment of higher institutions of learning in all English cities (these are called girls’ public day schools, most of them being day schools. They[Pg 75] are governed by committees consisting of the founders, the principals, and the qualified advisers). Latin and mathematics are obligatory studies in the curriculum. The schools are in close relationship with Oxford and Cambridge universities, the universities inspecting the schools and supervising the various examinations (including the examinations of the students upon leaving the schools). In England these schools are for girls only; in Scotland, girls attend similar schools which are coeducational. The number of women teachers is estimated at 8000.

Admission to the universities was secured with difficulty by the women. At first a number of women requested the privilege of attending lectures in the universities of Oxford and Cambridge. Since these universities are resident colleges, it was necessary to provide boarding places for women. This was done in 1869 and 1870 in both places, through the work of Miss Emily Davies and Miss Anna Clough. Both of these beginnings developed into the women’s colleges of Girton and Newnham. Since then, St. Margaret’s Hall, Somersville Hall, and Holloway College have been established for women. These institutions correspond to the German philosophical faculties [the colleges of literature and liberal arts in the United States]. An entrance examination is necessary for admission. The course of study is three years. The[Pg 76] final examination, called “tripos,” embraces three subjects; it corresponds to the German Oberlehrerexamen,—examinations given to candidates for the position of teachers in the Gymnasiums, the Realgymnasiums, Oberrealgymnasiums, etc. Theology, medicine, and law cannot be studied in these woman’s colleges (any more than in the American woman’s colleges). Part of the teachers live in the woman’s college buildings; part of them belong to the faculties of Oxford and Cambridge. The former are women tutors and professors.

The English colleges for women are maintained by private funds. Many women not wishing to take the “tripos” examination or to become teachers attend the university to acquire a higher education. Others prepare themselves for the degree of Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, or Doctor of Philosophy. These examinations are accepted by Oxford and Cambridge universities, but the women are not granted the corresponding titles, because the use of such titles would make the women Fellows of the University, which would entitle them to the use of the university gardens and parks, and to live in one of the colleges. All other universities in England, Scotland, and Ireland, with the exception of Trinity College, Dublin, admit women to all departments, accepting their examinations and granting them academic degrees.

[Pg 77]The women’s colleges are centers of sport,—incidentally they possess their own fire department. To arouse an interest in political affairs and to develop facility in speaking, debating clubs have been organized. More than 1300 women have graduated from Cambridge, and more than 1200 from the University of London. When Mary Putnam wished to study medicine in 1868, she had to go to Paris. Jex Blake, who attempted the same thing in Edinburgh in 1869, was driven out by the students. She went to London and was there at first given instruction by the noble Dr. Anstie. As early as 1870 there was formed in London a special School of Medicine for women, to which a hospital for women was later attached, being directed and supported entirely by women physicians. To-day, 553 women doctors are practicing in Great Britain. Of these 538 have expressed themselves in favor of, and 15 against, woman’s suffrage. In England, women were first permitted to take the public examination in dental surgery as late as 1908; while the Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Irish Royal Colleges of Surgeons had admitted them long before. Women can study law in England, but as yet they have not been admitted to the bar. If this privilege were granted to women, they would have to affiliate with the London lawyers’ associations, such as the Inner Temple, the Middle Temple, Gray’s Inn, etc. Members of these organizations must several times a month[Pg 78] attend the dinners or banquets of the lawyers. These corporate customs of the English Bar are said to exclude women from the legal profession just as similar customs have excluded them from tutorships and professorships in Oxford and Cambridge.

In spite of this, Miss Cave recently sought admission to Gray’s Inn, but was refused because she was a woman. She appealed her case to the Lords of Appeal in Ordinary, but they declared that they had no jurisdiction; the matter will be pursued further. The first woman preacher in England, a native of Germany, Miss v. Petzold, studied theology in Germany and graduated there. After her trial sermon in Leicester she was elected in preference to her male competitors. Later she accepted a call to Chicago. The Congregationalists have four women preachers; the Salvation Army over 3000. Except in those callings where personal ability is determinative, the salaries of English women are lower than those of the men. The women have a large field for their efforts in the public schools (where there are three women teachers to one man teacher). In the secondary schools for girls, instruction and control are entirely in the hands of women; their salaries are quite sufficient (the minimum being 100 pounds sterling, about $500). As we have seen, the higher institutions of learning also offer the women well-paid positions (the tutors[Pg 79] being paid $2000, with board and lodging; the principals $2500).

The well-paid civil offices are reserved for the men. Although there are more women teachers and more female students in the schools than males, there are 244 male inspectors of public schools and 18 women inspectors; the male inspector-general is paid 1000 pounds sterling annually, the woman inspector-general 500 pounds. In the secondary schools there are 20 male inspectors and 3 women inspectors with annual salaries of 400 to 800 pounds, and 300 pounds respectively. The women teachers of the elementary schools (of whom there are approximately 111,000) draw on an average two thirds the salary of the men teachers, though they have the same training and do the same amount of work.

In spite of the fact that there are two million women engaged in industry, there are 900 male factory inspectors and hardly 60 female factory inspectors. Here again the men are paid 1000 pounds and the women only 500 pounds a year. In the postal and telegraph service the same injustice exists: the men begin with a minimum wage of 20 shillings a week, while the women are paid 14 shillings; the men increase their salaries to 62 shillings a week; the women to 30 shillings. The male telegraph operator begins with 18 shillings and is finally given 65 shillings a[Pg 80] week; the woman telegraph operator begins with 16 and reaches 40 shillings. The male clerks of the second division of the civil service are paid 250 pounds and the women 100 annually. In 1908, the number of women employees in the postal and telegraph service of Great Britain was 13,259; the number of women supernumeraries, 30,476: total number, 43,735. The highest positions (heads of departments, staff officers) have been attained by 4 women and by 178 men.

In recent years many new callings have been opened to women living in the cities. They are engaged in the manufacture of confectionery. Prominent and wealthy women have established businesses of their own, in which fine confections are produced,—in many cases by destitute, nervous, and overworked women music teachers. Women are active as bookbinders, stockbrokers, bills of exchange agents, auditors, teachers of domestic economy, instructors in gymnastics, ladies’ guides, wardrobe dealers (the costly robes of the women of fashion are sold on commission through agents), paperers and decorators, etc.

The Woman’s Institute[47] has published a complete handbook on the occupations of women. This book does not omit the occupation of explorer, in which Mrs. French Sheldon has distinguished herself (by exploration in the interior of Africa). In London, the[Pg 81] number of women engaged in gainful pursuits is naturally very large, many of the women being alone in the world. The women journalists and authoresses in London have been numerous enough to organize a club of their own,—the Writers’ Club, in the Strand. The number of women employed in commercial houses is very large,—450,000. The weekly wages, especially the wages of the saleswomen in the shops, are often quite moderate, 20 to 25 shillings where exceptional demands are made as to attractive dress and appearance. The women have organized the Shop Assistants’ Union. For women with this weekly wage the securing of good rooms and board at a reasonable price is a vital question. There are three apartment houses for workingwomen,—the Sloane Garden Houses, and the apartments for women in Chenies Street and in York Street. Women teachers, designers, artists, bookkeepers, cashiers, secretaries and stenographers obtain room and board here at varying rates. There are bedrooms (with two beds) for 4½ to 5 shillings a week for each person, furnished rooms for 10 to 14 shillings. The dining room is a restaurant. Only the evening meal, dinner (served from 6 to 7), is served to all at once. This meal costs 10 pence (20 cents). In Chenies Street living expenses are somewhat higher: 6 pence for breakfast, 9 pence for luncheon, 1 shilling for dinner; which is about 55[Pg 82] cents a day for board. For suites of two to four rooms $15 to $30 a month is charged. The Alexandra House in Kensington offers women artists similar privileges; the Brabanzon House (under the protection of the Countess of Meath) accommodates employees of the shops only. Since the English women are—fortunately—independent in spirit, these institutions lack the scholastic, monastic, or tutelary characteristics that are unfortunately found in many similar institutions on the continent.

Very few of the English women have become industrial entrepreneurs. However, they have directed their attention to agriculture as a means of earning a livelihood and have organized agricultural schools for women. Here the women engage especially in poultry raising, vegetable and fruit growing, which in England are very lucrative; England annually imports 41 million pounds’ worth of milk, eggs, poultry, vegetables, and fruits. The councils of London, Berkshire, Essex, and Kent counties support the Horticultural College for women in Swanley, Kent, which was founded privately by wealthy and influential persons. In England 100,000 women are engaged in agriculture. The demand for trained women gardeners to-day still exceeds the supply. Trained women gardeners are frequently engaged for a long term of years to teach untrained gardeners. Women are [Pg 83]employed in the Royal Botanical Gardens in Kew and in Edinburgh. Holloway College has a woman gardener. In 1898 a model farm for women was founded by Lady Warwick in Reading. The institution began with twelve women students, who cultivated two acres of land. Within a year the number of students was quadrupled; and then eleven acres were cultivated instead of two.

The woman that wishes to learn stock feeding and dairying is sent to a special farm. The course requires two years. The Agricultural Association for Women, founded by Lady Warwick, aids the women agriculturists and finds positions for the pupils. In Great Britain there are eight public schools in which women can learn agriculture and gardening. Many county councils have established courses in gardening, to which women are admitted.

Agriculture is encouraged in England because the migration from the country to the city has increased extraordinarily. Agriculture is restricted in favor of stock raising, which gives employment to fewer laborers than agriculture. In spite of the great increase in population, the number of agriculturists has steadily decreased since 1851. On the other hand, the industrial population (and it is predominantly urban) has increased significantly. Every industrialization means a pauperization to a certain extent. It produces the[Pg 84] army of unskilled laborers, the victims of the sweating system, who in a destitute condition are left to eke out their wretched existence in the “East Ends” of the large cities. There is no corresponding misery in the country districts. A marked industrialization therefore causes a degree of general pauperism such as is unknown in the agricultural regions of western Europe. The pursuit of gardening among women has a social-political significance. The English laboring population is estimated at 4,000,000 people, among whom the trade-union movement has made considerable progress. The English trade-union statistics of 1904 show 148 trade-unions having women members. There are all together 125,094 female members, i.e. 6.7 per cent of all organized laborers. The greatest number of these are in the textile industries (almost 100,000). The total number of women laborers in this industry is 800,000.

 

  Men
(SHIL. A WEEK)
Women
(SHIL. A WEEK)
Cotton Industry 29.6 18.8
Woolen Industry 26.1 13.1
Lace Industry 39.6 13.5
Woven Goods Industry 31.5 14.3
Linen Industry 22.4 10.9
Jute Industry 21.7 13.5[48]

 

[Pg 85]In the textile industry, in which women are better organized than elsewhere (there being 96,000), there existed in 1906 the preceding difference between the wages of men and women (see table, p. 84).

The organization of women laborers was first advocated by Mrs. Paterson and Miss Simcox at the trade-union congress held in Glasgow in 1875. But this organization is confronted with the same difficulties as exist elsewhere: the women believe that they are engaged in non-domestic work only temporarily; therefore they are interested in the improvement of labor only to a slight degree, and in addition are burdened with housework; while the male laborer is free when the factory closes. In almost all industries women are paid lower wages than men,—partly because those who are poorly equipped are given the lower grades of work and are not given an opportunity to do the more difficult work; partly, too, because they are women, i.e. people of the second order. Weekly wages of 5 to 7 shillings are common. Naturally, the workingwoman who is all alone in the world cannot exist on such a sum. In one industry only the women are given the same pay as the men for doing the same work,—this is the textile industry in Lancashire. Since 1847 this industry has been protected by a law prohibiting night work for women. In this industry men and women laborers are organized[Pg 86] in the same trade-union. The standard of living of the whole body of workers is very high. There can be no doubt that the legislation for the protection of the laborers of this industry, in which the exploitation of women and children had been carried to the extreme previous to 1847, has caused the raising of the general standard of living. Without the intervention of law, exploitation would have been pursued further in this industry. So the English women have before them an example of the salutary effect of legislation for the protection of the laborers in the textile industries. Nevertheless, there is in England a faction among the woman’s rights advocates which vigorously resists every movement for the protection of women laborers; it has organized itself into the “League for Freedom of Labor Defense.” It acts on the principle that every law for the protection of women laborers signifies an unjustifiable tutelage; that the workingwomen should defend themselves through the organization of trade-unions; that the laws for the protection of women laborers decrease women’s opportunities for work and drive them from their positions, which are filled by men (who can work at night).

These fears are based purely on theory. In practice they are realized only in entirely isolated cases. The truth is that legislation for the protection of women laborers (prohibition of night work and the fixing[Pg 87] of a maximum number of work hours a day) is entirely favorable to an overwhelming majority of workingwomen. It protects them against a degree of exploitation that they could not resist unaided because the majority of them are not organized, and have no power to organize themselves; they will secure this power only through laws protecting women laborers. A comparative international study of laws for the protection of women laborers, published by the Belgian department of labor,[49] shows that the number of women laborers has nowhere decreased, and that wages have not declined as a result.

Concerning this point Mrs. Sidney Webb says: “In most cases women cannot be replaced by men, either because the men are not sufficiently dextrous or because their labor is too expensive. What employer will pay a man 20 to 30 shillings a week when a woman can accomplish just as much for 5 to 12 shillings a week?” We shall return to this subject in discussing France.

Those women that are members of trade-unions persistently demand the right to vote; many of them intimate that through this right they expect to secure an increase in wages. Naturally the wishes of women laborers possessing the franchise will be considered very differently from the wishes of those not possessing[Pg 88] this right. Proof of this has been given by the American woman’s suffrage states. Previous to the debates on woman’s suffrage in Parliament in 1904, a deputation of workingwomen from the potteries in Staffordshire presented the members of Parliament from that district with a petition having 4000 signatures, requesting the introduction of a woman’s suffrage bill, so that women might not continue to be excluded from all well-paid positions on account of their political inferiority. On this occasion the Hon. Mr. A. L. Emmott (member of Parliament from the Oldham district) declared that the salary of the women employees in the postal savings banks had been reduced from 65 pounds (with an annual increase of 3 pounds) to 55 pounds (with an annual increase of 2 pounds, 10 shillings). This would have been impossible if women had had the right to vote. Domestic servants are as yet organized only to a small extent, but they are well trained; they number 1,331,000.

In none of the Anglo-Saxon countries of the world is there a schism between the woman’s rights movements of the middle class and the Social-Democrats, such as is found in Germany. In each of the Anglo-Saxon countries there is a Socialist, and even an Anarchist party, but these parties do not antagonize the woman’s rights movement. The republican constitutions in America,—the more democratic institutions[Pg 89] of society,—in general moderate the acute opposition. The absence of historical obstacles has a conciliating influence everywhere in these countries. In England, where history, monarchy, and traditional class antagonism seem to give socialism favorable conditions of growth, socialism has for a long time been hampered by the trade-unions. In other words, the English workingmen, the first to organize in Europe, had already improved their condition greatly when the socialistic propaganda commenced in England. In their trade-unions they confined themselves to the economic field; they avoided mixing economics with politics; they worked with both parties, they steered clear of class hatred, and it was difficult to influence them with the speculative ultimate aims of social democracy. It has been only in the last decade that social-democracy has made any progress in England; therefore in the woman’s rights movement middle-class women and workingwomen work together peaceably.

Of all the women in Europe the English women first became conscious of their duty toward the lower classes. In this atmosphere,—clubs and homes for working girls, and the London “College for Working Women,”—institutions such as we on the continent know only in isolated cases flourished readily. These institutions devote their attention to the girls of the lower ranks of society.

[Pg 90]The oldest club is the “Soho Club and Home for Working Girls” in Soho Square, London, founded in 1880 by the Hon. Maude Stanley. It is open from seven in the morning to ten at night and also on Sunday. Tea can be obtained for 2½ pence (5 cents), and dinner for 6½ pence (13 cents). The admission fee is 1 shilling, the annual dues are 8 shillings. The members have a library at their disposal, and they publish a club magazine, The London Girls’ Club Union Magazine. Members of such clubs (including those outside London) have formed themselves into a union. The members of the committee—composed of wealthy and influential women—concern themselves personally with the affairs of the clubs, giving not only their money, but their time and influence. The “College for Working Women” has existed in Fitzroy Square for more than 25 years. Here are taught English, French, history, geography, drawing, arithmetic, reading, writing, singing, cooking, sewing, wood turning, and other subjects. The quarterly fee is 1 shilling (for use of the library, attending lectures, etc.), the fees for the courses range from 1 shilling and 3 pence to 2 shillings and 6 pence (31 to 62 cents) quarterly. A commission gives examinations. The institution grants scholarships and gives prizes. The number of such clubs in the whole of Great Britain is estimated at 800.

The English woman is developing a considerable[Pg 91] activity in the sociological field. Florence Nightingale, who organized a regular hospital service on the field of battle during the Crimean War (1854), upon her return to England took steps to secure the training of educated women for the nursing profession, in which the English nurse has been the model. The most important Training College for nurses not connected with religious orders is in Henrietta Street, in London. Still this distinguished profession, which is represented in the International Red Cross Society, has not yet attained state registration of nurses,—i.e. an officially prescribed course of study concluding with a state examination.

The English midwives are vehemently complaining because the new Midwives Act will be deliberated on by a commission having no midwife as a member. The superintendent of the London Institute for Midwives has protested against this on behalf of 26,000 midwives.

Another woman, Octavia Hill, participated in the official inquiry of the living conditions of the London East End, which led to a systematic campaign against the slums. This work is at present continued in London by 31 or more women sanitary officers. They supplement the work of the factory inspectors, since they inspect the conditions under which women home-workers live. In the whole country there are more than 80 such women sanitary officers.

[Pg 92]The home-workers are mostly women. Half of the 900,000 or more English women engaged in the manufacture of ready-made clothing are permitted to work at home. Their wages are wretchedly low. The government, which pays the men of the Woolwich Arsenal trade-union wages, is one of the worst exploiters of women (who do not have the right to vote); in the Army Clothing Works the government employs women either directly or indirectly (as home-workers through sweaters).[50]

The urgent need of widening woman’s field of labor and improving her conditions of labor is clearly stated in a lecture which Miss B. L. Hutchins delivered before the Royal Statistical Society. According to the census of 1901 there were 1,070,000 more women than men in Great Britain. In 1901, of every 1000 persons 516 were women (in 1841, only 511 were women). The longevity of women is higher than that of men (47.77 to 44.13). When the old age pensions were introduced, 135 women to every 100 men applied for aid. Only half of the adult women (5,700,000) are provided for through marriage, and then only for 20 to 30 years of their lives. Previous to marriage, and afterward, most of the women are dependent on their own work for a living. Because English women know from experience that their conditions[Pg 93] of labor can be improved only through the exercise of the suffrage, they have adopted their “militant tactics.”

In the field of poor-relief England again has taken the lead, inasmuch as she has permitted women to fill honorary posts in the municipal administration of the poor-law. At the present time 1162 women are engaged in this work, 147 of whom are rural district councillors.

The chief reform efforts of the women were directed to the care of children and to the workhouses, through which channels private aid reaches the recipient. Still, among 22,000 guardians of the poor the number of women hardly reaches 1000. The old prejudice against women asserted itself even in this field. A “Society for Promoting the Return of Women as Poor-law Guardians” is endeavoring to hasten reform.[51]

The Englishman has the valuable characteristic of forming organizations that strive to achieve very definite, though often temporary, ends, thus giving private initiative great flexibility. Such an organization, with a limited purpose, is the “Woman’s Coöperative Gild,” founded in 1883. Its purpose is to promote the coöperative movement (as far as consumption is concerned) among women, and to show them their enormous social and economic power as consumers. Women are the chief purchasers, as they purchase the housekeeping[Pg 94] supplies. It is to their interest to purchase through the coöperative associations that exclude the middlemen, and at the end of the year pay a dividend to the members of the associations. These associations can exercise an important social influence inasmuch as they create model conditions of labor for their employees (short working day, high wages, early closing of the shops, no work on Sundays or holidays, opportunity to sit down during working hours, insurance against sickness, old age insurance, sanitary conditions of labor, etc.). The Gild organizes women into coöperative societies, and by theoretical as well as practical studies informs the women of the advantages of the coöperative system. The movement to-day numbers 26,000 members.

In England a marked increase in the use of alcoholic liquors among women was noticed; whereupon legal and medical measures were taken to curb the evil. The most effective measure would be an attack on the drunkenness of the husband, which destroys the home.

The official report of the first English school for mothers, located in St. Pancras, London, has just appeared. This report shows that the experiment has been entirely successful. Of all measures to decrease the death rate among children, the establishment of schools for mothers is the best. During the course of instruction the young married women were [Pg 95]recommended to organize mothers’ clubs in order to secure the necessaries of life more cheaply. The school for mothers also attempts to give the young mothers nourishing meals, which can be furnished for the low sum of 2¾ pence (about 6 cents).

In the field of morals English women have achieved a success which might well excite the envy of other countries; viz. the repeal of the law of 1869 concerning the state regulation of prostitution. The law had hardly been accepted by an accidental majority when public opinion, under the leadership of members of Parliament, doctors, and preachers, protested against the measure. Nothing made such an impression as the public appearance of a woman on behalf of the repeal of this measure concerning women. In spite of all scorn, all feigned and frequently malicious pretensions not to comprehend her, in spite of all attempts, frequently brutal, to browbeat her,—Josephine Butler from 1870 to 1886 unswervingly supported the view that the regulation was to be condemned from the legal, sanitary, and moral viewpoint. Through the tireless work of Mrs. Butler and her faithful associates, Parliament in 1886 repealed the act providing for the regulation of prostitution. Since 1875, Mrs. Butler has organized internationally the struggle against the official regulation of prostitution. On December 30, 1906, death came to the noble woman.

[Pg 96]Conditions in England are an evidence of how much more difficult it is for the woman’s rights movement to make progress in old countries than in new. Traditions are deeply rooted, customs are firmly established, the whole weight of the past is blocking the wheels of progress. In countries with older civilization the woman’s question is entirely a question of force.[52]

 

CANADA

Total population:5,372,600.
Women:2,619,578.
Men:2,751,473.
Canadian Federation of Women’s Clubs.
Canadian Woman’s Suffrage Association.


Politically Canada belongs to England, geographically it is a part of North America. The Canadian women take a keen interest in the woman’s rights movement of the United States, which is setting them an excellent example. The last congress of the “International Council of Women” met in Toronto, Canada, under the presidency of Lady Aberdeen, the present president and the wife of the former governor-general of Canada. Canada is a large, young, agricultural country with large families and primitive needs. Therefore the[Pg 97] progress of the woman’s rights movement is less marked in Canada than in the United States and England. Throughout Canada the workingwoman is paid less than the workingman, partly because she is more poorly trained, partly because she is kept in subordinate positions, partly because, in order to find work at all, she must offer her services for less money. Even when teaching, or doing piecework, woman is paid less than man. In Canada there is as yet no political woman’s rights movement strong enough to rectify this injustice by means of organizations and laws as has been done in Australia. As yet there are no women preachers in Canada. Women lawyers are confronted both with popular prejudice and legal obstacles. The study and practice of medicine is made very difficult for women, especially in Quebec and Montreal. In New Brunswick and Ontario as well as in the northwest provinces there is a more liberal attitude toward women’s pursuit of higher education. No Canadian university excludes women entirely, but not a few of the higher institutions of learning refuse women admission to certain courses and refuse to grant certain degrees. The prevailing property laws in the eastern part of Canada legalize joint property holding (and we know what that means for woman); in the western part there is separation of property rights or at least separate control over earnings, the wife having full control of her wages. The male[Pg 98] Canadian, when twenty-one years old, becomes a voter and has full political rights.[53] But the Canadian woman has only restricted suffrage rights. Unmarried women that are taxpayers exercise only active suffrage in municipal and school elections. Each province has its own laws regulating these conditions of suffrage.

The Copenhagen Congress (1906) of the International Woman’s Suffrage Alliance promoted the cause of woman’s suffrage in Canada very considerably. At a public meeting in which the Canadian delegate, Mrs. MacDonald Denison, gave a report of the work of the International Congress, a resolution favoring woman’s suffrage was adopted, and this was used very effectively in propaganda. This propaganda was carried on among women’s clubs, students’ clubs, debating clubs, etc. The intellectual élite is to-day in favor of woman’s suffrage. In 1907 the Canadian Woman’s Suffrage Association, supported by the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, the Women Teachers, the Medical Alumnæ, the Progressive Thought Association, the Toronto Local Council of Women, and the Progressive Club, sent a delegation to the Mayor and Council of the city of Toronto to express their support of a resolution which the Council had drawn up favoring the right of married women to vote in municipal elections.[Pg 99] Thus supported, the resolution was presented to the authorized commission, but here it was weakened by an amendment (granting the suffrage only to married women owning property). The author of this amendment, a member of the Toronto City Council, received his reward for this kindness to the women in the form of a defeat at the next election.

Organizations favoring woman’s suffrage have been founded throughout the country (Halifax, Nova Scotia; St. John, New Brunswick). Woman’s suffrage advocates speak in mass meetings and in men’s clubs, etc.[54]

A demand for woman’s suffrage, made by the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, was answered evasively by the Prime Minister, Sir Wilfred Laurier,—the provincial parliaments must take the matter up first, then the Dominion Parliament can consider it. In the spring of 1909 the City Council of Toronto sent a petition favoring woman’s suffrage to the Canadian Parliament, and at the same time 1000 woman’s suffrage advocates called on the Prime Minister. The 1909 Congress of the International Woman’s Suffrage Alliance will undoubtedly help the Canadian woman’s suffrage movement.

 [Pg 100]

SOUTH AFRICA

Natal and Cape Colony[55]
Total population:1,830,063.
Transvaal
Total population:1,354,200.
Woman’s Suffrage Association for all three countries.


In South Africa, Natal was the leader in the woman’s rights movement. In 1902, through the work of Mr. and Mrs. Ancketill, the Woman’s Equal Suffrage League was organized, which endeavored primarily to interest and educate its members. Later, in 1904, public propaganda was begun. In June a petition was presented to the Lower House by Mr. Ancketill. When he presented the matter in the form of a motion, it was not put to a vote, owing to the newness of the subject. The agricultural population opposes woman’s suffrage; the urban population favors it. The woman’s rights movement is made difficult in South Africa by the following circumstances: An enervating climate “that makes people languidly content with things as they are.” The lack of educated and independent women (women teachers are state employees); the lack of a numerous class of workingwomen; difficult housekeeping, owing to the untrustworthiness of the natives as domestic[Pg 101] servants; the peculiar position of men as taxpayers (men only pay a poll tax) and as arms bearers (all men must serve in the army).[56]

In Cape Colony similar conditions prevail. The Women’s Enfranchisement League was formed in 1907; and in July, 1907, there took place the first woman’s suffrage debate in Parliament. The woman’s suffrage societies of Natal, Cape Colony, and the Transvaal have formed an association and have joined the International Woman’s Suffrage Alliance. In Natal and Cape Colony women taxpayers exercise the right to vote in municipal affairs. The regulation of the suffrage qualifications for the Federal Parliament is being considered. The South African delegates in London (1909) expressed the fear that women would not be given the federal suffrage.

 

THE SCANDINAVIAN COUNTRIES

Sweden
Total population:5,377,713.
Women:2,751,257.
Men:2,626,456.
 
Finland
Total population:2,712,562.
Women:1,370,480.
Men:1,342,082.
[Pg 102]
Norway
Total population:2,240,860.
Women:1,155,169.
Men:1,085,691.
 
Denmark
Total population:2,588,919.
Women:1,331,154.
Men:1,257,765.


Sweden, Finland, Norway, and Denmark will be grouped together since they are so closely connected by race and culture; repetition will thereby be avoided, and clearness promoted.

All four countries have the advantage of having a population largely agricultural,—a population scattered in small groups. Clearly, the problem of dealing with congested masses of people is here absent. Everywhere there is an eagerness for education. The educational average is high. The position of woman is one of freedom, for here have been kept alive the old Germanic traditions which we [the Germans] know only from reading Cæsar or Tacitus. An external factor in hastening the solution of the question of woman’s rights was the very unusual numerical superiority of women. The foreign wars, which took the majority of the men away from home for long periods of time,—first in the Middle Ages, and then again in the [Pg 103]seventeenth and eighteenth centuries,—and the fact that the Scandinavian countries themselves were afflicted with wars only to a small extent, explain the freedom of the Scandinavian women. Like the English women, they had for centuries not known the significance of war for woman. In the absence of the men, women continued the transaction of business and industrial enterprises. In the name of the feudal law and as heads of families they administered affairs, exercising rights that were elsewhere denied to women.

 

SWEDEN

Total population:5,377,213.
Women:2,751,257.
Men:2,626,456.
Swedish Association of Women’s Clubs.
Woman’s Suffrage Society.


In Sweden the woman’s rights movement is closely connected with that of the United States. The founder of the Swedish woman’s rights movement was Frederika Bremer, who in 1845 visited the United States, studying the conditions of the women there. Upon her return she encouraged the Swedish women through her novel Hertha to emancipate themselves. This took place in 1856. The government, being unable to disregard the free traditions of the past, was thoroughly[Pg 104] in favor of the demands of the woman’s rights movement. As early as 1700, women owning property exercised the right of voting in the election of ministers. In 1843 this right had been extended to all women taxpayers. In 1845 the daughter’s right of inheritance had been made equal to that of the son’s. In 1853 was begun the custom of appointing women teachers in the small rural schools; in 1859 women were admitted as teachers in all public institutions of learning. Since 1861 women have been eligible as dentists, regimental surgeons, and organists (but not as preachers). In 1862 every unmarried woman or widow over twenty-one years of age, and paying a tax of 500 crowns (about $135), was granted active suffrage in municipal affairs. The municipal electors, inasmuch as they elect the members of the Landsthing (county council) and the members of the town councils, exercise a political influence, for the members of the Landsthing and the town councils elect the members of the two Chambers of the Riksdag, the national legislative body. On February 10, 1909, all taxpaying women (unmarried, widowed, and married) were granted the passive suffrage (except for the office of county councillor). Here is a curious fact,—married women that do not possess the right to vote in municipal affairs can still hold office!

In 1866 the art academies were opened to women, in 1870, the universities; later women were permitted to[Pg 105] enter the postal and telegraph service. In peculiar contrast to these reforms are the old regulations concerning the guardianship of women,[57] which has been especially supported by the nobility and conservatives, and has been used chiefly to maintain the subordination of married women.

Against this condition the “Association to Advocate the Right of Married Women to Possess Property” has struggled since 1873. It secured, in 1874, the right of women to make a marriage contract providing for the separation of property.[58] This association now undertook the political education of the women voters in municipal elections; hitherto they had made little use of their right to vote (in 1887, of 62,362 women having the right to vote only 4844 voted). Thanks to the propaganda of this association, participation in elections is to-day quite general. The introduction of coeducation in the secondary schools is also due to the activity of this association, supported by Professor Wallis, who had investigated coeducation in the United States. But in the field of secondary education there is still much to be done for Swedish women,—their salaries as teachers are lower than those of men; in[Pg 106] matters of advancement and pensions women are discriminated against, though they are expected to possess professional training and ability equal to that of the men.

In 1889 the Baroness of Adlersparre succeeded, through untiring propaganda, in securing for women admission to school and poor-law administration. To the baroness is due also the revival of needlework as an applied art, as well as the revival of agricultural instruction for women. All of these ideas she had expressed since 1859 in her magazine For the Home (Fürs Heim).

Since 1884 the center of the Swedish woman’s rights movement has been the “Frederika Bremer League,” founded by the Baroness of Adlersparre. This is a sort of “Woman’s Institute,” and undertakes inquiries, collects data, secures employment, organizes members of trades and professions, fixes minimum wages, organizes petitions, gives advice, offers leadership, gives stipends; in short, in various ways it centralizes the Swedish Women’s rights movement. In 1896 the “Association to Advocate the Right of Married Women to Possess Property” affiliated with the “Frederika Bremer League.”

The following are the facts concerning the work of educated women in Sweden: The number of elementary school teachers is about double that of the men (in[Pg 107] 1899 there were 9950 women as compared with 5322 men). The salaries of the women are everywhere lower than those of the men. In 1908 there were 12,000 women teachers in the elementary schools, their annual salary being 1400 crowns ($375) or more.

There are 35 women doctors in Sweden, most of whom practice in Stockholm. The Swedish midwives are well trained. Nursing is a respected calling for educated women; also kinesiatrics (hygienic gymnastics), the latter being lucrative as well.

The first woman Doctor of Philosophy was Ellen Fries, who received the degree in 1883. Sonja Kowalewska was a professor in mathematics in the free University of Stockholm. Ellen Key is also a teacher, her field being sociology.

In Sweden there are two women university lecturers; one in law, the other in physics. As yet there are no women lawyers and preachers. The legislative act of February, 1909, which secures for women their appointment in all state institutions (educational, scientific, artistic, and industrial), will greatly improve woman’s professional prospects.

Sweden is not a land of large manufactories; hence there is no problem arising from the presence of large masses of industrial laborers. Since 1865 the wages of the agricultural laborers have risen 85 per cent for women and 65 per cent for men. There are 242,914[Pg 108] women engaged in agriculture, 57,053 in industry,—3400 of the latter being organized. There are 15,376 women employed in commerce; they are throughout paid lower wages than the men (400 to 1200 crowns, i.e. $107 to $321).

The organization of the workingwomen is not connected with the woman’s rights movement; it is affiliated with the workingmen’s movement. In this field Ellen Key has been quite active as a national educator. She is a supporter of the laws for the protection of women laborers, and on this point she has frequently met opposition among the woman’s rights advocates of Sweden (an opposition similar to that offered by the English Federation for Freedom of Labor Defense). In 1907 an exposition of home-work was held in Stockholm, similar to the German expositions.

The right to vote in national elections[59] in Sweden is exercised by landowners and taxpayers; however, only by men. Therefore there is a Swedish National Woman’s Suffrage Society, which in recent years has grown very considerably, having over 10,000 members. In the autumn of 1906 a delegation from the society was received by the Prime Minister and the King, who, however, could hold out no promise of a government measure favoring woman’s suffrage. The society then[Pg 109] tried to influence the Parliament with an enormous petition having 142,188 signatures. This petition was presented February 6, 1907.

In 1906 and 1907 the Labor party and the Liberal party inserted woman’s suffrage into their platforms and presented bills favoring the measure. Twice (in 1907 and 1908) Parliament rejected the clause providing for woman’s suffrage. On February 13, 1909, the Swedish males were granted universal suffrage (active and passive) in national elections; at the same time Parliament tried to appease the women by granting them the passive suffrage in municipal elections. In the spring of 1909 the bill concerning woman’s right to vote in national elections (Staaf Bill) was accepted by the Constitutional Commission by a vote of 11 to 9; the Lower House also accepted it, but it was rejected by the Upper House.

The political successes of the Norwegian women have a stimulating effect on Sweden.

Prohibition has influential advocates in Sweden, and supporters in Parliament. At the request of the Swedish women’s clubs, police matrons were appointed to coöperate with the police regulating prostitution in Stockholm, Helsingborg, Trelleborg, and Malmö. At the present time a commission is considering future plans for police regulation of prostitution in Sweden.

In Sweden, where there are about half a million organized[Pg 110] adherents to the cause of temperance, there are 77 daily papers that consistently print matter pertaining to temperance. Not only these 77 papers, most of whose editors are Good Templars, but at least 13 other dailies refuse all advertisements of alcoholic liquors.[60] In Norway, where similar conditions prevail, there are a quarter of a million temperance advocates, and about 40 daily papers that favor the cause.

 

FINLAND

Total population:2,712,562.
Women:1,370,480.
Men:1,342,082.
No league of Finnish women’s clubs.
No woman’s suffrage league.


The discussion of the Finnish woman’s rights movement will follow that of Sweden, for Finland was till 1809 politically a part of Sweden; the cultural tie still exists.

In Finland also, the woman’s rights movement is of literary origin,—Adelaide Enrooth and Frederika Runeburg preached the gospel of woman’s emancipation to an intellectual élite. Through the influence of Björnson, Ibsen, and Strindberg the discussion of the “social lie” (Gesellschaftslüge) became general. In[Pg 111] the eighties of the last century, the ideas and criticisms were turned into deeds and reforms. Above all a thorough education for woman was demanded. Since 1883, coeducational schools have been established through private funds in all cities of the country. These institutions have received state aid since 1891. They are secondary schools, having the curriculums of German Realschulen and Gymnasiums.[61] Not only is the student body composed of boys and girls, but the direction and instruction in these schools are divided equally between women and men; thereby the predominance of the men is counteracted. Even before the establishment of these schools women had privately prepared themselves for the Abiturientenexamen (examinations taken when leaving the secondary schools), and had entered the University of Helsingfors. In 1870 the first woman entered the University; in 1873 the second; in 1885 two more followed. To-day, 478 women are registered in Helsingfors. Most of these women are devoting themselves to the teaching profession, which is more favorable to women in Finland than in Sweden. The first woman doctor, Rosina Hickel, has been practicing in Helsingfors since 1879. The number of women doctors has since risen to 20.

[Pg 112]In Finland any reputable person can plead before the court; but there are no professional women lawyers and no women preachers. However, there are women architects and women factory inspectors. Since 1864, women have been employed in the postal service; since 1869, in the telegraph service and in the railway offices. Here they draw the same salary as the men, when acting in the same capacity. Commercial callings have been opened to women, and there is a demand for women as office clerks.

The statistical yearbook for Finland does not give separate statistics concerning workingwomen. The total number of laborers in 1906 was 113,578. Perhaps one tenth of these were women,—engaged chiefly in the textile and paper industries, and in the manufacture of provisions and ready-made clothing. There are few married women engaged in industrial work. Women are admitted to membership in the trade-unions.

In a monograph on women engaged in the ready-made clothing industry[62] are found the following facts (established by official investigation of 621 establishments employing 3205 women laborers): 97.7 per cent of the women were unmarried, and 2.3 per cent married; the minimum wages were 10 cents a day; the maximum, $1.50; the women laborers living with their parents or[Pg 113] relatives numbered 1358; the sanitary conditions were bad.

Home industry in Finland (as well as in Sweden and Norway) has recently shown a striking growth. It was on the point of succumbing to the cheap factory products. In order to perpetuate the industry, schools for housewives were established in connection with the public high schools in the rural districts. In these schools were taught, in addition to domestic science and agriculture, various domestic handicrafts that offered the women a pleasant and useful activity during the long winters. Not being carried on intensively, these handicrafts could never lead to exploitation and overwork.

In 1864 the guardianship of men over unmarried women was abolished. Married women are still under the guardianship of their husbands. Since 1889, the wife has been able to secure a separation of property by means of a contract. She has control of her earnings when joint property holding prevails. The unmarried women taxpayers and landowners have been voters in municipal elections since 1865. In the rural districts they have also had the right to hold local administrative offices. Just as in Sweden, they have the right to participate in the election of ministers; and since 1891 and 1893 they have had active and passive suffrage in regard to school boards and poor-law administration.

[Pg 114]Taking advantage of the collapse of Russia in the Far East, Finland—in May, 1906—established universal active and passive suffrage for all male and female citizens over twenty-four years of age. She was the first European country to take this step. On March 15, 1907, the Finnish women exercised for the first time the right of suffrage in state elections. Nineteen women were elected to the Parliament (comprising 200 representatives). The women belonged to all parties, but most of them were adherents of the Old-Finnish party (having 6 representatives) and of the Socialist party (having 9 representatives). Ten of the women representatives were either married or were widows. They belonged quite as much to the cultured, property-owning class as to the masses. This Parliament was dissolved in April, 1908. In the new elections of July, 25 women were elected as representatives. Here again most of the elected women belonged to the Old-Finnish party (with 6 representatives) and to the Socialists (with 13 representatives). Nine of the women representatives are married. Of the husbands of these women one is a doctor, one a clergyman, one a workingman, two are farmers, etc. Of the unmarried women representatives six are teachers, two are tailors, two are editors of women’s newspapers, four are traveling lecturers, one is a factory inspector, and there is one Doctor of Philosophy.

[Pg 115]In both parliaments the women presented numerous measures, some of general concern, others bearing on woman’s rights.[63] Some of the measures provided for: the improvement of the legal status of illicit children, parental authority, the protection of maternity, the abolition of the husband’s guardianship over the wife, the better protection of children, the protection of the woman on the street, the abolition of the regulation of prostitution, and the raising of the age of consent.

This list of measures indicates that the Finnish laws regulating marriage are still antiquated, and that the political emancipation of woman did not immediately effect her release from legal bondage. One of the Finnish woman’s advocates said, “Our short experience has taught us that we may still have a hard fight for equal rights.”

Not only the antiquated marriage laws are inconsistent with the national political rights of women; in the municipal election laws, too, woman is treated unjustly. Married women do not exercise the right of suffrage, and widows and unmarried women possess the passive suffrage only in the election of poor-law administrators and school boards. Two woman’s suffrage organizations—Unionen and Finsk [Pg 116]Kvinnoforening—have existed since 1906; they have no party affiliations. Two new woman’s suffrage societies—Swenska Kinnoforbundet and Naitlütto (Young-Finnish)—are party organizations.

The bill concerning the abolition of the official regulation of prostitution has meanwhile become law, replacing the former unsatisfactory, and for Finland, exceptional law. The law corresponding to the English Vagrancy Act (supplement to paragraph 45 of the Finnish Civil Code) provides that “whoever accosts a woman in public places for immoral purposes shall pay a fine of $50.”

On October 31, 1907, the manufacture, importation, sale, or storing of alcoholic liquors in any form whatever was prohibited by law. In recent years the Finnish woman temperance lecturer, Trigg Helenius, has carried on a successful international propaganda.

External and internal difficulties have to the present made impossible the formation of Finnish women’s clubs and a federation of the women voters.

 

NORWAY

Total population:2,240,860.
Women:1,155,169.
Men:1,085,691.
League of Norwegian Women’s Clubs.
Woman’s Suffrage Association.


[Pg 117]In recent years the Norwegian woman’s rights movement has made marked progress. Just as in the other Scandinavian countries, women were freed as early as the middle of the nineteenth century from the most burdensome legal restrictions by a liberal majority in Parliament. In 1854 the daughters were given the same right of inheritance as the sons, and male guardianship for unmarried women was abolished. However, the real woman’s rights movement, like that of Sweden and Finland, began in the eighties of the last century. Aasta Hansteen, Clara Collett, Björnson, and Ibsen had prepared public opinion for the emancipation of women. Like Frederika Bremer, Aasta Hansteen had emigrated to America owing to the prejudices of her countrymen; and, again like Frederika Bremer, she returned to her native land and could rejoice over the progress of the movement which she had instigated. In 1884 the Norwegian Woman’s League was founded. It has since 1886 published a semimonthly woman’s suffrage magazine, Nylaende. In 1887 the Norwegian woman’s rights movement won the same victory that Mrs. Butler had won in England in 1886: the official regulation of prostitution was abolished (neither in Sweden nor in Denmark has a similar reform been secured thus far). As early as 1882 several university faculties had admitted women, and in 1884 women were given the legal right[Pg 118] to secure an academic training, and they were declared eligible to receive all scholarships and all academic degrees. In 1904 a law was enacted admitting women to a number of public offices. Paragraph 12 of the Constitution excludes them from the office of minister in the Cabinet; they are excluded from consulships on international grounds, from military offices by the nature of the offices, and from the theological field through the backwardness of the Norwegian clergy. But they were admitted to the teaching and legal professions, and to some of the administrative departments of the government. The law made no discrimination between married and unmarried women. It is believed that the women can decide best for themselves whether or not they can combine the work of an administrative office with their domestic duties.

Hitherto the teaching profession had presented difficulties for women. Fewer women than men were appointed; the women were given the subordinate positions and paid lower salaries. The women had energetically protested against these conditions since the passing of the law of 1904; in 1908 they succeeded in having the magistrate of Christiania raise the initial salary of women teachers in the elementary schools from 900 crowns ($241) to 1100 crowns ($295), and the maximum salary from 1500 crowns ($402) to 1700[Pg 119] crowns ($455). In Christiania the women also demanded that women teachers be given the position of head master; there were many women in the profession,—2900 in the elementary schools, and 736 in the secondary schools.

The women shop assistants’ trade-union in an open meeting in Christiania has demanded equal pay for equal work.

By a law passed in May, 1908, women employees in the postal service were given the same pay as the men employees. As a result of this the women telegraph operators, supported by the Norwegian Woman’s Suffrage Association, drew up a petition requesting the same concession as was made the women postal employees, and presented the petition to the government and the Storthing. This movement favoring an increase of wages was strongly supported by the woman’s suffrage movement.

The women taxpayers (including married women) have possessed active and passive suffrage in municipal affairs since 1901. The property qualification requires that a tax of 300 crowns ($80) must be paid in the rural districts, and 400 crowns ($107) in cities. In 1902 women exercised the suffrage in municipal affairs for the first time; in Christiania 6 women were elected to municipal offices.

The Norwegian League of Women’s Clubs and the[Pg 120] woman’s suffrage associations protested to the government and to the Parliament because suffrage in the national elections had been withheld from the women. The separation of Sweden and Norway (1906), which concerned the women greatly, but in which they could exercise no voice, was a striking proof of woman’s powerlessness in civil affairs. Hence the Norwegian Woman’s Suffrage League instituted a woman’s ballot, in which 19,000 votes were cast in favor of separation, none being cast against it.

In 1907 six election bills favorable to woman’s suffrage were presented to the Storthing; and June 10, 1907, women taxpayers were granted active and passive suffrage in municipal elections (affecting about 300,000 women; 200,000 are still not enfranchised). This right of suffrage is accorded to married women. The next general elections will take place in 1909.

Since the Norwegian men have active and passive suffrage in parliamentary elections, the women also made their demands to the Storthing. The Ministry resolved, in pursuance of this demand, to present the Storthing with the requisite constitutional amendment (Article 52). The Storthing requested that before the next municipal elections (1910) the Ministry present a satisfactory bill providing for woman’s suffrage in municipal elections. At the present time 142 women are city councilors (122 in the cities).[Pg 121] In the autumn of 1909 women will for the first time participate in the parliamentary elections.

At two congresses of the International Woman’s Suffrage Alliance (Amsterdam, in 1908; and London, in 1909), Norway was officially represented by the wife of the Minister of State, Qvam.

The emancipation of women legally and in the professions had preceded their political emancipation. Norwegian women first practiced as dentists in 1872; since 1884, women have been druggists and have practiced medicine. They practice in all large cities. There are 38 women engaged as physicians for the courts, as school physicians, as university assistants in museums and laboratories, and as sanitary officers. Since 1904 there have been two women lawyers. Cand. jur. Elisa Sam was the first woman to profit by this reform. The first woman university professor was Mrs. Matilda Schjott in Christiania; to-day there are three such professors. There are 37 women architects. In 1888 married women were given the right to make marriage contracts providing for separate property holding. Even where there is joint property holding, the wife controls her earnings.

In Norway the law protects the illegitimate mother and her child better than elsewhere. The Norwegian law regards and punishes as accomplices in infanticide all those that drive a woman to such a step,—the[Pg 122] illicit father, the parents, the guardians, and employers, who desert a woman in such circumstances and put her out into the street. Since 1891, women have been eligible to hold office as poor-law administrators; since 1899 they can be members of school boards. The number of workingwomen is 67,000. Of these 2000 are organized.

 

DENMARK

Total population:2,588,919.
Women:1,331,154.
Men:1,257,765.
Federation of Danish Women’s Clubs.
Woman’s Suffrage League.


The origin of the woman’s rights movement in Denmark is also literary,—to Frederika Bremer in Sweden, Aasta Hansteen and Clara Collett in Norway, must be added as emancipators, Mathilda Fibiger and Pauline Worm in Denmark. The writings of both of these women in favor of emancipation,—“Clara Raphael’s Letters” and “Sensible People,”—date back as far as 1848; they were inspired by the liberal ideas prevailing in Germany previous to the “March Revolution.” An organized woman’s rights movement did not come into being until twenty-five years later. A liberal parliamentary majority in Denmark abolished, in 1857, male guardianship over unmarried[Pg 123] women; and in 1859 established the equal inheritance rights of daughters, thus following the example of Sweden and Norway. It was necessary first to secure the support of public opinion through a literary discussion of woman’s rights. This was carried on between 1868 and 1880 by Georg Brandes, who translated John Stuart Mill’s The Subjection of Women, and by Björnson and Ibsen. In 1871 Representative Bajer and his wife organized the first woman’s rights society, the “Danish Woman’s Club,” which rapidly spread throughout Denmark. At first the Club endeavored to secure a more thorough education for women, and therefore labored for the improvement of the girls’ high schools, and for the institution of coeducational schools. In 1876 it secured the admission of women to the University of Copenhagen.

In the teaching profession women are employed in greater numbers, and are better paid than in Sweden at the present time. There are 3003 women elementary school teachers and 2240 women teachers in the high schools. As yet there are no women lecturers or professors in the university.[64] Since 1860, women have filled subordinate positions in the postal and telegraph services, and since 1889 they have also filled the higher positions; there are in all 1500 women employees.[Pg 124] The subordinate positions in the national and local administrations are to a certain extent open to them. The number of women engaged in industrial pursuits is 47,617; the number of domestic servants, 89,000. The domestic servants are organized only to a limited extent (800 being organized). The women in the industries are better organized,—chiefly in the same trade-unions as the men. In 1899 the women comprised one fifth of the total number of organized laborers; since then this proportion has increased considerably. The average wages of the women domestic servants are 20 crowns ($5.36) a month; the average wages of the workingwomen are from 2 to 2.5 crowns (53 to 67 cents) a day.

Since 1880 the wife can secure separate property holding rights through a marriage contract. Where joint property holding prevails, the wife controls her own earnings and savings. In 1888 municipal suffrage was demanded by the “Danish Woman’s Club,” but the Rigsdag rejected the measure. Since then the question has occupied much attention. In 1906 the Congress of the Woman’s International Suffrage Alliance performed excellent propaganda work. New woman’s suffrage societies were organized, and the older societies were enlarged.[65] In the meantime the bill concerning[Pg 125] municipal suffrage was being sent from one House to the other. Finally, on February 26, 1908, it was adopted by the Upper House, on April 14 by the Lower House, and on April 20 signed by the King. All taxpayers, twenty-five years of age, were permitted to vote. All classes of women—widows, unmarried, and married women—were enfranchised. They have active and passive suffrage. In March, 1909, they exercised both rights for the first time. The participation in the election was general; six women were elected in Copenhagen. The women are now demanding the suffrage in national affairs. Immediately after the victory of 1908 the Woman’s Suffrage League organized strong demonstrations in forty cities in favor of this demand.

Here it must be mentioned that the women in Iceland were granted, in the autumn of 1907, active and passive suffrage in municipal affairs. In January, 1908, they participated in the elections for the first time. In Reikiavik, the capital, 2850 people voted, 1220 of whom were women. Four women were elected to the city council, one polling the highest number of votes. In 1909, the Icelandic Woman’s Suffrage League joined the International Woman’s Suffrage Alliance. A number of Icelandic woman’s suffrage societies in Canada have affiliated with the Canadian Woman’s Suffrage League.

[Pg 126]On March 30, 1906, official regulation of prostitution was abolished in Denmark; but a new law of similar character was enacted providing for stringent measures.

 

THE NETHERLANDS

Total population:5,673,237.
Women:2,583,535.
Men2,520,602.
Federation of the Netherlands Women’s Clubs.
Woman’s Suffrage League.


Although women are in a numerical superiority in the Netherlands, it is much less difficult for them to find non-domestic employment than it is for the German women, for instance. The Netherlands has large colonies and therefore a good market for its male workers. The educated Dutchman is kindly disposed toward the woman’s rights movement, and in the educated circles the wife really enjoys rights equal to those of the husband, which is less frequently the case among the lower classes. The marriage laws are based on the Code Napoleon, which, however, was considerably altered in 1838. The guardianship of the husband over the wife still prevails. According to paragraph 160 of the Civil Code the husband controls the personal property that the wife acquires; but he administers her real estate only with the wife’s consent. According[Pg 127] to paragraph 163 of the Civil Code the wife cannot give away, sell, mortgage, or acquire anything independently. She can do those things only with her husband’s written consent. No marriage contract can annul this requirement; but the wife can stipulate the independent control of her income. According to paragraph 1637 of the Civil Code the wife is permitted to control for the benefit of the family the money that she earns while fulfilling a labor contract. Affiliation cases, it is true, are recognized by law, but under considerable restrictions.

The first sign of the woman’s rights movement manifested itself in the Netherlands in 1846. At that time a woman appeared in public for the first time as a speaker. She was the Countess Mahrenholtz-Bülow, who introduced kindergartens (Fröbelsystem) into the Netherlands.

In 1857 elementary education was made compulsory in the Netherlands. At that time this instruction was free, undenominational, and under the control of the state; but in 1889 it was partly given over into denominational and private hands. The secondary schools for girls are partly municipal, partly private. Most of the elementary schools are coeducational; in the secondary schools the sexes are segregated; in the higher institutions of learning coeducation prevails, the right of girls to attend being granted as a matter[Pg 128] of course. Girls were admitted to the high schools also without any opposition. These measures were due to Minister Thorbecke. Thirty years ago the first woman registered at the University of Leyden. Women study and are granted degrees in all departments of the universities of Leyden, Utrecht, Gröningen, and Amsterdam. In the elementary, secondary, and higher institutions of learning, there are fewer women teachers than men, and the salary of the women teachers is lower. Women are now being appointed as science teachers in boys’ schools also. The government is planning measures opposed to having married women as teachers and as employees in the postal service. The women’s clubs are vigorously protesting against this. Women serve as examination commissioners and as members of school boards, though in small numbers. The city school boards rely almost entirely upon women for supervising the instruction in needlework. Since 1904 two women were appointed as state school inspectors, with salaries only sufficient for maintenance.

In the Netherlands there are 20 women doctors (31 including those in the colonies), 57 women druggists, 5 women lawyers, and one woman lecturer in the University of Gröningen. There are three women preachers in the Liberal “League of Protestants.” Since 1899 4 women have been factory inspectors;[Pg 129] 2, prison superintendents; 2, superintendents of rural schools. Thirty-four are in the courts for the protection of wards. Women participate in the care of the poor and the care of dependent children. The care of dependent children is in the hands of a national society, Pro juventute, which aided in securing juvenile courts in the Netherlands. Especially useful in the education and support of workingwomen has been the Tessel Benefit Society (Tessel Schadeverein), which is national in its organization.

It will be well to state here that the appointment of women factory inspectors was secured in a rather original manner. In 1898 a national exhibition of commodities produced by women was held in the Hague. In a conspicuous place the women placed an empty picture frame with this inscription: “The Women Inspectors of all These Commodities Produced by Women.” This hastened results.

The shop assistants of both sexes organized themselves conjointly in Amsterdam in 1898. There are two organizations of domestic servants. The Dutch woman’s rights advocates proved by investigation that for the same work the workingwomen—because they were women—were paid 50 per cent less than men. The “Workingwomen’s Information Bureau,” which was made into a permanent institution as a result of the exhibition of 1898, has been concerning itself with[Pg 130] the protection of workingwomen and with their organization. The women organizers belong to the middle class. The Socialist party in the Netherlands has been organizing workingwomen into trade-unions. In this the party has encountered the same difficulties as exist elsewhere; to the present time it can point only to small successes. Two of the Socialist woman’s rights advocates are Henrietta Roland and Roosje Vos. Henrietta Roland is of middle-class parentage, being the daughter of a lawyer; she is the wife of an artist of repute. Roosje Vos, on the contrary, comes from the lower classes. Both of these women played an important part in the strike of 1903. They organized the “United Garment Workers’ Union.”

In spite of the fact that a woman can be ruler of the Netherlands, the Dutch women possess only an insignificant right of suffrage. In the dike associations they have a right to vote if they are taxpayers or own property adjoining the dikes. In June, 1908, the Lutheran Synod gave women the same right to vote in church affairs as the men possess. The Evangelical Synod, on the other hand, rejected a similar measure as well as one providing for the ordaining of women preachers. An attempt to secure municipal suffrage for women failed, and resulted in the enactment of reactionary laws.

In 1883 Dr. Aletta Jacobs (the first woman doctor[Pg 131] in the Netherlands), acting on the advice of the well-known jurist—and later Minister—van Houten, requested an Amsterdam magistrate to enter her name on the list of municipal electors. As a taxpayer she was entitled to this right. At the same time she requested Parliament to grant her the suffrage in national elections. Both requests were summarily refused. In order to make such requests impossible in the future, parliament inserted the word “male” in the election law.[66] These occurrences aroused in the Dutch women an interest in political affairs; and in 1894 they organized a “Woman’s Suffrage Society,” which soon spread to all parts of the country. The Liberals, Radicals, Liberal Democrats, and Socialists admitted women members to their political clubs and frequently consulted the women concerning the selection of candidates. The clubs of the Conservative and Clerical parties have refused to admit women. At the general meeting in 1906 a part of the members of the “Woman’s Suffrage Society” separated from the organization and formed the “Woman’s Suffrage League” (the Bond voor Vrouwenkiesrecht,—the older organization was called Vereeniging voor Vrouenkiesrecht). Both carry on an energetic propaganda in the entire country, the older organization being the more radical. In 1908 the older organization made[Pg 132] all necessary preparations for the Amsterdam Congress of the Woman’s Suffrage Alliance, which resulted in a large increase in its membership (from 3500 to 6000), and resulted, furthermore, in the founding of a Men’s League for Woman’s Suffrage (modeled after the English organization). The question of woman’s suffrage has aroused a lively interest throughout the Netherlands; even the Bond increased its membership during the winter of 1908 and 1909 from 1500 to 3500.

In September, 1908, there were two great demonstrations in the Hague in favor of universal suffrage for both men and women. The right to vote in Holland is based on the payment of a property tax or ground rent; therefore numerous proposals in favor of widening the suffrage had been made previously. When a liberal ministry came into power in 1905, it undertook a reform of the suffrage laws; in 1907 the Committee on the Constitution, by a vote of six out of seven, recommended that Parliament grant active and passive suffrage to men and women. But with the fall of the Liberal ministry fell the hope of having this measure enacted, for there is nothing to be expected from the present government, composed of Catholic and Protestant Conservatives. As has already been stated, propaganda is in the meantime being carried on with increasing vigor, and in Java a woman’s suffrage society has also been organized. A noted[Pg 133] jurist, who is a member of the Dutch Bond voor Vrouwenkiesrecht, has just issued a pamphlet in which he proves the necessity of granting woman’s suffrage: “Man makes the laws. Wherever the interests of the unmarried or the married woman are in conflict with the interests of man, the rights of the woman will be set aside. This is injurious to man, woman, and child, and it blocks progress. The remedy is to be found only in woman’s suffrage. The granting of woman’s suffrage is an urgent demand of justice.”

 

SWITZERLAND[67]

Total population:3,313,817.
Women: about1,700,000.
Men: about1,616,000.
Federation of Swiss Women’s Clubs.
Woman’s Suffrage League.


Switzerland’s existence and welfare depend on the harmony of the German, the French, and the Italian elements of the population. Switzerland is accustomed to considering three racial elements; out of three different demands it produces one acceptable compromise. Naturally the Swiss woman’s rights movement has steadily developed in the most peaceful[Pg 134] manner. No literary manifesto, no declaration of principles of freedom is at the root of this movement. It is supported by public opinion, which is gradually being educated to the level of the demands of the movement. The woman’s rights movement began in Switzerland as late as 1880; in 1885 the Swiss woman’s club movement was started. The Federation of Women’s Clubs is made up of cantonal women’s clubs in Zurich, Berne, Geneva, St. Gallen, Basel, Lausanne, Neuchâtel, and in other cities, as well as of intercantonal clubs, such as the “Swiss Public Utility Woman’s Club” (Schweizer Gemeinnütziger Verein), “la Fraternité,” the “Intercantonal Committee of Federated Women,” etc. Recently a Catholic woman’s league was formed. Since 50 per cent of the Swiss women remain unmarried, the woman’s rights movement is a social necessity. In the field of education the authorities have been favorable to women in every way. In nine cantons the elementary schools are coeducational. There are public institutions for higher learning for girls in all cities. In German Switzerland (Zurich, Winterthur, St. Gallen, Berne) girls are admitted to the higher institutions of learning for boys, or they can prepare themselves in the girls’ schools for the examination required for entrance to the universities (Matura). There are 18 seminaries that admit girls only; the seminaries in Küssnacht, [Pg 135]Rorshach, and Croie are coeducational. Women teachers are not appointed in the elementary schools of the cantons of Glarus and Appenzell-Outer-Rhodes. On the other hand in the cantons of Geneva, Neuchâtel, and Ticino 59 to 66 per cent of the teachers in the elementary schools are women. They are given lower salaries than the men. The canton of Zurich pays (by law) equal wages to its men and women teachers, but the additional salary paid by the municipalities and rural districts to the men teachers is greater than that paid to the women. In its elementary schools the canton of Vaud employs 500 women teachers, some of whom are married. The Swiss universities have been open to women since the early sixties of the nineteenth century. As in France, the native women use this right far less than foreign women, especially Russians and Germans. The total number of women studying in the Swiss universities is about 700. Most of the Swiss women that have studied in the universities enter the teaching profession. Women are frequently employed as teachers in high schools, as clerks, and as librarians. Sometimes these positions are filled by foreign women.

The first woman lecturer in a university in which German is the language used has been employed in Berne since 1898. She is Dr. Anna Tumarkin, a native Russian, having the right to teach in universities[Pg 136] æsthetics and the history of modern philosophy. In 1909 she was appointed professor. In each of the universities of Zurich, Berne, and Geneva, a woman has been appointed as university lecturer. Women doctors practice in all of the larger cities. There are twelve in Zurich. The city council of Zurich has decided to furnish free assistance to women during confinement, and to establish a municipal maternity hospital. In Zurich there has been established for women a hospital entirely under the control of women; the chief physician is Frau Dr. Heim. The practice of law has been open to women in the canton of Zurich since 1899, and in the canton of Geneva since 1904. Miss Anna Mackenroth, Dr. jur., a native German, was the first Swiss woman lawyer. Miss Nelly Favre was the second. Miss Dr. Brüstlein was refused admission to the bar in Berne. Miss Favre was the first woman to plead before the Federal Court in Berne, the capital. As yet there are no women preachers in Switzerland. In Lausanne there is a woman engineer. In the field of technical schools for Swiss women, much remains to be done. The commercial education of women is also neglected by the state, while the professional training of men is everywhere promoted. Women are employed in the postal and telegraph service. The Swiss hotel system offers remunerative positions and thoroughly respectable[Pg 137] callings to women of good family. In 1900 the number of women laborers was 233,912; they are engaged chiefly in the textile and ready-made clothing industries, in lacemaking, cabinetmaking, and the manufacture of food products, pottery, perfumes, watches and clocks, jewelry, embroidery, and brushes.[68] Owing to French influence, laws for the protection of women laborers are opposed, especially in Geneva. The inspection of factories is largely in the hands of men. Home industry is a blessing in certain regions, a curse in others. This depends on the intensity of the work and on the degree of industrialism. The trade-union movement is still very weak among women laborers. According to the canton the movement has a purely economic or a socialist-political character. Only a few organizations of workingwomen belong to the Swiss Federation of Women’s Clubs. Since 1891 the men’s trade-unions have admitted women. The first women factory inspectors were appointed in 1908. According to the census of August 9, 1905, 92,136 persons in Switzerland are engaged in home industry; this number is 28.3 per cent of the total number of persons (325,022) engaged in these industries. The foremost[Pg 138] of the home industries is the manufacture of embroidery, engaging a total of 65,595 persons, of whom 53.5 per cent work at home. The next important home industries are silk-cloth weaving, engaging 12,478 persons (41 per cent of the total employed); watch making, engaging 12,071 persons in home industry (or 23.7 per cent of the total); silk-ribbon weaving, engaging 7557 persons (or 51.9 per cent of the total). The highest percentage of home workers is found among the straw plaiters (78.8 per cent); then follow the military uniform tailors (60.1 per cent), the embroidery makers (53.5 per cent), the wood carvers and ivory carvers (52 per cent), the silk-ribbon weavers (51.9 per cent), and the ready-made clothing workers (49.3 per cent). The International Association for Labor Legislation, as everybody knows, is trying to ascertain whether an international regulation of labor conditions is possible in the embroidery-making industry. The statistics just given indicate the importance of this investigation for Switzerland. The statistics of the home industries of Switzerland will be found in the ninth issue of the second volume of the Swiss Statistical Review (Zeitschrift für Schweizerische Statistik).

The new Swiss law for the protection of women laborers has produced a number of genuine improvements for the workingwomen. A maximum working[Pg 139] day of 10 hours and a working week of 60 hours have been established. Women can work overtime not more than 60 days a year; they are then paid at least 25 per cent extra. The most significant innovation is the legal regulation of vacations. Every laborer that is not doing piecework or being paid by the hour must, after one year of continuous service for the same firm, be granted six consecutive days of vacation with full pay; after two years of continuous service for the same firm the laborer must be given eight days; after three years of service ten days; and after the fourth year twelve days annually. A violation of this law renders the offending employer liable to a fine of 200 to 300 francs ($40 to $60).

In 1912 a new civil code will come into force. Its composition has been influenced by the German Civil Code. The government, however, regarded the “Swiss Federation of Women’s Clubs” as the representative of the women, and charged a member of the code commission to put himself into communication with the executive committee of the Federation and to express the wishes of the Federation at the deliberations of the committee. This is better than nothing, but still insufficient. When the civil code had been adopted, every male elector was given a copy; the women’s clubs secured copies only after prolonged effort.

[Pg 140]The property laws in the new Swiss Civil Code provide for joint property holding,—not separation of property rights. However, even with joint property holding the wife’s earnings and savings belong to her (a provision which the German cantons opposed). On the other hand, affiliation cases are admissible (the French cantons opposed them). The wife has the full status of a legal person before the law and full civil ability, and shares parental authority with the father. French Switzerland (through the influence of the Code Napoleon) opposes the pecuniary responsibility of the illegal father toward the mother and child. Official regulation of prostitution has been abolished in all the cantons except Geneva; several years ago a measure to introduce it again was rejected by the people of the Canton Zurich by a vote of 40,000 to 18,000. Geneva is the headquarters of the International Federation for the Abolition of the Official Regulation of Prostitution. In 1909 the abolition of the official regulation of prostitution was again demanded in the city council.

By a vote of the people the Canton Vaud accepted a measure prohibiting the manufacture, storage, and sale of absinthe.

Recently the Swiss women have presented a petition requesting that an illicit mother be granted the right to call herself “Frau” and use this designation (Mrs.)[Pg 141] before her name. The benevolent purpose of this movement is self-evident. Through this measure the illicit mother is placed in a position enabling her openly to devote herself to the rearing of her child. With this purpose in view, not less than 10,000 women have signed a petition to the Swiss Federal Council, requesting that a law be enacted compelling registrars to use the title “Frau” (Mrs.) when requested to do so by the person concerned. Thirty-four women’s clubs have collectively declared in favor of this petition.

Women exercise the right of municipal suffrage only in those localities whose male population is absent at work during a large part of the year (as in Russia). Women can be elected as members of school boards and as poor-law administrators in the Canton Zurich; as members of school boards in the Canton Neuchâtel. The question of granting women the right to vote in church affairs has long been advocated in the Canton Geneva by the Reverend Thomas Müller, a member of the Consistory of the National Protestant Church, and by Herr Locher, Chief of the Department of Public Instruction of the Canton Zurich. In the Canton Geneva, where there is separation of church and state, agitation in favor of the reform is being carried on. The women in the Canton Vaud have exercised the right to vote in the Église libre since 1899, and in the Église nationale since 1908.[Pg 142] Since 1909, women have exercised the right to vote in the Église évangélique libre of Geneva. The woman’s suffrage movement was really started by the renowned Professor Hilty, of Berne, who declared himself (in the Swiss Year Book of 1897) in favor of woman’s suffrage. The first society concerning itself exclusively with woman’s suffrage originated in Geneva (Association pour le suffrage feminin). Later other organizations were formed in Lausanne, Chaux de Fonds, Neuenburg, and Olten. The Woman’s Reading Circle of Berne had, since 1906, demanded political rights for women, and the Zurich Society for the Reform of Education for Girls had worked in favor of woman’s suffrage. On May 12, 1908, these seven societies organized themselves into the National Woman’s Suffrage League, and in June affiliated with the International Woman’s Suffrage Alliance. The Report of the International Woman’s Suffrage Congress, Amsterdam, 1908, explains in a very lucid manner the political backwardness of the Swiss women: Switzerland regards itself as the model democracy; time has been required to make it clear that politically the women of this model state still have everything to achieve. The meeting of the Committee of the International Council of Women in Geneva (September, 1908) accomplished much for the movement.

The Swiss Woman’s Public Utility Association,[Pg 143] which had refused to join the Swiss Federation of Women’s Clubs because the Federation concerned itself with political affairs (the Public Utility Association wishing to restrict itself to public utilities only), was given this instructive answer by Professor Hilty: “Public utility and politics are not mutually exclusive; an educated woman that wishes to make a living without troubling herself about politics is incomprehensible to me. The women ought to take Carlyle’s words to heart: ‘We are not here to submit to everything, but also to oppose, carefully to watch, and to win.’”

 

GERMANY

Total population:61,720,529.
Women:31,259,429.
Men:30,461,100.
German Federation of Women’s Clubs.
Woman’s Suffrage League.


In no European country has the woman’s rights movement been confronted with more unfavorable conditions; nowhere has it been more persistently opposed. In recent times the women of no other country have lived through conditions of war such as the German women underwent during the Thirty Years’ War and from 1807 to 1812. Such violence leaves a deep imprint on the character of a nation.

[Pg 144]Moreover, it has been the fate of no other civilized nation to owe its political existence to a war triumphantly fought out in less than one generation. Every war, every accentuation and promotion of militarism is a weakening of the forces of civilization and of woman’s influence. “German masculinity is still so young,” I once heard somebody say.

A reinforcement of the woman’s rights movement by a large Liberal majority in the national assemblies, such as we find in England, France, and Italy, is not to be thought of in Germany. The theories of the rights of man and of citizens were never applied by German Liberalism to woman in a broad sense, and the Socialist party is not yet in the majority. The political training of the German man has in many respects not yet been extended to include the principles of the American Declaration of Independence or the French Declaration of the Rights of Man; his respect for individual liberty has not yet been developed as in England; therefore he is much harder to win over to the cause of “woman’s rights.”

Hence the struggle against the official regulation of prostitution has been left chiefly to the German women; whereas in England and in France the physicians, lawyers, and members of Parliament have been the chief supporters of abolition. I am reminded also of the inexpressibly long and difficult struggle that we[Pg 145] women had to carry on in order to secure the admission of women to the universities; the establishment of high schools for girls; and the improvement of the opportunities given to women teachers. In no other country were women teachers for girls wronged to such an extent as in Germany. The results of the last industrial census (1907) give to the demands of the woman’s rights movement an invaluable support: Germany has nine and a half million married women, i.e. only one half of all adult women (over 18 years of age) are married. In Germany, too, marriage is not a lifelong “means of support” for woman, or a “means of support” for the whole number of women. Therefore the demands of woman for a complete professional and industrial training and freedom to choose her calling appear in the history of our time with a tremendous weight, a weight that the founders of the movement hardly anticipated.

The German woman’s rights movement originated during the troublous times immediately preceding the Revolution of 1848. The founders—Augusta Schmidt, Louise Otto-Peters, Henrietta Goldschmidt, Ottilie v. Steyber, Lina Morgenstern—were “forty-eighters”; they believed in the right of woman to an education, to work, and to choose her calling, and as a citizen to participate directly in public life. Only the first three of these demands are contained in the programme of[Pg 146] the “German General Woman’s Club” (founded in 1865 by four of these women, natives of Leipzig, on the anniversary of the battle of Leipzig). At that time woman’s right to vote was put aside as something utopian. The founders of the woman’s rights movement, however, from the very first included in their programme the question of women industrial laborers, and attacked the question in a practical way by organizing a society for the education of workingwomen. The energies of the middle-class women were at this time very naturally absorbed by their own affairs. They suffered want, material as well as intellectual. Therefore it was a matter of securing a livelihood for middle-class women no longer provided for at home. This was the first duty of a woman’s rights movement originating with the middle class.

Of special service in the field of education and the liberal professions[69] were the efforts of Augusta Schmidt, Henrietta Goldschmidt, Marie Loeper-Housselle, Helena Lang, Maria Lischnewska, and Mrs. Kettler. Kindergartens were established; also courses for the instruction of adult women, for women principals of high schools, for women in the Gymnasiums and Realgymnasiums. Moreover, the admission of women to the universities was secured; the General Association[Pg 147] of German Women Teachers was founded, also the Prussian Association of Women Public School Teachers, and high schools for girls. The Prussian law of 1908 for the reform of girls’ high schools (providing for the education of girls over 12 years,—Realgymnasiums or Gymnasiums for girls from 12 to 16 years, women’s colleges for women from 16 to 18 years) was enacted under pressure from the German woman’s rights movement. Both the state and city must now do more for the education of girls. The academically trained women teachers in the high schools are given consideration when the appointments of principals and teachers for the advanced classes are made. The women teachers have organized themselves and are demanding salaries equal to those of the men teachers. At the present time girls are admitted to the boys’ schools (Gymnasiums, Realgymnasiums, etc.) in Baden, Hessen, the Imperial Provinces of Alsace and Lorraine, Oldenburg, and Wurttemberg. The German Federation of Women’s Clubs and the convention of the delegates of the Rhenish cities and towns have made the same demands for Prussia.

The Prussian Association of Women Public School Teachers is demanding that women teachers be appointed as principals, and is resisting with all its power the threatened injustice to women in the adjustment of salaries. The universities in Baden and[Pg 148] Wurttemberg were the first to admit women; then followed the universities in Hessen, Bavaria, Saxony, the Imperial Provinces, and finally,—in 1908,—Prussia. The number of women enrolled in Berlin University is 400.

About 50 women doctors are practicing in Germany; as yet there are no women preachers, but there are 5 women lawyers, one of whom in 1908 pleaded the case of an indicted youth before the Altona juvenile court. Although there are only a few women lawyers in Germany, women are now permitted to act as counsel for the defendant, there being 60 such women counselors in Bavaria. Recently (1908) even Bavaria refused women admission to the civil service.

In the autumn there was appointed the first woman lecturer in a higher institution of learning,—this taking place in the Mannheim School of Commerce. Within the last five years many new callings have been opened to women: they are librarians (of municipal, club, and private libraries) and have organized themselves into the Association of Women Librarians; they are assistants in laboratories, clinics, and hospitals; they make scientific drawings, and some have specialized in microscopic drawing; during the season for the manufacture of beet sugar, women are employed as chemists in the sugar factories; there is a woman architect in Berlin, and a woman engineer in [Pg 149]Hamburg. Women factory inspectors have performed satisfactory service in all the states of the Empire. But the future field of work for the German women is the sociological field. State, municipal, and private aid is demanded by the prevailing destitution. At the present time women work in the sociological field without pay. In the future much of this work must be performed by the professional sociological women workers. In about 100 cities women are guardians of the poor. There are 103 women superintendents of orphan asylums; women are sought by the authorities as guardians. Women’s coöperation as members of school committees and deputations promotes the organized woman’s rights movement. The first woman inspector of dwellings has been appointed in Hessen. Nurses are demanding that state examinations be made requisite for those wishing to become nurses; some cities of Germany have appointed women as nurses for infant children. In Hessen and Ostmark [the eastern part of Prussia], women are district administrators. There is an especially great demand for women to care for dependent children and to work in the juvenile courts; this will lead to the appointment of paid probation officers. In southern Germany, women police matrons are employed; in Prussia there are women doctors employed in the police courts. There are also women school [Pg 150]physicians. Since 1908, trained women have entered the midwives’ profession.

When the German General Woman’s Club was formed in 1865, there was no German Empire; Berlin had not yet become the capital of the Empire. But since Berlin has become the seat of the Imperial Parliament, Berlin very naturally has become the center of the woman’s rights movement. This occurred through the establishment of the magazine Frauenwohl [Woman’s Welfare] in 1888, by Mrs. Cauer. In this manner the younger and more radical woman’s rights movement was begun. The women that organized the movement had interested themselves in the educational field. The radicals now entered the sociological and political fields. Women making radical demands allied themselves with Mrs. Cauer; they befriended her, and coöperated with her. This is an undisputed fact, though some of these women later left Mrs. Cauer and allied themselves with either the “Conservatives” or the “Socialists.”

In the organization of trade-unions for women not exclusively of the middle class, Minna Cauer led the way. In 1889, with the aid of Mr. Julius Meyer and Mr. Silberstein, she organized the “Commercial and Industrial Benevolent Society for Women Employees.” The society has now 24,000 members. State insurance for private employees is now (1909) a question of the day.

[Pg 151]Jeannette Schwerin founded the information bureau of the Ethical Culture Society, which furnished girls and women assistants for social work. At the same time Jeannette Schwerin demanded that women be permitted to act as poor-law guardians. The agitation in public meetings and legislative assemblies against the Civil Code was instituted by Dr. Anita Augsburg and Mrs. Stritt.

The opposition to state regulation of prostitution was begun by the “radical” Hanna Bieber-Böhm and Anna Pappritz. Lily v. Gikycki was the first to speak publicly concerning the civic duty of women. The Woman’s Suffrage Society was organized in 1901 by Mrs. Cauer, Dr. Augsburg, Miss Heymann, and Dr. Schirmacher.

In 1894 the radical section of the “German Federation of Women’s Clubs” proposed that women’s trade-unions be admitted to the Federation. This radical section had often given offense to the “Conservatives”—in the Federation, for instance—by the proposal of this measure; but the radicals in this way have stimulated the movement. As early as 1904 the Berlin Congress of the International Council of Women had shown that the Federation, being composed chiefly of conservative elements, should adopt in its programme all the demands of the radicals, including woman’s suffrage. The differences between the Radicals[Pg 152] and the Conservatives are differences of personality rather than of principles. The radicals move to the time of allegro; the conservatives to the time of andante. In all public movements there is usually the same antagonism; it occurred also in the English and the American woman’s rights movements.

In no other country (with the exception of Belgium and Hungary) is the schism between the woman’s rights movement of the middle class and the woman’s rights movement of the Socialists so marked as in Germany. At the International Woman’s Congress of 1896 (which was held through the influence of Mrs. Lina Morgenstern and Mrs. Cauer) two Social Democrats, Lily Braun and Clara Zetkin, declared that they never would coöperate with the middle-class women. This attitude of the Social Democrats is the result of historical circumstances. The law against the German Socialists has increased their antagonism to the middle class. Nevertheless, this harsh statement by Lily Braun and Clara Zetkin was unnecessary. It has just been stated that the founders of the German woman’s rights movement had included the demands of the workingwomen in their programme, and that the Radicals (by whom the congress of 1896 had been called, and who for years had been engaged in politics and in the organization of trade-unions) had in 1894 demanded the admission of women’s labor organizations[Pg 153] to the Federation of Women’s Clubs. Hence an alignment of the two movements would have been exceedingly fortunate. However, a part of the Socialists, laying stress on ultimate aims, regard “class hatred” as their chief means of agitation, and are therefore on principle opposed to any peaceful coöperation with the middle class. A part of the women Socialist leaders are devoting themselves to the organization of workingwomen,—a task that is as difficult in Germany as elsewhere. Almost everywhere in Germany women laborers are paid less than men laborers. The average daily wage is 2 marks (50 cents), but there are many workingwomen that receive less. In the ready-made clothing industry there are weekly wages of 6 to 9 marks ($1.50 to $2.25). At the last congress of home workers, held at Berlin, further evidence of starvation in the home industries was educed. But for these wages the German woman’s rights movement is not to be held responsible.

In the social-political field the woman’s rights advocates hold many advanced views. Almost without exception they are advocating legislation for the protection of the workingwomen; they have stimulated the organization of the “Home-workers’ Association” in Berlin; they urged the workingwomen to seek admission to the Hirsch-Duncker Trades Unions (the German national association of trade-unions); they[Pg 154] have established a magazine for workingwomen, and have organized a league for the consideration of the interests of workingwomen. In 1907 Germany had 137,000 organized workingwomen and female domestic servants.[70] Most of these belong to the socialistic trade-unions. The maximum workday for women is fixed at ten hours. The protection of maternity is promoted by the state as well as by women’s clubs.

Peculiar to Germany is the denominational schism in the woman’s rights movement. The precedent for this was established by the “German Evangelical Woman’s League,” founded in 1899, with Paula Müller, of Hanover, as President. The organization of the League was due to the feeling that “it is a sin to witness with indifference how women that wish to know nothing of Biblical Christianity represent all the German women.” The organization opposes equality of rights between man and woman; but in 1908 it joined the Federation of Women’s Clubs. In 1903 a “Catholic Woman’s League” was formed, but it has not joined the Federation. There has also been formed a “Society of Jewish Women.” We representatives of the interdenominational woman’s rights movement deplore this denominational disunion. These organizations are important because they make accessible groups of people that otherwise could not be reached by us.

[Pg 155]Another characteristic of the German woman’s rights movement is its extensive and thorough organization. The smallest cities are to-day visited by women speakers. Our “unity of spirit,”—praised so frequently, and now and then ridiculed,—is our chief power in the midst of specially difficult conditions in which we must work. With tenacity and patience we have slowly overcome unusual difficulties,—to the present without any help worth mentioning from the men.

In the Civil Code of 1900 the most important demands of the women were not given just consideration. To be sure, woman is legally competent, but the property laws make joint property holding legal (wives control their earnings and savings), and the mother has no parental authority. Relative to the impending revision of the criminal law, the women made their demands as early as 1908 in a general meeting of the Federation of Women’s Clubs, when a three days’ discussion took place. Since 1897 the women have progressed considerably in their knowledge of law. The German women strongly advocate the establishment of juvenile courts such as the United States are now introducing. The Federation also demands that women be permitted to act as magistrates, jurors, lawyers, and judges.

In the struggle against official regulation of prostitution the women were supported in the Prussian[Pg 156] Landtag by Deputy Münsterberg, of Dantzig. Prussia established a more humane regulation of prostitution, but as yet has not appointed the extraparliamentary commission for the study of the control of prostitution, a measure that was demanded by the women. The most significant recent event is the admission of women to political organizations and meetings by the Imperial Law of May 15, 1908. Thereby the German women were admitted to political life. The Woman’s Suffrage Society—founded in 1902, and in 1904 converted into a League—was able previous to 1908 to expand only in the South German states (excluding Bavaria). By this Imperial Law the northern states of the Empire were opened, and a National Woman’s Suffrage Society was formed in Prussia, in Bavaria, and in Mecklenburg. As early as 1906, after the dissolution of the Reichstag, the women took an active part in the campaign, a right granted them by the Vereinsrecht (Law of Association). In Prussia, Saxony, and Oldenburg the women worked for universal suffrage for women in Landtag elections. Since 1908 the political woman’s rights movement has been of first importance in Germany. As the women taxpayers in a number of states can exercise municipal suffrage by proxy, and the women owners of large estates in Saxony and Prussia can exercise the suffrage in elections for the Diet of the Circle (Kreistag) by[Pg 157] proxy, an effort is being made to attract these women to the cause of woman’s suffrage.

In 1908 the Protestant women of the Imperial Provinces (Alsace and Lorraine) were granted the right to vote in church elections, a right that had been granted to the women of the German congregations in Paris as early as 1907[71].

 

LUXEMBURG

Total population:246,455.
Women:120,235.
Men:126,220.
No federation of women’s clubs.
No woman’s suffrage league.


The woman’s rights movement in Luxemburg originated in December, 1905, with the organization of the “Society for Women’s Interests” (Verein für Fraueninteressen), which has worked admirably. The society has 300 members, and is in good financial condition. Throughout the country it is now carrying on successful propaganda in the interest of higher education for girls and in the interest of women in the industries. In Luxemburg, after girls have graduated from a convent, they have no further educational [Pg 158]facilities. The society has established a department for legal protection, and an employment agency; it has published an inquiry into the living conditions in the capital.

In the capital city there is a woman member of the poor-law commission; ten women are guardians of the poor; one woman is a school commissioner; and there is a woman inspector of the municipal hospital. The society is well supported by the liberal elements of the government and the public. Its chief object must be the establishment of a secular school that will prepare women for entrance to the universities.

 

GERMAN AUSTRIA

Total population: about7,000,000.
Women: about3,750,000.
Men: about3,250,000.
Federation of Austrian Women’s Clubs.
No woman’s suffrage league.


The Austrian woman’s rights movement is based primarily on economic conditions. More than 50 per cent of the women in Austria are engaged in non-domestic callings. This percentage is a strong argument against the theory that woman’s sphere is merely domestic. Unfortunately this non-domestic service of the Austrian women is seldom very remunerative.[Pg 159] Austria itself is a country of low wages. This condition is due to a continuous influx of Slavic workers, to large agricultural provinces, to the tenacious survivals of feudalism, etc. Therefore women’s wages and salaries are lower than in western Europe, and low living expenses do not prevail everywhere (Vienna is one of the most expensive cities to live in). The “Women’s Industrial School Society,” founded in 1851, attempted to raise the industrial ability of the girls of the middle class. In accordance with the views of the time, needlework was taught. Free schools for the instruction of adults were established in Vienna. The economic misery following the war of 1866 led to the organization of the “Woman’s Industrial Society,” which enlarged woman’s sphere of activity as did the Lette-Society in Berlin. Since 1868 the woman’s rights movement has secured adherents from the best educated middle-class women,—namely, women teachers. In that year the Catholic women teachers organized a “Catholic Women Teachers’ Society.” In 1869 was organized the interdenominational “Austrian Women Teachers’ Society.” This society has performed excellent service. The women teachers, who since 1869 had been given positions in the public schools, were paid less than the men teachers having the same training and doing the same work. Therefore the women teachers presented themselves to the provincial legislatures, demanded an increase[Pg 160] in salary, and, in spite of the opposition of the male teachers, secured the increase by the law of 1891. In 1876 a society devoted its efforts to the improvement of the girls’ high schools, which had been greatly neglected. In 1885 the women writers and the women artists organized, their male colleagues having refused to admit women to the existing professional societies. In 1888 the women music teachers likewise organized themselves. At the same time the question of higher education for women was agitated. In Vienna a “lyceum” class—the first of its kind—was opened to prepare girls for entrance to the universities (Abiturientenexamen). Admission to the boys’ high schools was refused to girls in Vienna, but was granted in the provinces (Troppau, and Mährisch-Schönberg). Girls were at all times admitted as outsiders (Extraneae) to the examinations held on leaving college (Abiturientenexamen). In this way many girls passed the “leaving” examination before they began their studies in Switzerland. Until 1896 the Austrian universities remained closed to women. The law faculties do not as yet admit women. The women’s clubs are striving to secure this reform. Those women that had studied medicine in Switzerland previous to 1896, and wished to practice in Austria, required special imperial permission, which was never withheld from them in their noble struggle.

In this way Dr. Kerschbaumer began her practice[Pg 161] as an oculist in Salzburg. However, the Countess Possanner, M.D., after passing the Swiss state examination, also took the Austrian examination. She is now practicing in Vienna.

As the Austrian doctors have active and passive suffrage in the election to the Board of Physicians (Ärztekammer)[72] Dr. Possanner also requested this right. Her request was refused by the magistrate in Vienna because, as a woman, she did not have the suffrage in municipal elections, and the suffrage for the Board of Physicians could be exercised only by those doctors that were municipal electors.[73] Thereupon Dr. Possanner appealed her case to the government, to the Minister of the Interior, and finally to the administrative court. The court decided in favor of the petition. It must be emphasized, however, that the Board of Physicians favored the request from the beginning.

Women preachers and women lawyers are as yet unknown in Austria. As in former times, the teaching profession is still the chief sphere of activity for the middle-class women of German Austria. According to the law of 1869 they can be appointed not only as teachers in the elementary schools for girls, but also as[Pg 162] teachers of the lower classes in the boys’ schools. Their not being municipal voters has two results: if the municipality is seeking votes, it appoints men teachers that are “favorably disposed”; if the municipality is politically opposed to the male teachers, it appoints women teachers in preference. But to be the plaything of political whims is not a very worthy condition to be in. If women teachers marry, they need not withdraw from the service (except in the province of Styria). More than 10 per cent of the women teachers in the whole of Austria are married, more than 2 per cent are widows. The women comprise about one fourth of the total number of elementary school teachers, of whom there are 9000. Their annual salaries vary from 200 to 1600 guldens ($96.40 to $771.20). The ordinary salary of 200 guldens is so insufficient that many elementary school teachers actually starve. The competition of the nuns is feared by the whole body of secular school teachers. In Tyrol instruction in the elementary schools is still almost wholly in the hands of the religious orders. The sisters work for little pay; they have a community life and consume the resources of the dead hand.

Of the secondary schools for girls some are ecclesiastic, some are municipal, and some private. The lyceums give a very good education (mathematics is obligatory), but as yet there are no ordinary secondary[Pg 163] schools whose leaving examinations are equivalent to the Abiturientenexamen of the Gymnasiums. The “Academic Woman’s Club” in Vienna is demanding this reform, and the Federation of Austrian Women’s Clubs is demanding the development of the municipal girls’ schools into Realschulen. The state subsidizes various institutions. The girls’ Gymnasiums were privately founded. Dr. Cecilia Wendt, upon whom the degree of Doctor of Philosophy was conferred by Vienna University, and who took the state examination for secondary school teachers in mathematics, physics, and German, was the first woman appointed as teacher in a Gymnasium, being appointed in the Vienna Gymnasium for girls. Since 1871, women have been appointed in the postal and telegraph service. Like most of the subordinate state officials, they receive poor pay, and dare not marry. The women telegraph operators in the central office in Vienna are paid 30 guldens ($14.46) a month. “The woman telegraph operator can lay no claims to the pleasures of existence.” “These girls starve spiritually as well as physically.”[74] During the past twenty-eight years salaries have not been increased. Every two years a two-week vacation is granted. Since 1876 there has existed a relief society for women postal and telegraph employees.

[Pg 164]The woman stenographer, to-day so much sought after in business offices, was in 1842 absolutely excluded from the courses in Gabelsberger stenography[75] by the Ministry of Public Instruction. In the courts of chancery (Advokatenkanzleien) women stenographers are paid 20 to 30 guldens ($9.64 to $14.46) a month. They are given the same pay in the stores and offices where they are expected to use typewriters. They are regarded as subordinates, though frequently they are thorough specialists and masters of languages. In the governmental service the women subordinates that work by the day (1.50 guldens,—73 cents) have no hope for advancement or pension. The first woman chief of a government office has been appointed to the sanitary department of the Ministry of the Labor Department, in which there is also a woman librarian.

It is not easy to imagine the deplorable condition of workingwomen when women public school teachers and women office clerks are expected to live on a monthly salary of $9.64 to $14.46. The Vienna inquiry into the condition of workingwomen in 1896 disclosed frightfully miserable conditions among workingwomen. Since then, especially through the efforts of the Socialists, the conditions have been somewhat improved.

In Vienna, efforts to organize women into trade-unions have been made,—especially among the [Pg 165]bookbinders, hat makers, and tailors. Outside Vienna, organization has been effected chiefly among the women textile workers in Silesia, as well as among the women employees of the state tobacco factories. The most thorough organization of women laborers is found in northern and western Bohemia among the glassworkers and bead makers. In Styria, Salzburg, Tyrol, and Carinthia the organization of women is found only in isolated cases. Everywhere the organization of women is made difficult by domestic misery, which consumes the energy, time, and interest of the women. The organized Social-Democratic women laborers of German Austria have a permanent representation in the “Women’s Imperial Committee.” Of the 50,000 women organized in trade-unions, 5000 belong to the Social-Democratic party. The Magazine for Workingwomen (Arbeiterinnenzeitung) has 13,400 subscribers. Women industrial inspectors have proved themselves efficient.

It is to be expected as a result of the wretched economic conditions of the workingwomen that prostitution with its incidental earnings should be widespread in German Austria. Vienna is the refuge of those seeking work and seclusion (Verschwiegenheit). The number of illicit births in Vienna is, as in Paris, one third of the total number of births. For these and other reasons the “General Woman’s Club of Austria” (Allgemeine Österreiche Frauenverein), founded in 1893[Pg 166] under the leadership of Miss Augusta Fickert, has frequently concerned itself with the question of prostitution, of woman’s wages, and of the official regulation of prostitution,—always being opposed to the last. The International Federation for the Abolition of the Official Regulation of Prostitution (internationale abolinistische Föderation) was, however, not represented in German Austria before 1903; the Austrian branch of this organization being established in 1907 in Vienna.

The middle-class women are doing much as leaders of the charitable, industrial, educational, and woman’s suffrage societies to raise the status of woman in Austria. The most prominent members of these societies are: Augusta Fickert, Marianne Hainisch, Mrs. v. Sprung, Miss Herzfelder, v. Wolfring, Mrs. v. Listrow, Rosa Maireder, Maria Lang (editor of the excellent Dokumente der Frauen, which, unfortunately, were discontinued in 1902), Mrs. Schwietland, Elsie Federn (the superintendent of the settlement in the laborers’ district in North Vienna), Mrs. Jella Hertzka, (Mrs.) Dr. Goldmann, superintendent of the Cottage Lyceum, and others.

These women frequently coöperate with the leaders of the Socialistic woman’s rights movement, Mrs. Schlesinger, Mrs. Popp, and others. The disunion of the two forces of the movement is much less marked in Austria than in Germany, the circumstances much more[Pg 167] resembling those in Italy. In these lands it is expected that the woman’s rights movement will profit greatly through the growth of Socialism. This is explained by the fact that the Austrian Liberals are not equal to the assaults of the Conservatives. Universal equal suffrage, which does not as yet exist in Austria, has its most enthusiastic advocates among the Socialists. With the Austrian Socialists, universal suffrage means woman’s suffrage also.[76]

During the Liberal era two rights were granted to the Austrian women: since 1849 the women taxpayers vote by proxy in municipal elections, and since 1861 for the local legislatures (Provinciallandtagen).[77] In Lower Austria the Landtag in 1888 deprived them of this right, and in 1889 an attempt was made to deprive them of their municipal suffrage. But the women concerned successfully petitioned that they be left in possession of their active municipal suffrage. Since 1873 the Austrian women owners of large estates vote also for the Imperial Parliament through proxy. The Austrian women, supported by the Socialist deputies, Pernerstorfer, Kronawetter, Adler, and others, have on several occasions demanded the passive suffrage in the election of school boards and poor-law guardians; they[Pg 168] have also demanded a reform of the law of organization, so that women can be admitted to political organizations. To the present these efforts have been fruitless. When universal suffrage was granted in 1906 (creating the fifth class of voters), the women were disregarded. In the previous year a Woman’s Suffrage Committee had been established with headquarters in Vienna. It is endeavoring especially to secure the repeal of paragraph 30 of the law regulating organizations and public meetings. This law (like that of Prussia and Bavaria previous to 1908) excludes women from political organization, thus making the forming of a woman’s suffrage society impossible. For this reason Austria cannot join the International Woman’s Suffrage Alliance.

During the consideration of the new municipal election laws in Troppau (Austrian Silesia), it was proposed to withdraw the right of suffrage from the women taxpayers. They resisted the proposal energetically. At present the matter is before the supreme court. In Voralberg the unmarried women taxpayers were also given the right to vote in elections of the Landtag. The legal status of the Austrian woman is similar to that of the French woman: the wife is under the guardianship of her husband; the property law provides for the amalgamation of property (not joint property holding, as in France). But the wife does not have control of her earnings and savings, as in Germany under the[Pg 169] Civil Code. The father alone has legal authority over the children.

Here the names of two women must be mentioned: Bertha v. Suttner, one of the founders of the peace movement, and Marie v. Ebner-Eschenbach, the greatest living woman writer in the German language. Both are Austrians; and their country may well be proud of them.

In Austria the authorities are more favorably disposed toward the woman’s rights movement than in Germany, for example.

 

HUNGARY[78]

Total population:19,254,559.
Women:9,672,407.
Men:9,582,152.
Federation of Hungarian Women’s Clubs.
Woman’s Suffrage League.


At first the Hungarian woman’s rights movement was restricted to the advancement of girls’ education. The attainment of national independence gave the women greater ambition; since 1867 they have striven for the establishment of higher institutions of learning for girls. In 1868 Mrs. v. Veres with twenty-two other women founded the “Society for the Advancement of Girls’[Pg 170] Education.” In 1869, the first class in a high school for girls was formed in Budapest. An esteemed scholar, P. Gyulai, undertook the superintendence of the institution. Similar schools were founded in the provinces. In 1876 the Budapest model school was completed; in 1878 it was turned over to a woman superintendent, Mrs. v. Janisch. A seminary for women teachers was established, a special building being erected for the purpose. Then the admission of women to the university was agitated. A special committee for this purpose was formed with Dr. Coloman v. Csicky as chairman. In the meantime the “Society” gave domestic economy courses and courses of instruction to adults (in its girls’ high school). The Minister of Public Instruction, v. Wlassics, secured the imperial decree of November 18, 1895, by which women were admitted to the universities of Klausenburg and Budapest (to the philosophical and medical faculties). It was now necessary to prepare women for the entrance examinations (Abiturientenexamen). This was undertaken by the “General Hungarian Woman’s Club” (Allgemeine ungarische Frauenverein). With the aid of Dr. Béothy, a lecturer at the University of Budapest, the club formulated a programme that was accepted by the Minister of Public Instruction. By the rescript of July 18, 1896, he authorized the establishment of a girls’ gymnasium in Budapest. It is evident that such reforms, when in[Pg 171] the hands of intelligent authorities, are put into working order as easily as a letter passes through the mails.

In the professional callings we find 15 women druggists, 10 women doctors, and one woman architect. Erica Paulus, who has chosen the calling of architect (which elsewhere in Europe has hardly been opened to women), is a Transylvanian. Among other things she has been given the supervision of the masonry, the glasswork, the roofing, and the interior decoration of the buildings of the Evangelical-Reformed College in Klausenburg. A second woman architect, trained in the Budapest technical school, is a builder in Besztercze.

Higher education of women was promoted in the cities, the home industries of the Hungarian rural districts were fostered. This was taken up by the “Rural Woman’s Industry Society” (Landes-Frauenindustrieverein). Aprons, carpets, textile fabrics, slippers, tobacco pouches, whip handles, and ornamental chests are made artistically according to antique models (this movement is analogous to that in Scandinavia). Large expositions aroused the interest of the public in favor of the national products, for the disposal of which the women of the society have labored with enthusiasm. These home industries give employment to about 750,000 women (and 40,000 men).

Hungary is preëminently an agricultural country and its wages are low. The promotion of home industry[Pg 172] therefore had a great economic importance, for Hungary is a center of traffic in girls. A great number of these poor ignorant country girls, reared in oriental stupor, congregate in Budapest from all parts of Hungary and the Balkan States, to be bartered to the brothels of South America as “Madjarli and Hungara.”[79] An address that Miss Coote of the “International Vigilance Society” delivered in Budapest resulted in the founding of the “Society for Combating the White Slave Trade.” The committee was composed of Countess Czaky, Baroness Wenckheim, Dr. Ludwig Gruber (royal public prosecutor), Professor Vambéry, and others. The recent Draconic regulation of prostitution in Pest (1906) caused the Federation of Hungarian Women’s Clubs to oppose the official regulation of prostitution, and to form a department of morals, which is to be regarded as the Hungarian branch of the International Federation for the Abolition of the Official Regulation of Prostitution. Since then, public opinion concerning the question has been aroused; the laws against the white slave traffic have been made more stringent and are being more rigidly enforced.

A new development in Hungary is the woman’s suffrage movement (since 1904), represented in the “Feminist Society” (Feministenverein). During the past five years the society has carried on a vigorous propaganda[Pg 173] in Budapest and various cities in the provinces (in Budapest also with the aid of foreign women speakers); recently the society has also roused the countrywomen in favor of the movement. Woman’s suffrage is opposed by the Clericals and the Social-Democrats, who favor only male suffrage in the impending introduction of universal suffrage[80]. On March 10, 1908, a delegation of woman’s suffrage advocates went to the Parliament. During the suffrage debates the women held public meetings.

From the work of A. v. Maclay, Le droit des femmes au travail, I take the following statements: According to the industrial statistics of 1900 there were 1,819,517 women in Hungary engaged in agriculture. Industry, mining, and transportation engaged 242,951; state and municipal service, and the liberal callings engaged 36,870 women. There were 109,739 women day laborers; 350,693 domestic servants; 24,476 women pursued undefined or unknown callings; 83,537 women lived on incomes from their property. Since 1890 the number of women engaged in all the callings has increased more rapidly than the number of men (26.3 to 27.9 per cent being the average increase of the women engaged in gainful pursuits). In 1900 the women formed 21 per cent of the industrial population. They were engaged chiefly in the manufacture of pottery[Pg 174] (29 per cent), bent-wood furniture (46 per cent), matches (58 per cent), clothing (59 per cent), textiles (60 per cent). In paper making and bookbinding 68 per cent of the laborers are women. In the state mints 25 per cent of the employees are women; the state tobacco factories employ 16,720 women, these being 94 per cent of the total number of employees. Of those engaged in commerce 23 per cent are women.

The number of women engaged in the civil service (as private secretaries) and in the liberal callings has increased even more than the number of women engaged in industry. The women engaged in office work have organized. In 1901 the number of women public school teachers was 6529 (there being 22,840 men), i.e. 22.22 per cent were women. In the best public schools there are more women teachers than men, the proportion being 62 to 48; in the girls’ high schools there are 273 women teachers to 145 men teachers. In 1903 the railroads employed 511 women; in 1898 the postal service employed 4516 women; in 1899 the telephone system employed 207 women (and 81 men). These women employees, unlike those of Austria, are permitted to marry.

 

 


[Pg 175]

CHAPTER II

THE ROMANCE COUNTRIES

In the Romance countries the woman’s rights movement is hampered by Romance customs and by the Catholic religion. The number of women in these countries is in many cases smaller than the number of men. In general, the girls are married at an early age, almost always through the negotiations of the parents. The education of women is in some respects very deficient.

 

FRANCE

Total population:38,466,924.
Women:19,346,369.
Men:18,922,651.
Federation of French Women’s Clubs.
Woman’s Suffrage League.


The European woman’s rights movement was born in France; it is a child of the Revolution of 1789. When a whole country enjoys freedom, equality, and fraternity, woman can no longer remain in bondage. The[Pg 176] Declaration of the Rights of Man apply to Woman also. The European woman’s rights movement is based on purely logical principles; not, as in the United States, on the practical exercise of woman’s right to vote. This purely theoretical origin is not denied by the advocates of the woman’s rights movement in France. It ought to be mentioned that the principles of the woman’s rights movement were brought from France to England by Mary Wollstonecraft, and were stated in her pamphlet, A Vindication of the Rights of Women. But enthusiastic Mary Wollstonecraft did not form a school in England, and the organized English woman’s rights movement did not cast its lot with this revolutionist. What Mary Wollstonecraft did for England, Olympe de Gouges did for France in 1789; at that time she dedicated to the Queen her little book, The Declaration of the Rights of Women (La declaration des droits des femmes). It happened that The Declaration of the Rights of Man (La declaration des droits de l’homme) of 1789 referred only to the men. The National Assembly recognized only male voters, and refused the petition of October 28, 1789, in which a number of Parisian women demanded universal suffrage in the election of national representatives. Nothing is more peculiar than the attitude of the men advocates of liberty toward the women advocates of liberty. At that time woman’s struggle for liberty had representatives in all[Pg 177] social groups. In the aristocratic circles there was Madame de Stael, who as a republican (her father was Swiss) never doubted the equality of the sexes; but by her actions showed her belief in woman’s right to secure the highest culture and to have political influence. Madame de Stael’s social position and her wealth enabled her to spread these views of woman’s rights; she was never dependent on the men advocates of freedom. Madame Roland was typical of the educated republican bourgeoisie. She participated in the revolutionary drama and was a “political woman.” On the basis of historical documents it can be asserted that the men advocates of freedom have not forgiven her.

The intelligent people of the lower classes are represented by Olympe de Gouges and Théroīgne de Mericourt. Both played a political rôle; both were woman’s rights advocates; of both it was said that they had forgotten the virtues of their sex,—modesty and submissiveness. The men of freedom still thought that the home offered their wives all the freedom they needed. The populace finally made demonstrations through woman’s clubs. These clubs were closed in 1793 by the Committee of Public Safety because the clubs disturbed “public peace.” The public peace of 1793! What an idyl! In short, the régime of liberty, equality, and fraternity regarded woman as unfree, unequal, and treated her very unfraternally. What harmony [Pg 178]between theory and practice! In fact, the Revolution even withdrew rights that the women formerly possessed. For example, the old régime gave a noblewoman, as a landowner, all the rights of a feudal lord. She levied troops, raised taxes, and administered justice. During the old régime in France there were women peers; women were now and then active in diplomacy. The abbesses exercised the same feudal power as the abbots; they had unlimited power over their convents. The women owners of large feudal lands met with the provincial estates,—for instance, Madame de Sévigné in the Estates General of Brittany, where there was autonomy in the provincial administration. In the gilds the women masters exercised their professional right as voters. All of these rights ended with the old régime; beside the politically free man stood the politically unfree woman. Napoleon confirmed this lack of freedom in the Civil and Criminal Codes. Napoleon’s attitude toward all women (excepting his mother, Madame Mère) was such as we still find among the men in Southern Italy, in Spain, and in the Orient. His sisters and Josephine Beauharnais, the creole, could not give him a more just opinion of women. His fierce hatred for Madame de Stael indicates his attitude toward the woman’s rights representatives. The great Napoleon did not like intellectual women.

The Code Napoleon places the wife completely under[Pg 179] the guardianship of the husband. Without him she can undertake no legal transaction. The property law requires joint property holding, excepting real estate (but most of the women are neither landowners nor owners of houses). The married woman has had independent control of her earnings and savings only since the enactment of the law of July 13, 1907. Only the husband has legal authority over the children. Such a legal status of woman is found in other codes. But the following provisions are peculiar to the Code Napoleon: If a husband kills his wife for committing adultery, the murder is “excusable.” An illicit mother cannot file a paternity suit. In practice, however, the courts in a roundabout way give the illicit mother an opportunity to file an action for damages.

No other code, above all no other Germanic or Slavic code,[81] has been disgraced by such paragraphs. In the first of the designated paragraphs we hear the Corsican, a cousin of the Moor of Venice; in the second we hear the military emperor, and general of an unbridled, undisciplined troop of soldiers. No one will be astonished to learn that this same lawgiver in 1801 supplemented the Code with a despotic state regulation of prostitution. What became of the woman’s rights movement during this arbitrary military régime? Full of fear and [Pg 180]anxiety, the woman’s rights advocates concealed their views. The Restoration was scarcely a better time for advocating woman’s rights. The philosopher of the epoch, de Bonald, spoke very pompously against the equality of the sexes, “Man and woman are not and never will be equal.” It was not until the July Revolution of 1830 and the February Revolution of 1848 that the question of woman’s rights could gain a favorable hearing. The Saint Simonians, the Fourierists, and George Sand preached the rights of man and the rights of woman. During the February Revolution the women were found, just as in 1789, in the front ranks of the Socialists. The French woman’s rights movement is closely connected with both political movements. Every time a sacrifice of Republicans and Democrats was demanded, women were among the banished and deported: Jeanne Deroin in 1848, Louise Michel, in 1851 and 1871.

Marie Deraismes, belonging to the wealthy Parisian middle class, appeared in the sixties as a public speaker. She was a woman’s rights advocate. However, in a still greater degree she was a tribune of the people, a republican and a politician. Marie Deraismes and her excellent political adherent, Léon Richer, were the founders of the organized French woman’s rights movement. As early as 1876 they organized the “Society for the Amelioration of the Condition of Woman and for[Pg 181] Demanding Woman’s Rights”; in 1878 they called the first French woman’s rights congress.

The following features characterize the modern French woman’s rights movement: It is largely restricted to Paris; in the provinces there are only weak and isolated beginnings; even the Parisian woman’s rights organizations are not numerous, the greatest having 400 members. Thanks to the republican and socialist movements, which for thirty years have controlled France, the woman’s rights movement is for political reasons supported by the men to a degree not noticeable in any other country. The republican majority in the Chamber of Deputies, the republican press, and republican literature effectively promote the woman’s rights movement. The Federation of French Women’s Clubs, founded in 1901, and reputed to have 73,000 members, is at present promoting the movement by the systematic organization of provincial divisions. Less kindly disposed—sometimes indifferent and hostile—are the Church, the Catholic circles, the nobility, society, and the “liberal” capitalistic bourgeoisie. A sharp division between the woman’s rights movements of the middle class and the movement of the Socialists, such as exists, for example, in Germany, does not exist in France. A large part of the bourgeoisie (not the great capitalists) are socialistically inclined. On the basis of principle the Republicans and Socialists cannot deny[Pg 182] the justice of the woman’s rights movement. Hence everything now depends on the opportuneness of the demands of the women.

The French woman has still much to demand. However enlightened, however advanced the Frenchman may regard himself, he has not yet reached the point where he will favor woman’s suffrage; what the National Assembly denied in 1789, the Republic of 1870 has also withheld. Nevertheless conditions have improved, in so far as measures in favor of woman’s suffrage and the reform of the civil rights of woman have since 1848 been repeatedly introduced and supported by petitions.[82] As for the civil rights of woman,—the principles of the Code Napoleon, the minority of the wife, and the husband’s authority over her are still unchanged. However, a few minor concessions have been made: To-day a woman can be a witness to a civil transaction, e.g. a marriage contract. A married woman can open a savings bank account in her maiden name; and, as in Belgium, her husband can make it impossible for her to withdraw the money! A wife’s earnings now belong to her. The severe law concerning adultery by the wife still exists, and affiliation cases are still prohibited. That is not exactly liberal.

Attempts to secure reforms of the civil law are being made by various women’s clubs, the Group of Women[Pg 183] Students (Le groupe d’études féministes) (Madame Oddo Deflou), and by the committee on legal matters of the Federation of French Women’s Clubs (Madame d’Abbadie).

In both the legal and the political fields the French women have hitherto (in spite of the Republic) achieved very little. In educational matters, however, the republican government has decidedly favored the women. Here the wishes of the women harmonized with the republican hatred for the priests. What was done perhaps not for the women, was done to spite the Church.

Elementary education has been obligatory since 1882. In 1904-1905 there were 2,715,452 girls in the elementary schools, and 2,726,944 boys. State high schools, or lycées, for girls have existed since 1880. The programme of these schools is not that of the German Gymnasiums, but that of a German high school for girls (foreign languages, however, are elective). In the last two years (in which the ages of the girls are 16 to 18 years) the curriculum is that of a seminary for women teachers. In 1904-1905 these institutions were attended by 22,000 girls, as compared with 100,000 boys. The French woman’s rights movement has as yet not succeeded in establishing Gymnasiums for girls; at present, efforts are being made to introduce Gymnasium courses in the girls’ lycées. The admission of girls to[Pg 184] the boys’ lycées, which has occurred in Germany and in Italy, has not even been suggested in France. To the present, the preparation of girls for the universities has been carried on privately.

The right to study in the universities has never been withheld from women. From the beginning, women could take the Abiturientenexamen (the university entrance examinations) with the young men before an examination commission. All departments are open to women. The number of women university students in France is 3609; the male students number 38,288. Women school teachers control the whole public school system for girls. In the French schools for girls most of the teachers are women; the superintendents are also women. The ecclesiastical educational system,—which still exists in secular guise,—is naturally, so far as the education of girls is concerned, entirely in the hands of women. The salaries of the secular women teachers in the first three classes of the elementary schools are equal to those of the men. The women teachers in the lycées (agrégées) are trained in the Seminary of Sèvres and in the universities. Their salaries are lower than those of the men. In 1907 the first woman teacher in the French higher institutions of learning was appointed,—Madame Curie, who holds the chair of physics in the Sorbonne, in Paris. In the provincial universities women are lecturers on modern[Pg 185] languages. There are no women preachers in France. Dr. jur. Jeanne Chauvin was the first woman lawyer, being admitted to the bar in 1899. To-day women lawyers are practicing in Paris and in Toulouse.

In the government service there are women postal clerks, telegraph clerks, and telephone clerks,—with an average daily wage of 3 francs (60 cents). Only the subordinate positions are open to women. The same is true of the women employed in the railroad offices. Women have been admitted as clerks in some of the administrative departments of the government and in the public poor-law administration. Women are employed as inspectors of schools, as factory inspectors, and as poor-law administrators. There is a woman member of each of the following councils: the Superior Council of Education, the Superior Council of Labor, and the Superior Council of Public Assistance (Conseil Superior d’Education, Conseil Superior du Travail, Conseil Superior de l’Assistance Publique). The first woman court interpreter was appointed in the Parisian Court of Appeals in 1909.

The French woman is an excellent business woman. However, the women employed in commercial establishments, being organized as yet to a small extent, earn no more than women laborers,—70 to 80 francs ($14 to $16) a month. In general, greater demands are made of them in regard to personal appearance and dress.[Pg 186] There is a law requiring that chairs be furnished during working hours. There is a consumers’ league in Paris which probably will effect reforms in the laboring conditions of women. The women in the industries, of whom there are about 900,000, have an average wage of 2 francs (50 cents) a day. Hardly 30,000 are organized into trade-unions; all women tobacco workers are organized. As elsewhere, the French ready-made clothing industry is the most wretched home industry. A part of the French middle-class women oppose legislation for the protection of women workers on the ground of “equality of rights for the sexes.”[83] This attitude has been occasioned by the contrast between the typographers and the women typesetters; the men being aided in the struggle by the prohibition of night work for women. It is easy to explain the rash and unjustifiable generalization made on the basis of this exceptional case. The women that made the generalization and oppose legislation for the protection of women laborers belong to the bourgeois class. There are about 1,500,000 women engaged in agriculture, the average wage being 1 franc 50 (about 37 cents). Many of these women earn 1 franc to 1 franc 20 (20 to 24 cents) a day. In Paris, women have been cab drivers and chauffeurs since 1907. In 1901 women formed 35 per cent of the population engaged in the professions and the[Pg 187] industries (6,805,000 women; 12,911,000 men: total, 19,716,000).

There are three parties in the French woman’s rights movement. The Catholic (le féminisme chrétien), the moderate (predominantly Protestant), and the radical (almost entirely socialistic). The Catholic party works entirely independently; the two others often coöperate, and are represented in the National Council of Women (Conseil national des femmes), while the féminisme chrétien is not represented. The views of the Catholic party are as follows: “No one denies that man is stronger than woman. But this means merely a physical superiority. On the basis of this superiority man dare not despise woman and regard her as morally inferior to him. But from the Christian point of view God gave man authority over woman. This does not signify any intellectual superiority, but is simply a fact of hierarchy.”[84] The féminisme chrétien advocates: A thorough education for girls according to Catholic principles; a reform of the marriage law (the wife should control her earnings, separate property holding should be established); the same moral standard for both sexes (abolition of the official regulation of prostitution); the same penalty for adultery for both sexes (however, there should be no divorce); the authority of the mother (autorité maritale) should be maintained,[Pg 188] for only in this way can peace prevail in the family. “A high-minded woman will never wish to rule. It is her wish to sacrifice herself, to admire, to lean on the arm of a strong man that protects her.”[85]

In the moderate group (President, Miss Sara Monod), these ideas have few advocates. Protestantism, which is strongly represented in this party, has a natural inclination toward the development of individuality. This party is more concerned with the woman that does not find the arm of the “strong man” to lean on, or who detected him leaning upon her. This party is entirely opposed to the husband’s authority over the wife and to the dogma of obligatory admiration and sacrifice. The leaders of the party are Madame Bonnevial, Madame Auclert, and others. During the five years’ leadership of Madame Marguerite Durand, the “Fronde” was the meeting place of the party.

The radicals demand: absolute coeducation; anti-military instruction in history; schools that prepare girls for motherhood; the admission of women to government positions; equal pay for both sexes; official regulation of the work of domestic servants; the abolition of the husband’s authority; municipal and national suffrage for women. A member of the radical party presented herself in 1908 as a candidate in the Parisian elections. In November, 1908, women were[Pg 189] granted passive suffrage for the arbitration courts for trade disputes (they already possessed active suffrage).

The founding of the National Council of French Women (Conseil national des femmes française) has aided the woman’s rights movement considerably. Stimulated by the progress made in other countries, the French women have systematically begun their work. They have organized two sections in the provinces (Touraine and Normandy); they have promoted the organization of women into trade-unions; they have studied the marriage laws; and have organized a woman’s suffrage department. Since 1907 the woman’s magazine, La Française, published weekly, has done effective work for the cause. The place of publication (49 rue Laffite, Paris) is also a public meeting place for the leaders of the woman’s rights movements. La Française arouses interest in the cause of woman’s rights among women teachers and office clerks in the provinces. Recently the management of the magazine has been converted to the cause of woman’s suffrage. In the spring of 1909 the French Woman’s Suffrage Society (Union française pour le souffrage des femmes) was organized under the presidency of Madame Schmall (a native of England). Madame Schmall is also to be regarded as the originator of the law of July 13, 1907, which pertains to the earnings of the wife. The Union has joined the International Woman’s Suffrage Alliance. In the House of Deputies[Pg 190] there is a group in favor of woman’s rights. The French woman’s rights movement seems to be spreading rapidly.

Émile de Morsier organized the French movement favoring the abolition of the official regulation of prostitution. Through this movement an extraparliamentary commission (1903-1907) was induced to recognize the evil of the existing official regulation of prostitution. This is the first step toward abolition.

 

BELGIUM

Total population:6,815,054.
Women:3,416,057.
Men:3,398,997.
Federation of Belgian Women’s Clubs.
Woman’s Suffrage League.


It is very difficult for the woman’s rights movement to thrive in Belgium. Not that the movement is unnecessary there; on the contrary, the legal status of woman is regulated by the Code Napoleon, hence there is decided need for reform. The number of women exceeds that of the men; hence part of the girls cannot marry. Industry is highly developed. The question of wages is a vital question for women laborers. Accordingly there are reasons enough for instituting an organized woman’s rights movement in Belgium. But every agitation for this purpose is hampered by the[Pg 191] following social factors: Catholicism (Belgium is 99 per cent Catholic), Clericalism in Parliament, and the indifference of the rich bourgeoisie.

The woman’s rights movement has very few adherents in the third estate, and it is exactly the women of this estate that ought to be the natural supporters of the movement. In the fourth estate, in which there are a great many Socialists, the woman’s rights movement is identical with Socialism.

Since the legal status of woman is determined by the Code Napoleon, we need not comment upon it here. By a law of 1900, the wife is empowered to deposit money in a savings bank without the consent of her husband; the limit of her deposit being 3000 francs ($600). The wife also controls her earnings. If, however, she draws more than 100 francs ($20) a month from the savings bank, the husband may protest. Women are now admitted to family councils; they can act as guardians; they can act as witnesses to a marriage. Affiliation cases were made legal in 1906. On December 19, 1908, women were given active and passive suffrage in arbitration courts for labor disputes.

The Belgium secondary school system is exceptional because the government has established a rather large number of girls’ high schools. However, these schools do not prepare for the university entrance examinations (Abiturientenexamen). Women contemplating entering[Pg 192] the university, must prepare for these examinations privately. This was done by Miss Marie Popelin, of Brussels, who wished to study law. The universities of Brussels, Ghent, and Liège have been open to women since 1886. Hence Miss Popelin could execute her plans; in 1888 she received the degree of Doctor of Laws. She made an attempt in 1888-1889 to secure admission to the bar as a practicing lawyer, but the Brussels Court of Appeals decided the case against her.[86]

Miss Marie Popelin is the leader of the middle-class woman’s rights movement in Belgium. She is in charge of the Woman’s Rights League (Ligue du droit des femmes), founded in 1890. With the support of Mrs. Denis, Mrs. Parent, and Mrs. Fontaine, Miss Popelin organized, in 1897, an international woman’s congress in Brussels. Many representatives of foreign countries attended. One of the German representatives, Mrs. Anna Simpson, was astonished by the indifference of the people of Brussels. In her report she says: “Where were the women of Brussels during the days of the Congress? They did not attend, for the middle class is not much interested in our cause. It was especially for this class that the Congress was held.” Dr. Popelin[Pg 193] is also president of the league that has since 1908 taken up the struggle against the official regulation of prostitution.

The schools and convents are the chief fields of activity for the middle-class Belgian women engaged in non-domestic callings. As yet there are only a few women doctors. One of these, Mrs. Derscheid-Delcour, has been appointed as chief physician at the Brussels Orphans’ Home. Mrs. Delcour graduated in 1893 at the University of Berlin summa cum laude; in 1895 she was awarded the gold medal in the surgical sciences in a prize contest for the students of the Belgian universities.

In Belgium 268,337 women are engaged in the industries. The Socialist party has recognized the organizations of these women; it was instrumental in organizing 250,000 women into trade-unions. Elsewhere this would be impossible.[87]

Madame Vandervelde, the wife of the Socialist member of Parliament, and Madame Gatti de Gammond, the publisher of the Cahiers feministes, were the leaders of the Socialist woman’s rights movement, which is organized throughout the country in committees, councils, and societies. Madame Gatti de Gammond died in 1905, and her publication, the Cahiers feministes, was[Pg 194] discontinued. The secretary of the Federation of Socialist Women (Fédération de femmes socialistes) is Madame Tilmans. Vooruit, of Ghent, publishes a woman’s magazine: De Stem der Vrouw.

The women are demanding the right to vote. The Belgian women possessed municipal suffrage till 1830. They were deprived of this right by the Constitution of 1831. A measure favoring universal suffrage (for men and women) was introduced into Parliament in 1894. This bill, however, provided also for plural voting, by which the property-owning and the educated classes were given one or two additional votes. The Socialists opposed this, and demanded that each person have one vote (un homme, un vote). The Clerical majority then replied that it would not bring the bill to a vote. In this way the Clericals remained assured of a majority.

For tactical purposes the Socialists adopted the expression—un homme, un vote. It harmonized with their principles and ideals. At a meeting of the party in which the matter was discussed, it was shown that universal suffrage would be detrimental to the party’s interests; for the Socialists were convinced that woman’s suffrage would certainly insure a majority for the Clericals. Hence, in meeting, the women were persuaded to withdraw their demand for woman’s suffrage on the grounds of opportuneness, and in the meantime to[Pg 195] work for the inauguration of universal male suffrage without the plural vote.[88]

In the Fronde, Audrée Téry summarized the situation in the following dialogue:—

The man. Emancipate yourself and I will enfranchise you.

The woman. Give me the franchise and I shall emancipate myself.

The man. Be free, and you shall have freedom.

In this manner, concludes Audrée Téry, this dialogue can be continued indefinitely.

Recently the middle-class women have begun to show an interest in woman’s suffrage. A woman’s suffrage organization was formed in Brussels in 1908; one in Ghent, in 1909. Together they have organized the Woman’s Suffrage League, which has affiliated with the International Woman’s Suffrage Alliance.

Woman’s lack of rights and her powerlessness in public life are shown by the fact that in Antwerp, in 1908, public aid to the unemployed was granted only to men,—to unmarried as well as to married men. As for the unmarried women, they were left to shift for themselves.

 [Pg 196]

ITALY

Total population:32,449,754.
Women: about16,190,000.
Men: about16,260,000.
Federation of Italian Women’s Clubs.
Woman’s Suffrage League.


National unification raised Italy to the rank of a great power. Italy’s political position as a great power, her modern parliamentary life, and the Liberal and Socialist majority in her Parliament give Italy a position that Spain, for example, does not possess in any way. Catholicism, Clericalism, and Roman custom are no match for these modern liberal powers, and are therefore unable to hinder the woman’s rights movement in the same degree as do these influences in Spain. However, the Italian woman in general is still entirely dependent on the man (see the discussion in Alaremo’s Una Donna), and in the unenlightened classes woman’s feeling of inferiority is impressed upon her by the Church, the law, the family, and by custom. Naturally the woman attempts, as in Spain, to take revenge in the sexual field.

In Italy there is no strict morality among married men. Moreover, the opposition to divorce in Italy comes largely from the women, who, accustomed to being deceived in matrimony, fear that if they are divorced they will be left without means of support. “Boys[Pg 197] make love to girls,—to mere unguided children without any will of their own,—and when these boys marry, be they ever so young, they have already had a wealth of experience that has taught them to regard woman disdainfully—with a sort of cynical authority. Even love and respect for the innocent young wife is unable to eradicate from the young husband the impressions of immorality and bad examples. The wife suffers from a hardly perceptible, but unceasing depression of mind. Innocently, without suspicion, uninformed as to her husband’s past, the wife persists in her belief in his manly superiority until this belief has become a fixed habit of thought, and then even a cruel revelation cannot take him from her.”[89]

In southern Italy,—especially in Sicily,—Arabian oriental conceptions of woman still prevail. During her whole life woman is a grown-up child. No woman, not even the most insignificant woman laborer, can be on the street without an escort. On the other hand, the boys are emancipated very early. With pity and arrogance the sons look down on the mother, who must be accompanied in the street by her sons.

“Close intellectual relations between man and woman cannot as yet be developed, owing to the generally low education of woman, to her subordination, and to her intellectual bondage. While still in the schools[Pg 198] the boy is trained for political life. The average Italian woman participates in politics even less than the German woman; her influence is purely moral. If the Italian woman wishes to accept any office in a society, she must have the consent of her husband attested by a notary. Just as in ancient times, the non-professional interests of the husband are, in great part, elsewhere than at home. The opportunity daily to discuss political and other current questions with men companions is found by the German man in the smaller cities while taking his evening pint of beer. The Italian man finds this opportunity sometimes in the café, sometimes in the public places, where every evening the men congregate for hours. So the educated man in Italy (even more than in Germany) has no need of the intellectual qualities of his wife. Moreover, his need for an educated wife is the less because his misguided precocity prevents him from acquiring anything but an essentially general education. The restricted intellectual relationship between husband and wife is explained partly by the fact that the cicisbeo[90] still exists. This relation ought to be, and generally is, Platonic and publicly known. The wife permits her friend (the cicisbeo) to escort her to the theater and elsewhere in a carriage; the husband also escorts a woman friend. So husband and wife share the inwardly moral unsoundness of the[Pg 199] medieval service of love (Minnedienst). At any rate this custom reveals the fact that after the honeymoon the husband and wife do not have overmuch to say to each other. In this way there takes place, to a certain extent, an open relinquishment of the postulate that, in accordance with the external indissolubility of married life, there ought to be permanent intellectual bonds between man and wife,—a postulate that is the source of the most serious conscience struggles, but which has caused the great moral development of the northern woman.”[91]

Naturally, under such circumstances, the woman’s rights movement has done practically nothing for the masses. In the circles of the nobility the movement, with the consent of the clergy, has until recently confined itself to philanthropy (the forming of associations and insurance societies, the founding of homes, asylums, etc.) and to the higher education of girls.[92] In a private audience the Pope has expressed himself in favor of women’s engaging in university studies (except theology), but he was opposed to woman’s suffrage. The daughters of the educated, liberal (but often poor) bourgeoisie are driven by want and conviction to acquire a higher education and to engage[Pg 200] in academic callings. The material difficulties are not great. As in France, the government has during the past thirty-five years promoted all educational measures that would take from the clergy its power over youth.

Elementary education is public and obligatory. The laws are enforced rather strictly. Coeducation nowhere exists. The number of women teachers is 62,643.

The secondary school system is still largely in the hands of the Catholic religious orders. There are about 100,000 girls and nuns enrolled in these church schools; only 25,000 girls are in the secondary state and private schools (other than the Catholic schools), which cannot give instruction as cheaply as the religious schools. The efforts of the state in this field are not to be criticized: it has given women every educational opportunity. Girls wishing to study in the universities are admitted to the boys’ classical schools (ginnasii) and to the boys’ technical schools. This experiment in coeducation during the plastic age of youth has not even been undertaken by France. To be sure, at present the girls sit together on the front seats, and when entering and leaving class they have the school porter as bodyguard. In spite of all fears to the contrary, coeducation has been a success in northern Italy (Milan), as well as in southern Italy (Naples).

[Pg 201]The universities have never been closed to women. In recent years 300 women have attended the universities and have graduated. During the Renaissance there were many women teachers in Italy. This tradition has been revived; at present there are 10 women university teachers. Dr. jur. Therese Labriola (whose mother is a German) is a lecturer in the philosophy of law at Rome. Dr. med. Rina Monti is a university lecturer in anatomy at Pavia.

There are many practicing women doctors in Italy. Dr. med. Maria Montessori (a delegate to the International Congress of Women in Berlin in 1896) is a physician in the Roman hospitals. The Minister of Public Instruction has authorized her to deliver a course of lectures on the treatment of imbecile children to a class of women teachers in the elementary schools. The legal profession still remains closed to women, although Dr. jur. Laidi Poët has succeeded in being admitted to the bar in Turin.

In government service (in 1901) there were 1000 women telephone employees, 183 women telegraph clerks, and 161 women office clerks. These positions are much sought after by men. The number of women employed in commerce is 18,000; the total number of persons employed in commerce being 57,087. Recently women have been appointed as factory inspectors.

[Pg 202]The beginnings of the modern woman’s rights movement coincide with the political upheavals that occurred between 1859 and 1870. When the Kingdom of Italy had been established, Jessie White Mario demanded a reform of the legal, political, and economic status of woman. Whatever legal concessions have been made to women are due, as in France, to the Liberal parliamentary majority.

Since 1877, women have been able to act as witnesses in civil suits. Women (even married women) can be guardians. The property laws provide for separation of property. Even in cases of joint property holding, the wife controls her earnings and savings. The husband can give her a general authorization (allgemeinautorisation), thus giving her the full status of a legal person before the law. These laws are the most radical reforms to which the Code Napoleon has ever been subjected,—reforms which the French did not venture to enact.

The Liberal majority made an attempt in 1877 to emancipate the women politically. But the attempt failed. Bills providing for municipal woman’s suffrage were introduced and rejected in 1880, 1883, and 1888. However, since 1890, women have been eligible as poor-law guardians. The élite among the Italian men loyally supported the women in their struggle for emancipation. Since 1881 the women have organized[Pg 203] clubs. At first these were unsuccessful. Free and courageous women were in the minority. In Rome the woman’s rights movement was at first exclusively benevolent. In Milan and Turin, on the other hand, there were woman’s rights advocates (under the leadership of Dr. med. Paoline Schiff and Emilia Mariani). The leadership of the national movement fell to the more active, more educated, and economically stronger northern Italy. Here also the movement of the workingwomen had progressed to the stage of organization, as, for example, in the case of the Lombard women workers in the rice fields.

There are 1,371,426 women laborers in Italy. Their condition is wretched. In agriculture, as well as in the industries, they are given the rough, poorly paid work to do. They are exploited to the extreme. Women straw plaiters have been offered 20 centimes, even as little as 10 centimes (4 to 2 cents), for twelve hours’ work. The average daily wage for women is 80 centimes to 1 franc (16 to 20 cents). The maximum is 1 franc 50 centimes (30 cents). The law has fixed the maximum working day for women at twelve hours, and prohibits women under twenty years of age from engaging in work that is dangerous and injurious to health. There are maternity funds for women in confinement, financial aid being given them for four weeks after the birth of the child. Under all these[Pg 204] circumstances the organization of women is exceedingly difficult. Even the Socialists have neglected the organization of workingwomen.

Socialist propaganda among women agricultural laborers was begun in 1901. In Bologna, in the autumn of 1902, there was held a meeting of the representatives of 800 agricultural organizations (having a total membership of 150,000 men and women agricultural laborers). The constitution of the society is characteristic; many of its clauses are primitive and pathetic. This society is intended to be an educational and moral organization. Women members are exhorted “to live rightly, and to be virtuous and kind-hearted mothers, women, and daughters.”[93] It is to be hoped that the task of the women will be made easier through the efforts of the society’s male members to make themselves virtuous and kind-hearted fathers, husbands, and sons. Or are moral duties, in this case also, meant only for woman?

The movement favoring the abolition of the official regulation of prostitution was introduced into Italy by Mrs. Butler. A congress in favor of abolition was held in 1898 in Genoa. Recently, thanks to the efforts of Dr. Agnes MacLaren and Miss Buchner, the movement has been revived, and urged upon the Catholic clergy. The Italian branch of the [Pg 205]International Federation for the Abolition of the Official Regulation of Prostitution was founded in 1908. In the same year was held in Rome the successful Congress of the Federation of Women’s Clubs. This Congress, representing the nobility, the middle class, and workingwomen, brought the woman’s suffrage question to the attention of the public. A number of woman’s suffrage societies had been organized previously, in Rome as well as in the provinces. They formed the National Woman’s Suffrage League, which, in 1906, joined the International Woman’s Suffrage Alliance. Through the discussions in the women’s clubs, woman’s suffrage became a topic of public interest. The Amsterdam Report [of the Congress of the International Woman’s Suffrage Alliance] says: “The women of the aristocracy wish to vote because they are intelligent; they feel humiliated because their coachman or chauffeur is able to vote. The workingwomen demand the right to vote, that they may improve their conditions of labor and be able to support their children better.” A parliamentary commission for the consideration of woman’s suffrage was established in 1908. In the meantime the existence of this commission enables the President of the Ministry to dispose of the various proposed measures with the explanation that such matters will not be considered until the commission has expressed itself on the whole question. Women have[Pg 206] active and passive suffrage for the arbitration courts for labor disputes.

 

SPAIN[94]

Total population:18,813,493.
Women:9,558,896.
Men:9,272,597.
No federation of women’s clubs.
No woman’s suffrage league.


Whoever has traveled in Spain knows that it is a country still living, as it were, in the seventeenth century,—nay in the Middle Ages. The fact has manifold consequences for woman. In all cases progress is hindered. Woman is under the yoke of the priesthood, and of a Catholicism generally bigoted. The Church teaches woman that she is regarded as the cause of carnal desire and of the fall of man. By law, woman is under the guardianship of man. Custom forbids the “respectable” woman to walk on the street without a man escort. The Spanish woman regards herself as a person of the second order, a necessary adjunct to man. Such a fundamental humiliation and subordination is opposed to human nature. As the Spanish woman has no power of open opposition, she resorts to cunning. By instinct she is[Pg 207] conscious of the power of her sex; this she uses and abuses. A woman’s rights advocate is filled with horror, quite as much as with pity, when she sees this mixture of bigotry, coquetry, submissiveness, cunning, and hate that is engendered in woman by such tyranny and lack of progress.

The Spanish woman of the lower classes receives no training for any special calling; she is a mediocre laborer. She acts as beast of burden, carries heavy burdens on her shoulders, carries water, tills the fields, and splits wood. She is employed as an industrial laborer chiefly in the manufacture of cigars and lace. “The wages of women,” says Professor Posada,[95] “are incredibly low,” being but 10 cents a day. As tailors, women make a scanty living, for many of the Spanish women do their own tailoring. The mantilla makes the work of milliners in general superfluous. In commercial callings women are still novices. Recently there has been talk of beginning the organization of women into trade-unions.

Women are employed in large numbers as teachers; teaching being their sole non-domestic calling. Elementary instruction has been obligatory since 1870, however, only in theory. In 1889 28 per cent of the women were illiterate. In many cases the girls of the lower classes do not attend school at all. When[Pg 208] they do attend, they learn very little; for owing to the lack of seminaries the training of women teachers is generally quite inadequate. A reform of the central seminary of women teachers, in Madrid, took place in 1884; this reform was also a model for the seminaries in the provinces. The secondary schools for girls are convent schools. In France there are complaints that these schools are inadequate. What, then, can be expected of the Spanish schools! The curriculum includes only French, singing, dancing, drawing, and needlework. But the “Society for Female Education” is striving to secure a reform of the education for girls.

Preparation for entrance to the university must be secured privately. The number of women seeking entrance to universities is small. Most of them, so far as I know, are medical students. However, the Spanish women have a brilliant past in the field of higher education. Donna Galinda was the Latin professor of Queen Isabella. Isabella Losa and Sigea Aloisia of Toledo were renowned for their knowledge of Latin, Greek, and Hebrew; Sigea Aloisia corresponded with the Pope in Arabic and Syriac. Isabel de Rosores even preached in the Cathedral of Barcelona.

In the literature of the present time Spanish women are renowned. Of first rank is Emilia Pardo Bazan, who is called the “Spanish Zola.” She is a countess and an only daughter, two circumstances that [Pg 209]facilitated her emancipation and, together with her talent, assured her success. She characterizes herself as “a mixture of mysticism and liberalism.” At the age of seven she wrote her first verses. Her best book portrayed a “liberal monk,” Father Fequë. Pascual Loper, a novel, was a great success. She then went to Paris to study naturalism. Here she became acquainted with Zola, Goncourt, Daudet, and others. A study of Francis of Assisi led her again to the study of mysticism. In her recent novels liberalism is mingled with idealism.

Emilia Pardo Bazan is by conviction a woman’s rights advocate. In the Madrid Atheneum she filled with great success the position of Professor of French Literature. At the pedagogical congress in Madrid, in 1899, she gave a report on Woman, her Education, and her Rights.

In Spain there are a number of well-known women journalists, authors, and poets. Dr. Posada enumerates a number of woman’s rights publications on pages 200-202 of his book, El Feminismo.

Concepcion Arenal was a prominent Spanish woman and woman’s rights advocate. She devoted herself to work among prisoners, and wrote a valuable handbook dealing with her work. She felt the oppression of her sex very keenly. Concerning woman’s status, which man has forced upon her, Concepcion Arenal[Pg 210] expressed herself as follows: “Man despises all women that do not belong to his family; he oppresses every woman that he does not love or protect. As a laborer, he takes from her the best paid positions; as a thinker, he forbids the mental training of woman; as a lover, he can be faithless to her without being punished by law; as a husband, he can leave her without being guilty before the law.”

The wife is legally under the guardianship of her husband; she has no authority over her children. The property laws provide for joint property holding.

In spite of these conditions Concepcion Arenal did not give up all hope. “Women,” said she, “are beginning to take interest in education, and have organized a society for the higher education of girls.” The pedagogical congresses in Madrid (1882 and 1889) promoted the intellectual emancipation of women. Catalina d’Alcala, delegate to the International Congress of Women in Chicago in 1893, closed her report with the words, “We are emerging from the period of darkness.” However, he who has wandered through Spanish cathedrals knows that this darkness is still very dense! Nevertheless, the woman’s suffrage movement has begun: the women laborers are agitating in favor of a new law of association. A number of women teachers and women authors have petitioned for the right to vote. In March, 1908, during the[Pg 211] discussion of a new law concerning municipal administration, an amendment in favor of woman’s suffrage was introduced, but was rejected by a vote of 65 to 35. The Senate is said to be more favorable to woman’s suffrage than is the Chamber of Deputies.

The fact that women of the aristocracy have opposed divorce, and that women of all classes have opposed the enactment of laws restricting religious orders, is made to operate against the political emancipation of women. A deputy in the Cortez, Senor Pi y Arsuaga, who introduced the measure in favor of the right of women taxpayers to vote in municipal elections, argued that the suffrage of a woman who is the head of a family seems more reasonable to him than the suffrage of a young man, twenty-five years old, who represents no corresponding interests.

 

PORTUGAL

Total population:5,672,237.
Women:2,583,535.
Men:2,520,602.
No federation of women’s clubs.
No woman’s suffrage league.


Portugal is smaller than Spain; its finances are in better condition; therefore the compulsory education law (introduced in 1896) is better enforced. As yet[Pg 212] there are no public high schools for girls; but there are a number of private schools that prepare girls for the university entrance examinations (Abiturientenexamen). The universities admit women. Women doctors practice in the larger cities. The women laborers are engaged chiefly in the textile industry; their wages are about two thirds of those of the men.

 

THE LATIN-AMERICAN REPUBLICS OF CENTRAL AND SOUTH AMERICA


MEXICO AND CENTRAL AMERICA[96]


The condition prevailing in Mexico and Central America is one of patriarchal family life, the husband being the “master” of the wife. There are large families of ten or twelve children. The life of most of the women without property consists of “endless routine and domestic tyranny”; the life of the property-owning women is one of frivolous coquetry and indolence. There is no higher education for women; there are no high ideals. The education of girls is generally regarded as unnecessary.

There are public elementary schools for girls,—with women teachers. The higher education of girls is carried on by convent schools, and comprises domestic[Pg 213] science, sewing, dancing, and singing. In the Mexican public high schools for girls, modern subjects and literature are taught; the work is chiefly memorizing. Technical schools for girls are unknown. Women do not attend the universities. Women teachers in Mexico are paid good salaries,—250 francs ($50) a month.

Women are engaged in commerce only in their own business establishments; and then in small retail businesses. The rest of the workingwomen are engaged in agriculture, domestic service, washing, and sewing. Their wages are from 40 to 50 per cent lower than those of men. The legal status of women is similar to that of the French women. In Mexico only does the wife control her earnings. Divorce is not recognized by law, though separation is. By means of foreign teachers the initiative of the people has been slightly aroused. It will take long for this stimulus to reach the majority of the people.

 

SOUTH AMERICA[97]


In South America there are the same “patriarchal” forms of family life, the same external restrictions for woman. She must have an escort on the streets, even though the escort be only a small boy.

[Pg 214]Just as in Central America, the occupations of the women of the lower and middle class are agriculture, domestic service, washing, sewing, and retail business. But woman’s educational opportunities in South America are greater, although through public opinion everything possible is done to prevent women from desiring an education and admission to a liberal calling. Elementary education is compulsory (often in coeducational schools). Secondary education is in the hands of convents. In Brazil, Chili, Venezuela, Argentine Republic, Paraguay, and Colombia, the universities have been opened to women. As yet there are no women preachers or lawyers, although several women have studied law. Women practice as physicians, obstetrics still being their special field.

The beginnings of a woman’s rights movement exist in Chili. The Chilean women learn readily and willingly. They have proved their worth in business and in the liberal callings. They have competed successfully for government positions; they have founded trade-unions and coöperative societies; many women are tramway conductors, etc. In all the South American republics women have distinguished themselves as poets and authors. In the Argentine Republic there is a Federation of Woman’s Clubs, which, in 1901, joined the International Council of Women.

 

 


[Pg 215]

CHAPTER III

THE SLAVIC AND BALKAN STATES

In the Slavic countries there is a lack of an ancient, deeply rooted culture like that of western Europe. Everywhere the oriental viewpoint has had its effect on the status of woman. In general the standards of life are low; therefore, the wages of the women are especially wretched. Political conditions are in part very unstable,—in some cases wholly antique. All of these circumstances greatly impede the progress of the woman’s rights movement.

 

RUSSIA

Total population:94,206,195.
Women:47,772,455.
Men:46,433,740.
Federation of Russian Women’s Clubs.[98]
National woman’s Suffrage League.


The Russian woman’s rights movement is forced by circumstances to concern itself chiefly with [Pg 216]educational and industrial problems. All efforts beyond these limits are, as a matter of course, regarded as revolutionary. Such efforts are a part of the forbidden “political movement”; therefore they are dangerous and practically hopeless. Some peculiarities of the Russian woman’s rights movement are: its individuality, its independence of the momentary tendencies of the government, and the companionable coöperation of men and women. All three characteristics are accounted for by the absolute government that prevails in Russia, in spite of its Duma.

Under this régime the organization of societies and the holding of meetings are made exceedingly difficult, if not impossible. Individual initiative therefore works in solitude; discussion or the expression of opinions is not very feasible. When individual initiative ceases, progress usually ceases also. Corporate activity, such as educates women adherents, did not exist formerly in Russia. The lack of united action wastes much force, time, and money. Unconsciously people compete with each other. Without wishing to do so, people neglect important fields. The absolute régime regards all striving for an education as revolutionary. The educational institutions for women are wholly in the hands of the government. These institutions are tolerated; but a mere frown from above puts an end to their existence.

[Pg 217]It is the absolute régime that makes comrades of men and women struggling for emancipation. The oppression endured by both sexes is in fact the same.

The government has not always been an enemy of enlightenment, as it is to-day. The first steps of the woman’s rights movement were made through the influence of the rulers. Although polygamy did not exist in Russia, the country could not free itself from certain oriental influences. Hence the women of the property-owning class formerly lived in the harem (called terem). The women were shut off from the world; they had no education, often no rearing whatever; they were the victims of deadly ennui, ecstatic piety, lingering diseases, and drunkenness.

With a strong hand Peter the Great reformed the condition of Russian women. The terem was abolished; the Russian woman was permitted to see the world. In rough, uncivilized surroundings, in the midst of a brutal, sensuous people, woman’s release was not in all cases a gain for morality. It is impossible to become a woman of western Europe upon demand.

Catherine II saw that there must be a preparation for this emancipation. She created the Institute de demoiselles for girls of the upper classes. The instruction, borrowed from France, remained superficial enough; the women acquired a knowledge of French, a few accomplishments, polished manners, and an aristocratic[Pg 218] bearing. For all that, it was then an achievement to educate young Russian women according to the standards of western Europe. The superficiality of the Institutka was recognized in the middle of the nineteenth century. Alexander II, the Tsarina, and her aunt, Helene Pavlovna, favored reforms. The emancipator of the serfs could also liberate women from their intellectual bondage.

Thus with the protection of the highest power, the first public lyceum for girls was established in 1857 in Russia. This was a day school for girls of all classes. What an innovation! To-day there are 350 of these lyceums, having over 10,000 women students. The curriculums resemble those of the German high schools for girls. None of these lyceums (except the humanistic lyceum for girls in Moscow), are equivalent to the German Gymnasiums or Realgymnasiums, nor even to the Oberrealschulen or Realschulen. This explains and justifies the refusal of the German universities to regard the leaving certificates of the Russian lyceums as equivalent to the Abiturienten certificate of the German schools. The compulsory studies in the girls’ lyceums are: Russian, French, religion, history, geography, geometry, algebra, a few natural sciences, dancing, and singing. The optional studies are German, English, Latin, music, and sewing. The lyceums of the large cities make foreign languages compulsory also; but[Pg 219] these institutions are in the minority. In the natural sciences and in mathematics “much depends on the teacher.” A Russian woman wishing to study in the university must pass an entrance examination in Latin.

The first efforts to secure the higher education of women were made by a number of professors of the University of St. Petersburg in 1861. They opened courses for the instruction of adult women in the town hall. Simultaneously the Minister of War admitted a number of women to the St. Petersburg School of Medicine, this school being under his control.

However, the reaction began already in 1862. Instruction in the School of Medicine, as well as in the town hall, was discontinued. Then began the first exodus of Russian women students to Germany and Switzerland. But in St. Petersburg, in 1867, there was formed a society, under the presidency of Mrs. Conradi, to secure the reopening of the course for adult women. The society appealed to the first congress of Russian naturalists and physicians. This congress sent a petition, with the signatures of influential men, to the Minister of Public Instruction. In two years Mrs. Conradi was informed that the Minister would grant a two-year course for men and women in Russian literature and the natural sciences. The society accepted what was offered. It was little enough. Moreover, the society had to defray the cost of instruction;[Pg 220] but it was denied the right to give examinations and confer degrees. All the teachers, however, taught without pay. In 1885 the society erected its own building in which to give its courses. The instruction was again discontinued in 1886. Once more the Russian women flocked to foreign countries. In 1889 the courses were again opened (Swiss influence on Russian youth was feared). The number of those enrolled in the courses was limited to 600 (of these only 3 per cent could be unorthodox, i.e. Jewish). These courses are still given in St. Petersburg. Recently the Council of Ministers empowered the Minister of Public Instruction to forbid women to attend university lectures; but those who have already been admitted, and find it impossible to attend other higher institutions of learning for girls, have been allowed to complete their course in the university. The present number of women hearers in Russian universities is 2130. A Russian woman doctor was admitted as a lecturer by the University of Moscow, but her appointment was not confirmed by the Minister of Public Instruction. She appealed thereupon to the Senate, declaring that the Russian laws nowhere prohibited women from acting as teachers in the universities; moreover, her medical degree gave her full power to do so. The decision of the Senate is still pending.

A recent law opens to women the calling of architect[Pg 221] and of engineer. The work done on the Trans-Siberian Railroad by the woman engineer has given better satisfaction than any of the other work. A bill providing for the admission of women to the legal profession has been introduced but has not yet become law.

The Russian women medical students shared the vicissitudes of Russian university life for women. After 1862 they studied in Switzerland, where Miss Suslowa, in 1867, was the first woman to be given the doctor’s degree in Zurich. However, since the lack of doctors is very marked on the vast Russian plains, the government in 1872 opened special courses for women medical students in St. Petersburg. (In another institution courses were given for midwives and for women regimental surgeons.) The women completing the courses in St. Petersburg were not granted the doctor’s degree, however. The Russian women earned the doctor’s degree in the Russo-Turkish War (1877-1878); for ten years after this war women graduates of the St. Petersburg medical courses were granted degrees. Then these courses were closed in 1887. They were opened again in 1898. Under these difficult circumstances the Russian women secured their higher education.

In the elementary schools, for every 1000 women inhabitants there are only 13.1 women public school teachers. Of the 2,000,000 public school children, only 650,000 are girls. The number of illiterates in Russia[Pg 222] varies from 70 to 80 per cent. The elementary school course in the country is only three years (it is five years in the cities).

The number of women public school teachers is 27,000 (as compared with 40,000 men teachers). An attempt has been made by the women village school teachers to arouse the women agricultural laborers from their stupor. Organization of women laborers has been attempted in the cities. For the present the task seems superhuman.[99]

When graduating from the lyceum the young girl is given her teaching diploma, which permits her to teach in the four lower classes in the girls’ lyceums. Those wishing to teach in the higher classes must take a special examination in a university. The higher classes in the girls’ lyceums are taught chiefly by men teachers. When a Russian woman teacher marries she need not relinquish her position.

In Russia the women doctors have a vast field of work. For every 200,000 inhabitants there is only one doctor! However, in St. Petersburg there is one [Pg 223]doctor for every 10,000 inhabitants. According to the most recent statistics there are 545 women doctors in Russia. Of these, 8 have ceased to practice, 245 have official positions, and 292 have a private practice. Of the 132 women doctors in St. Petersburg, 35 are employed in hospitals, 14 in the sanitary department of the city; 7 are school physicians, 5 are assistants in clinics and laboratories, 2 are superintendents of maternity hospitals, 2 have charge of foundling asylums, 5 have private hospitals, and the rest engage in private practice. Of the 413 women doctors not in St. Petersburg, 173 have official positions, the others have a private practice.

The local governments (zemstvos) have appointed 26 women doctors in the larger cities, 21 in the smaller, and 55 in the rural districts. There are 18 women doctors employed in private hospitals on country estates, 8 in hospitals for Mohammedan women, 16 in schools, 9 in factories, 4 are employed by railroads, 4 by the Red Cross Society, etc. The practice of the woman doctor in the country is naturally the most difficult and the least remunerative. Therefore, it is willingly given over to the women. Thanks to individual ability, the Russian woman doctor is highly respected.

There are 400 women druggists in Russia. Their training for the calling is received by practical work (this is true of the men druggists also). According to[Pg 224] the last statistics (1897), there were 126,016 women engaged in the liberal professions. There are a number of women professors in the state universities.

Women engage in commercial callings. The schools of commerce for women were favored by Witte in his capacity of Minister of Finance. They have since been placed under the control of the Minister of Instruction and Religion. This will restrict the freedom of instruction. Instruction in agriculture for women has not yet been established. Commerce engages 299,403 women; agriculture and fisheries, 2,086,169.

Women have been appointed as factory inspectors since 1900. The Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Communication employ women in limited numbers, without entitling them to pensions. The government of the province of Moscow has appointed women to municipal offices, and has appointed them as fire insurance agents. The zemstvo of Kiew had done this previously; but suddenly it discharged them from the municipal offices. For the past nine years an institution founded by the Princes Liwin has trained women as managers of prisons.[100]

The names of two prominent Russian women must be mentioned: Sonja Kowalewska, the winner of a contest in mathematics, and Madame Sklodowska-Curie, the[Pg 225] discoverer of radium. Both prove that women can excel in scientific work. It must be emphasized that the woman student in Russia must often struggle against terrible want. Whoever has studied in Swiss, German, or French universities knows the Russian-Polish students who in many cases must get along for the whole year with a couple of ten ruble bills (about ten dollars). They are wonderfully unassuming; they possess inexhaustible enthusiasm.

Many Russian women begin their university careers poorly prepared. To unfortunate, divorced, widowed, or destitute women the “University” appears to be a golden goal, a promised land. Of the privations that these women endure the people of western Europe have no conception. In Russia the facts are better known. Wealthy women endow all educational institutions for girls with relief funds and with loan and stipend funds. Restaurants and homes for university women have been established. The “Society for the Support of University Women” in Moscow has done its utmost to relieve the misery of the women students.[101]

The economic misery of the industrial and agricultural women (who are almost wholly unorganized) is somewhat worse than that of the university women. The statements concerning women’s wages in Vienna might give some idea of the misery of the Russian women. In[Pg 226] Bialystock, which has the best socialistic organization of women, the women textile workers earn about 18 cents a day; under favorable circumstances $1.25 to $1.50 a week. A skillful woman tobacco worker will earn 32½ cents a day. The average daily wages for Russian women laborers are 18 to 20 cents.

Hence it is not astonishing that in the South American houses of ill-fame there are so many Russian girls. The agents in the white slave trade need not make very extravagant promises of “good wages” to find willing followers.[102] A workingwomen’s club has existed since 1897 in St. Petersburg. There are 982,098 women engaged in industry and mining; 1,673,605 in domestic service (there being 1,586,450 men domestic servants). Of the women domestic servants 53,283 are illiterate (of the men only 2172!). In 1885 the women formed 30 per cent of the laboring population; in 1900 the number had increased to 44 per cent. Of the total number of criminals in Russia 10 per cent are women.

The legal status of the Russian woman is favorable in so far as the property law provides for property rights. The Russian married woman controls not only her property, but also her earnings and her savings. As survival of village communism and the feudal system, the right to vote is restricted to taxpayers and to landowners.[Pg 227] In the rural districts the wife votes as “head of the family,” if her husband is absent or dead. Then she is also given her share of the village land. She votes in person. In the cities the women that own houses and pay taxes vote by proxy. The women owners of large estates (as in Austria) vote also for the provincial assemblies. Although constitutional liberties have a precarious existence in Russia, they have now and then been beneficial to women.

With great effort, and in the face of great dangers, woman’s suffrage societies were formed in various parts of the Empire. They united into a national Woman’s Suffrage League. The brave Russian delegates were present in Copenhagen and in Amsterdam. They belonged to all ranks of society and were adherents to the progressive political parties. Since the dissolution of the first Duma (June 9, 1906) the work of the woman’s suffrage advocates has been made very difficult; in the rural districts especially all initiative has been crippled. In Moscow and St. Petersburg the work is continued by organizations having about 1000 members; 10,000 pamphlets have been distributed, lectures have been held, a newspaper has been established, and a committee has been organized which maintains a continuous communication with the Duma.

The best established center of the Russian woman’s rights movement is the Woman’s Club in St. Petersburg.[Pg 228] Through the tenacious efforts of the leading women of the club,—Mrs. v. Philosophow, (Mrs.) Dr. med. Schabanoff, and others,—the government granted them, in the latter part of December, 1908, the right to hold the first national congress of women. (The stipulation was made that foreign women should not participate, and that a federation of women’s clubs should not be formed.) The discussions concerned education, labor problems, and politics. Publicity was much restricted; police surveillance was rigid; addresses on the foreign woman’s suffrage movement were prohibited. Nevertheless, this progressive declaration was made: Only the right to vote can secure for the Russian women a thorough education and the right to work. Moreover, the Congress favored: better marriage laws (a wife cannot secure a passport without the consent of her husband), the abolition of the official regulation of prostitution, the abolition of the death penalty, the struggle against drunkenness, etc. The Congress was opened by the Lord Mayor of St. Petersburg and was held in the St. Petersburg town hall. This was done in a sense of obligation to the women school teachers of St. Petersburg and to those women who had endeared themselves to the people through their activity in hospitals and asylums. The Lord Mayor stated that these activities were appreciated by the municipal officers and by all municipal institutions.

[Pg 229]Although the Congress was opened with praise for the women, it ended with an intentional insult to the highly talented and deserving leader, Mrs. v. Philosophow. Mr. Purischkewitch, the reactionary deputy of the Duma, wrote a letter in which he expressed his pleasure at the adjournment of her “congress of prostitutes” (Bordellkongress). Mrs. v. Philosophow surrendered this letter and another to the courts, which sentenced the offender to a month’s imprisonment, against which he appealed. After this Congress has worked over the whole field of the woman’s rights movement, a special congress on the education of women will be held in the autumn of 1909.[103]

Since the Revolution of 1905 the women of the provinces have been astir. It has been reported that the Mohammedan women of the Caucasus are discarding their veils, that the Russian women in the rural districts are petitioning for greater privileges, etc. An organized woman’s rights movement has originated in the Baltic Provinces; its organ is the Baltic Women’s Review (Baltische Frauenrundschau), the publisher being a woman, E. Schütze, Riga.

 [Pg 230]

CZECHISH BOHEMIA AND MORAVIA

Total population: about 5,500,000.
The women predominate numerically.

No federation of women’s clubs.
No woman’s suffrage league.


The woman’s rights movement is strongly supported among the Czechs. Woman is the best apostle of nationalism; the educated woman is the most valuable ally. In the national propaganda woman takes her place beside the man. The names of the Czechish women patriots are on the lips of everybody. Had the Liberals of German Austria known equally well how to inspire their women with liberalism and Germanism, their cause would to-day be more firmly rooted.

In inexpensive but well-organized boarding schools the Czechish girls (especially country girls, the daughters of landowners and tenants) are being educated along national lines. An institute such as the “Wesna[104] in Brünn is a center of national propaganda. Prague, like Brünn, has a Czechish Gymnasium for girls as well as the German Gymnasium. There is also a Czechish University besides the German University. The first woman to be given the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the Czechish university was Fräulein Babor.

The industrial conditions in Czechish Bohemia and[Pg 231] in Moravia differ very little from those in Galicia. The lot of the workingwomen, especially in the coal mining districts, is wretched. According to a local club doctor (Kassenarzt),[105] life is made up of hunger, whiskey, and lashes.

Although paragraph 30, of the Austrian law of association (Vereinsgesetz) prevents the Czechish women from forming political associations, the women of Bohemia, especially of Prague, show the most active political interest. The women owners of large estates in Bohemia voted until 1906 for members of the imperial Parliament. When universal suffrage was granted to the Austrian men, the voting rights of this privileged minority were withdrawn. The government’s resolution, providing for an early introduction of a woman’s suffrage measure, has not yet been carried out.

The suffrage conditions for the Bohemian Landtag (provincial legislature) are different. Taxpayers, office-holders, doctors, and teachers vote for this body; the women, of course, voting by proxy. The same is true in the Bohemian municipal elections. In Prague only are the women deprived of the suffrage. The Prague woman’s suffrage committee, organized in 1905, has proved irrefutably that the women in Prague are legally entitled to the suffrage for the Bohemian Landtag. In the Landtag election of 1907 the women presented a[Pg 232] candidate, Miss Tumova, who received a considerable number of votes, but was defeated by the most prominent candidate (the mayor). However, this campaign aroused an active interest in woman’s suffrage. In 1909 Miss Tumova was again a candidate. The proposed reform of the election laws for the Bohemian Landtag (1908) (which provides for universal suffrage, although not equal suffrage) would disfranchise the women outside Prague. The women are opposing the law by indignation meetings and deputations.

 

GALICIA[106]

Total population: about7,000,000.
Poles: about3,500,000.
Ruthenians: about3,500,000.
The women predominate numerically.

No federation of women’s clubs.
No woman’s suffrage league.


The conditions prevailing in Galicia are unspeakably pathetic,—medieval, oriental, and atrocious. Whoever has read Emil Franzo’s works is familiar with these conditions. The Vienna official inquiry into the industrial conditions of women led to a similar inquiry in Lemberg. This showed that most of the women cannot[Pg 233] live on their earnings. The lowest wages are those of the women engaged in the ready-made clothing industry,—2 to 2½ guldens ($.96 to $1.10) a month as beginners; 8 to 10 guldens ($3.85 to $4.82) later. The wages (including board and room) of servant girls living with their employers are 20 to 25 cents a day. The skilled seamstress that sews linen garments can earn 40 cents a day if she works sixteen hours.

As a beginner, a milliner earns 2 to 4 guldens ($.96 to $1.93) a month, later 10 guldens ($4.82). In the mitten industry (a home industry) a week’s hard work brings 6 to 8 guldens ($2.89 to $3.88). In laundries women working 14 hours earn 80 kreuzer (30 cents) a day without board. In printing works and in bookbinderies women are employed as assistants; for 9½ hours’ work a day they are paid a monthly wage of from 2 to 14 and 15 guldens ($.96 to $7.23). In the bookbinderies women sometimes receive 16 guldens ($7.71) a month.

In Lemberg, as in Vienna, women are employed as brickmakers and as bricklayers’ assistants, working 10 to 11 hours a day; their wages are 40 to 60 kreuzer (19 to 29 cents) a day. No attempt to improve these conditions through organizations has yet been made. The official inquiry thus far has confined itself to the Christian women laborers. What miseries might not be concealed in the ghettos!

An industrial women’s movement in Galicia is not to[Pg 234] be thought of as yet. There is a migration of the women from the flat rural districts to the cities; i.e. into the nets of the white slave agents. Women earning 10, 15, or 20 cents a day are easily lured by promises of higher wages. The ignorance of the lower classes (Ruthenians and Poles) is, according to the ideas of western Europe, immeasurable. In 1897 336,000 children between six and twelve years (in a total of about 923,000) had never attended school. Of 4164 men teachers, 139 had no qualifications whatever! Of the 4159 women teachers 974 had no qualifications! The minimum salary is 500 kronen ($101.50). The women teachers in 1909 demanded that they be regarded on an equality with the men teachers by the provincial school board. There are Gymnasiums for girls in Cracow, Lemberg, and Przemysl. Women are admitted to the universities of Cracow and Lemberg. In one of the universities (Mrs.) Dr. Dazynska is a lecturer on political economy. In Cracow there is a woman’s club. Propaganda is being organized throughout the land.

A society to oppose the official regulation of prostitution and to improve moral conditions was organized in 1908. The Galician woman taxpayer votes in municipal affairs; the women owners of large estates vote for members of the Landtag. (Mrs.) Dr. Dazynska and Mrs. Kutschalska-Reinschmidt of Cracow are champions of the woman’s rights movement in Galicia.[Pg 235] Mrs. Kutschalska lives during parts of the year in Warsaw. She publishes the magazine Ster. In Russian Poland her activities are more restricted because the forming of organizations is made difficult. In spite of this the “Equal Rights Society of Polish Women” has organized local societies in Kiew, Radom, Lublin, and other cities. The formation of a federation of Polish women’s clubs has been planned. In Warsaw the Polish branch of the International Federation for the Abolition of Prostitution was organized in 1907. An asylum for women teachers, a loan-fund for women teachers, and a commission for industrial women are the external evidences of the activities of the Polish woman’s rights movement in Warsaw.

The field of labor for the educated woman is especially limited in Poland. Excluded from government service, many educated Polish women flock into the teaching profession; there they have restricted advantages. The University of Warsaw has been opened to women.

 

THE SLOVENE WOMAN’S RIGHTS MOVEMENT[107]

Total population: 1,176,672.
The women preponderate numerically.

The Slovene woman’s rights movement is still incipient; it was stimulated by Zofka Kveder’s “The[Pg 236] Mystery of Woman” (Mysterium der Frau). Zofka Kveder’s motto is: “To see, to know, to understand.—Woman is a human being.” Zofka Kveder hopes to transform the magazine Slovenka into a woman’s rights review. A South Slavic Social-Democratic movement is attempting to organize trade-unions among the women. The women lace makers have been organized. Seventy per cent of all women laborers cannot live on their earnings. In agricultural work they earn 70 hellers (14 cents) a day. In the ready-made clothing industry they are paid 30 hellers (6 cents) for making 36 buttonholes, 1 krone 20 hellers (25 cents) for making one dozen shirts.

 

SERVIA

Total population: 2,850,000.
The number of women is somewhat greater than that of the men.

Servian Federation of Women’s Clubs.


Servia has been free from Turkish control hardly forty-five years. Among the people the oriental conception of woman prevails along with patriarchal family conditions. The woman’s rights movement is well organized; it is predominantly national, philanthropic, and educational.

Elementary education is obligatory, and is supported[Pg 237] by the “National Society for Public Education” (Nationalen Verein für Volksbildung). The girls and women of the lower classes are engaged chiefly with domestic duties; in addition they work in the fields or work at excellent home industries. These home industries were developed as a means of livelihood by the efforts of Mrs. E. Subotisch, the organizer of the Servian woman’s rights movement. The Servian women are rarely domestic servants (under Turkish rule they were not permitted to serve the enemy); most of the domestic servants are Hungarians and Austrians.

All educational opportunities are open to the women of the middle class. In all of the more important cities there are public as well as private high schools for girls. The boys’ Gymnasiums admit girls. The university has been open to women for twenty-one years; women are enrolled in all departments; recently law has attracted many. For medical training the women, like the men, go to foreign countries (France, Switzerland).

Servia has 1020 women teachers in the elementary schools (the salary being 720 to 2000 francs—$144 to $500—a year, with lodging); there are 65 women teachers in the secondary schools (the salary being 1500 to 3000 francs,—$300 to $600). To the present no woman has been appointed as a university professor. There are six women doctors, the first having entered the profession 30 years ago; there are two women dentists;[Pg 238] but as yet there are no women druggists. There are no women lawyers. There is a woman engineer in the service of the government. In the liberal arts there are three well-known women artists, seven women authors, and ten women poets.

There are many women engaged in commercial callings, as office clerks, cashiers, bookkeepers, and saleswomen. Women are also employed by banks and insurance companies. “A woman merchant is given extensive credit,” is stated in the report of the secretary of the Federation.

In the postal and telegraph service 108 women are employed (the salaries varying from 700 to 1260 francs,—$140 to $252). There are 127 women in the telephone service (the salaries varying from 360 to 960 francs,—$72 to $192). Servia is just establishing large factories; the number of women laborers is still small; 1604 are organized.

Prostitution is officially regulated in Servia; its recruits are chiefly foreign women. Each vaudeville singer, barmaid, etc., is ex officio placed under control.

The oldest woman’s club is the “Belgrade Woman’s Club,” founded in 1875; it has 34 branches. It maintains a school for poor girls, a school for weavers in Pirot, and a students’ kitchen (studentenküche). The “Society of Servian Sisters” and the “Society of Queen Lubitza” are patriotic societies for maintaining and[Pg 239] strengthening the Servian element in Turkey, Old Servia, and Macedonia. The “Society of Mothers” takes care of abandoned children. The “Housekeeping Society” trains domestic servants. The Servian women’s clubs within the Kingdom have 5000 members; in the Servian colonies without the Kingdom they have 14,000 members.

The property laws provide for joint property holding. The wife controls her earnings and savings only when this is stipulated in the marriage contract.

In 1909, the Federation of Servian Women’s Clubs inserted woman’s suffrage in its programme, and joined the International Woman’s Suffrage Alliance.

In the struggle for national existence the Servian woman demonstrated her worth, and effected a recognition of her right to an education.

 

BULGARIA

Total population:4,035,586.
Women:1,978,457.
Men:2,057,111.
Federation of Bulgarian Women’s Clubs.


Like Servia, Bulgaria was freed from Turkish control about forty years ago. The liberation caused very little change in the life of the peasant women. But it opened new educational opportunities for the middle classes.[Pg 240] The elementary schools naturally provide for the girls also. (In 1905-1906 there were 1800 men teachers and 800 women teachers in the villages; in the cities 415 men and 355 women.) High schools for girls have been established, but not all of them prepare for the Abiturientenexamen. The first women entered the university of Sofia in 1900. There are now about 100 women students. Since 1907, through the work of a reactionary ministry, the university has excluded women; married women teachers have been discharged. Women attend the schools of commerce, the technical schools, and the agricultural schools. Women are active as doctors (there being 56), midwives, journalists, and authors.

The men and women teachers are organized jointly. Women are employed by the state in the postal and telegraph service. The wages of these women, like those of the women laborers, are lower than those of the men. There is a factory law that protects women laborers and children working in the factories. The trade-unions are socialistic and have men and women members. The laws regulating the legal status of woman have been influenced by German laws. The wife controls her earnings. Politically the Bulgarian woman has no rights.

The Federation of Bulgarian Women’s Clubs was organized in 1899; in 1908 it joined the International Council of Women. Woman’s suffrage occupies the[Pg 241] first place on the programme of the Federation; in 1908 it joined the International Woman’s Suffrage Affiance.

The Bulgarian women, too, have recognized woman’s suffrage as the key to all other woman’s rights. To the present time their demands have been supported by radicals and democrats (who are not very influential).

A meeting of the Federation in 1908 demanded:

1. Active and passive suffrage for women in school administration and municipal councils.

2. The reopening of the University to women. (This has been granted.)

3. The increase of the salaries of women teachers. (They are paid 10 per cent less than the men teachers.)

4. The same curriculums for the boys’ and girls’ schools.

5. An enlargement of woman’s field of labor.

6. Better protection to women and children working in factories.

The President of the Federation is the wife of the President of the Ministry, Malinoff. Because the Federation, led by Mrs. Malinoff, did not oppose the reactionary measures of the Ministry (of Stambolavitch), Mrs. Anna Carima, who had been President of the Federation to 1906, organized the “League of Progressive Women.” This League demands equal rights for the sexes. It admits only confirmed woman’s rights[Pg 242] advocates (men and women). It will request the political emancipation of women in a petition which it intends to present to the National Parliament, which must be called after Bulgaria has been converted into a kingdom. In July (1909) the Progressive League will hold a meeting to draft its constitution.

 

RUMANIA

Total population: 6,585,534.

No federation of women’s clubs.
No woman’s suffrage league.


The status of the Rumanian women is similar to that of the Servian and Bulgarian women; but the legal profession has been opened to the Bulgarian women. A discussion of Rumania must be omitted, since my efforts to secure reliable information have been unsuccessful.

 

GREECE[108]

Total population:2,433,806.
Women:1,166,990.
Men:1,266,816.
Federation of Greek Women.
No woman’s suffrage league.


The Greek woman’s rights movement concerns itself for the time being with philanthropy and education.[Pg 243] Its guiding spirit is Madame Kallirhoe Parren (who acted as delegate in Chicago in 1893, and in Paris in 1900). Madame Parren succeeded in 1896 in organizing a Federation of Greek Women, which has belonged to the International Council of Women since 1908. The presidency of the Federation was accepted by Queen Olga.

The Federation has five sections:

1. The national section. This acts as a patriotic woman’s club. In 1897 it rendered invaluable assistance in the Turco-Greek War, erecting four hospitals on the border and one in Athens. The nurses belonged to the best families; the work was superintended by Dr. med. Marie Kalapothaki and Dr. med. Bassiliades.

2. The educational section. This section establishes kindergartens; it has opened a seminary for kindergartners, and courses for women teachers of gymnastics.[109]

3. The section for the establishment of domestic economy schools and continuation schools. This section is attempting to enlarge the non-domestic field of women and at the same time to prepare women better for their domestic calling. The efforts of this section are quite in harmony with the spirit of the times. The Greek woman’s struggle for existence is exceedingly[Pg 244] difficult; she must face a backwardness of public opinion such as was overcome in northern Europe long ago. This section has also founded a home for workingwomen.

4. The hygiene section. Under the leadership of Dr. Kalapothaki this section has organized an orthopedic and gynecological clinic. The section also gives courses on the care of children, and provides for the care of women in confinement.

5. The philanthropic section. This provides respectable but needy girls with trousseaus (Austeuern).

Mrs. Parren has for eighteen years been editor of a woman’s magazine in Athens. (Miss) Dr. med. Panajotatu has since 1908 been a lecturer in bacteriology at Athens University. At her inaugural lecture the students made a hostile demonstration. Miss Bassiliades acts as physician in the women’s penitentiary. Miss Lascaridis and Miss Ionidis are respected artists; Mrs. v. Kapnist represents woman in literature, especially in poetry. Mrs. Parren has written several dramatic works (some advocating woman’s rights), which have been presented in Athens, Smyrna, Constantinople, and Alexandria. Mrs. Parren is a director of the society of dramatists.

Government positions are still closed to women. As late as 1909, after great difficulties, the first women telephone clerks were appointed.

 

 


[Pg 245]

CHAPTER IV

THE ORIENT AND THE FAR EAST

In the Orient and the Far East woman is almost without exception a plaything or a beast of burden; and to a degree that would incense us Europeans. In the uncivilized countries, and in the countries of non-European civilization, the majority of the women are insufficiently nourished; in all cases more poorly than the men. Early marriages enervate the women. They are old at thirty; this is especially true of the lower classes. Among us, to be sure, such cases occur also; unfortunately without sufficient censure being given when necessary. But we have abolished polygamy and the harem. Both still exist almost undisturbed in the Orient and the Far East.

 

TURKEY AND EGYPT

Total population: 34,000,000.

A federation of women’s clubs has just been founded in each country.


In all the Mohammedan countries the wealthy woman lives in the harem with her slaves. The woman of the lower classes, however, is guarded or restricted no more[Pg 246] than with us. Apparently the Turkish and the Arabian women of the lower classes have an unrestrained existence. But because they are subject to the absolute authority of their husbands, their life is in most cases that of a beast of burden. They work hard and incessantly. For the Mohammedan of the lower classes polygamy is economically a useful institution: four women are four laborers that earn more than they consume.

Domestic service offers workingwomen in the Orient the broadest field of labor. The women slaves in the harems[110] are usually well treated, and they have sufficient to live on. They associate with women shopkeepers, women dancers, midwives, hairdressers, manicurists, pedicures, etc. These are in the pay of the wives of the wealthy. Thanks to this army of spies, a Turkish woman is informed, without leaving her harem, of every step of her husband.

The oppression that all women must endure, and the general fear of the infidelity of husbands, have created among oriental women an esprit de corps that is unknown to European women. Among the upper classes polygamy is being abolished because the country is impoverished and the large estates have been squandered; moreover, each wife is now demanding her own household, whereas formerly the wives all lived together.

[Pg 247]Through the influence of the European women educators, an emancipation movement has been started among the younger generation of women in Constantinople. Many fathers, often through vanity, have given their daughters a European education. Elementary schools, secondary schools, and technical schools have existed in Turkey and Egypt since 1839. The women graduates of these schools are now opposing oriental marriage and life in the harem. At present this is causing tragic conflicts.[111]

To the present, two Turkish women have spoken publicly at international congresses of women. Selma Riza, sister of the “Young Turkish” General, Ahmed Riza, spoke in Paris in 1900, and Mrs. Haïrie Ben-Aid spoke in Berlin in 1904.

The Mohammedan women have a legal supporter of their demands in Kassim Amin Bey, counselor of the Court of Appeals in Cairo. In his pamphlet on the woman’s rights question he proposes the following programme:—

Legal prohibition of polygamy.

Woman’s right to file a divorce suit. (Hitherto a woman is divorced if her husband, even without cause, says thee times consecutively “You are divorced.”)

[Pg 248]

Woman’s freedom to choose her husband.

The training of women in independent thought and action.

A thorough education for woman.

In 1910 a congress of Mohammedan women will be held in Cairo.

I may add that the Koran, the Mohammedan code of laws, gives a married woman the full status of a legal person before the law, and full civil ability. It recognizes separation of property as legal, and grants the wife the right to control and to dispose of her property. Hence the Koran is more liberal than the Code Napoleon or the German Civil Code. Whether the restrictions of the harem make the exercise of these rights impossible in practice, I am unable to say.

European schools, as well as the newly founded Universités populaires, are in Turkey and in Egypt the centers of enlightenment among the Mohammedans. The European women doctors in Constantinople, Alexandria, and Cairo are all disseminators of modern culture. A woman lawyer practices in the Cairo court, and has been admitted to the lawyers’ society.

The Young Turk movement and the reform of Turkey on a constitutional basis found hearty support among the women. They expressed themselves orally and in writing in favor of the liberal ideas; they spoke in public and held public meetings; they attempted to[Pg 249] appear in public without veils, and to attend the theater in order to see a patriotic play; they sent a delegation to the Young Turk committee requesting the right to occupy the spectators’ gallery in Parliament; and, finally, they organized the Women’s Progress Society, which comprises women of all nationalities but concerns itself only with philanthropy and education. As a consequence, the government is said to have resolved to erect a humanistic Gymnasium for girls in Constantinople. The leader of the Young Turks, the present President of the Chamber of Deputies, is, as a result of his long stay in Paris, naturally convinced of the superiority of harem life and legal polygamy (when compared with occidental practices).[112] The freedom of action of the Mohammedan women, especially in the provinces, might be much hampered by traditional obstacles. Nevertheless, the restrictions placed on the Mohammedan woman have been abolished, as is proved by the following:—

In Constantinople there has been founded a “Young Turkish Woman’s League” that proposes to bring about the same great revolutionary changes in the intellectual life of woman that have already been introduced into the political life of man. Knowledge and its benefits must in the future be made accessible to the Turkish women. This is to be done openly. Formerly all[Pg 250] strivings of the Turkish women were carried on in secret. The women revolutionists were anxiously guarded; as far as possible, information concerning their movements was secured before they left their homes. The Turkish women wish to prove that they, as well as the women of other countries, have human rights. When the constitution of the “Young Turkish Woman’s League” was being drawn up, Enver Bey was present. He was thoroughly in favor of the demands of the new woman’s rights movement. The “Young Turkish Woman’s League” is under the protection of Princess Refià Sultana, daughter of the Sultan. Princess Refià, a young woman of twenty-one years of age, has striven since her eighteenth year to acquire a knowledge of the sciences. She speaks several languages. The enthusiasm of the Young Turkish women is great. Many of them appear on the streets without veils,—a thing that no prominent Turkish woman could do formerly. Women of all classes have joined the League. The committee daily receives requests for admission to membership.

 

BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

Total population: 1,591,036.

The men preponderate numerically.


Bosnia and Herzegovina, being Mohammedan countries, have harems and the restricted views of harem[Pg 251] life. Naturally, a woman’s rights movement is not to be thought of. Polygamy and patriarchal life are characteristic.

Into this Mohammedan country the Austrian government has sent women disseminators of the culture of western Europe,[113]—the Bosnian district women doctors. The first of these was Dr. Feodora Krajevska in Dolna Tuszla, now in Serajewo. Now she has several women colleagues. The women doctors wear uniforms,—a black coat, a black overcoat with crimson facings and with two stars on the collar.

 

PERSIA

Total population: about 9,500,000.


In Persia hardly a beginning of the woman’s rights movement exists. The Report[114] that I have before me closes thus: “The Persian woman lives, as it were, a negative life, but does not seem to strive for a change in her condition.” Certainly not. Like the Turkish and the Arabian woman, she is bound by the Koran. Her educational opportunities are even less (there are very few European schools, governesses, and women doctors in Persia). Her field of activity is restricted to agriculture, domestic service, tailoring, and [Pg 252]occasionally, teaching. However, she is said to be quite skillful in the management of her financial affairs. As far as I know, the Persian woman took no part in the constitutional struggle of 1908-1909.

 

INDIA

Total population: 300,000,000.


The Indian woman’s rights movement originated through the efforts of the English. The movement is as necessary and as difficult as the movement in China. The Indian religions teach that woman should be despised. “A cow is worth more than a thousand women.” The birth of a girl is a misfortune: “May the tree grow in the forest, but may no daughter be born to me.”[115]

Formerly it was permissible to drown newborn girls; the English government had to abolish this barbarity (as it abolished the suttee). The Indian woman lives in her apartment, the zenana; here the mother-in-law wields the scepter over the daughters-in-law, the grandchildren, and the women servants. The small girl learns to cook and to embroider; anything beyond that is iniquitous: woman has no brain. The girls that are educated in England must upon their return[Pg 253] again don the veil and adjust themselves to native conditions. At the age of five or six the little girls are engaged, sometimes to young men of ten or twelve years, sometimes to men of forty or fifty. The marriage takes place several years later. Sometimes a man has more than one wife. The wife waits on her husband while he is eating; she eats what remains.

If the wife bears a son, she is reinstated. If she is widowed, she must fast and constantly offer apologies for existing. The widows and orphans were the first natives to become interested in the higher education of women. This was due to economic and social conditions.

India was the cradle of mankind. Even the highest civilizations still bear indelible marks of the dreadful barbarities that have just been mentioned. The Indian woman has rebelled against her miserable condition. The English women considered it possible to bring health, hope, and legal aid to the women of the zenana, through women doctors, women missionaries, and women lawyers. Hence in 1866 zenana missions were organized by English women doctors and missionaries. Native women were soon studying medicine in order to bring an end to the superstitions of the zenana. Dr. Clara Swain came to India in 1869 as the first woman medical missionary. As early as 1872-1873 the first hospital for women was founded; in 1885, through[Pg 254] the work of Lady Dufferin, there originated the Indian National League for Giving Medical Aid to Women (Nationalverband für ärztliche Frauenhilfe in Indien).

Native women have studied law in order to represent their sex in the courts. Their chief motive was to secure an opportunity of conferring with the women in the zenana, a privilege not granted the male lawyer. The first Indian woman lawyer, Cornelia Sorabija, was admitted to the bar in Poona. Even in England the women have not yet been granted this privilege. This is easily explained. The Indian women cannot be clients of men lawyers; what men lawyers cannot take, they generously leave to the women lawyers.

India has 300,000,000 people; hence these meager beginnings of a woman’s rights movement are infinitesimal when compared with the vast work that remains undone.[116] The educated Indian woman is participating in the nationalist movement that is now being directed against English rule. Brahmanism hinders the Indian woman in making use of the educational opportunities offered by the English government. Brahmanism and its priests nourish in woman a feeling of humility and the fear that she will lose her caste through contact with Europeans and infidels. The[Pg 255] Parsee women and the Mohammedan women do not have this fear. The Parsee women (Pundita Ramabai, for example) have played a leading part in the emancipation of their sex in India. But the Mohammedan women of India are reached by the movement only with difficulty. By the Hindoo of the old régime, woman is kept in great ignorance and superstition; her education is limited to a small stock of aphorisms and rules of etiquette; her life in the zenana is largely one of idleness. “Ennui almost causes them to lose their minds” is a statement based on the reports of missionaries.

There are modern schools for girls in all large cities (Calcutta, Madras, Bombay, etc.). The status of the native woman has been Europeanized to the greatest extent in Bengal. The best educated of the native women of all classes are the dancing girls (bayadères); unfortunately they are not “virtuous women” (honnêtes femmes), hence education among women has been in ill repute.

A congress of women was held in Calcutta in 1906 with a woman as chairman; this congress discussed the condition of Indian women. At the medical congress of 1909, in Bombay, Hindoo women doctors spoke effectively. The women doctors have formed the Association of Medical Women in India. In Madras there is published the Indian Ladies’ Magazine.[117]

 [Pg 256]

CHINA[118]

Total population: 426,000,000.


The Chinese woman of the lower classes has the same status as the Mohammedan woman,—ostensible freedom of movement, and hard work. The women of the property owning classes, however, must remain in the house; here, entertaining one another, they live and eat, apart from the men. As woman is not considered in the Chinese worship of ancestors, her birth is as unwished for as that of the Indian woman. Among the poor the birth of a daughter is an economic misfortune. Who will provide for her? Hence in the three most densely populated provinces the murder of girl babies is quite common. In many cases mothers kill their little girls to deliver them from the misery of later life. The father, husband, and the mother-in-law are the masters of the Chinese woman. She can possess property only when she is a widow (see the much more liberal provisions of the Koran).

The earnings of the Chinese wife belong to her husband. But in case of a dispute in this matter, no court would decide in the husband’s favor, for he is supposed to be “the bread winner” of the family. Polygamy is customary; but the Chinese may have only one legitimate[Pg 257] wife (while the Mohammedan may have four). The concubine has the status of a hetaera; she travels with the man, keeps his accounts, etc. The Chinese woman of the property owning class lives, in contrast to the Hindoo woman, a life filled with domestic duties. She makes all the clothes for the family; even the most wealthy women embroider. Frequently the wife succeeds in becoming the adviser of the husband. A widow is not despised; she can remarry. The women of the lower classes engage in agriculture, domestic service, the retail business, all kinds of agencies and commission businesses, factory work (to a small extent), medical science (practiced in a purely experimental way), and midwifery; they carry burdens and assist in the loading and unloading of ships. Women’s wages are one half or three fourths of those of the men.

The lives of the Chinese women, especially among the lower classes, are so wretched that mothers believe they are doing a good deed when they strangle their little girls, or place them on the doorstep where they will be gathered up by the wagon that collects the corpses of children. Many married women commit suicide. “The suffering of the women in this dark land is indescribable,” says an American woman missionary. Those Chinese women that believe in the transmigration of souls hope “in the next world to be anything but a woman.”

[Pg 258]Foreign women doctors, like the women missionaries, are bringing a little cheer into these sad places. Most of these women are English or American. The beginning of a real woman’s rights movement is the work of the Anti-Foot-Binding societies, which are opposing the binding of women’s feet. This reform is securing supporters among men and women.

For seventeen years there has existed a school for Chinese women. This was founded by Kang You Wei, the first Chinese to demand that both sexes should have the same rights. The women that have devoted themselves during these seventeen years to the emancipation of their sex must often face martyrdom. Tsin King, the founder of a semimonthly magazine for women, and of a modern school for girls, met death on the scaffold in 1907 during a political persecution directed against all progressive elements.

Another woman’s rights advocate, Miss Sin Peng Sie, donated 200,000 taëls (a taël is equivalent to 72.9 cents) for the erection of a Gymnasium for girls in her native city, 100,000 taëls to endow a pedagogical magazine, and 50,000 taëls for the support of minor schools for girls. Still another woman’s rights advocate, Wu Fang Lan, resisted every attempt to bind her feet in the traditional manner. There exists a woman’s league, through whose efforts the government, in 1908, prohibited the binding of the feet of little girls.

[Pg 259]In recent years the women’s magazines have increased in number. Four large publications, devoted solely to women’s interests, are published in Canton; five are published in Shanghai, and about as many in every other large city. The new system of education (adopted in 1905) grants women freedom. Girls’ schools have been opened everywhere; in the large cities there are girls’ secondary schools in which the Chinese classics, foreign languages, and other cultural subjects are taught. In Tien Tsin there is a seminary for women teachers.

Sie Tou Fa, a prominent Chinese administrative official (who is also a governor and a lawyer), recently delivered a lecture in Paris on the status of the Chinese woman. This lecture contradicts the statements made above. Among other things he declared that China has produced too many distinguished women (in the political as well as in other fields) for law and public opinion to restrict the freedom of woman. “The Chinese admits superiority, with all its consequences, as soon as he sees it; and this, whether it is shown by man or woman.”[119] According to him there can be no woman’s rights movement in China, because man does not oppress woman! He declares that the progress of women in China since 1905 is a manifestation of [Pg 260]patriotism, not of feminism. According to our experiences the opinions of Sie Tou Fa are attributable to a peculiarly masculine way of observing things.

 

JAPAN AND KOREA[120]

Total population:46,732,876.
Women:23,131,236.
Men:23,601,640.


Previous to the thirteenth century the Japanese woman, when compared with the other women of the Far East, occupied a specially favored position,—as wife and mother, as scholar, author, and counselor in business and political affairs. All these rights were lost during the civil wars waged in the period between the thirteenth and seventeenth centuries. War and militarism are the sworn enemies of woman’s rights. A further cause of the Japanese woman’s loss of rights was the strong influence of Chinese civilization, embodied in the teachings of Confucius.

The Japanese woman was expected to be obedient; her virtues became passive and negative. In the seaports and chief cities, European influence has during the last fifty years caused changes in the dress, general bearing, and social customs of the Japanese. During the past thirty years these changes have been furthered[Pg 261] by the government. While Japan was rising to the rank of a great world power, she was also providing an excellent educational system for women. The movement began with the erection of girls’ schools. The Empress is the patroness of an “Imperial Educational Society,” a “Secondary School for Girls,” and “Educational Institute for the Daughters of Nobles,” and of a “Seminary for Women Teachers.” All of these institutions are in Tokio. Women formed in 1898 13 per cent of the total number of teachers.

Japanese women of wealth and women of the nobility support these educational efforts; they also support the “Charity Bazaar Society,” the Orphans’ Home, and the Red Cross Society. The Red Cross Society trained an excellent corps of nurses, as the Russo-Japanese War demonstrated.

Women are employed as government officials in the railroad offices; they are also employed in banks. Japanese women study medicine, pharmacy, and midwifery in special institutions,[121] which have hundreds of women enrolled. Many women attend commercial and technical schools. Women are engaged in industry,—at very low wages, to be sure; but this fact enables Japan to compete successfully for markets. The number of women in industry exceeds that of the men; in[Pg 262] 1900 there were 181,692 women and 100,962 men industrially engaged. In the textile industry 95 per cent of the laborers are women. Women also outnumber the men in home industries. Women’s average daily wages are 12½ cents. Women remain active in commerce and industry, for the workers are recruited from the lower classes, and they have been better able to withstand Chinese influence. Chinese law (based on the teachings of Confucius) still prevails with all its harshness for the Japanese woman.

The taxpaying Japanese becomes a voter at the age of twenty-five. The Japanese woman has no political rights. Hence a petition has been presented to Parliament requesting that women be granted the right to form organizations and to hold meetings. Parliament favored the measure. But the government is still hesitating, hence a new petition has been sent to Parliament.

The modern woman’s rights movement in Japan is supported by the following organizations: two societies favoring woman’s education, the associations for hygiene, and the society favoring dress reform. The Women’s Union and the League of Women can be regarded as political organizations. There are Japanese women authors and journalists.

Since Korea has belonged to Japan, changes have begun there also. The Korean women have neither a first name nor a family name. According to [Pg 263]circumstances they are called daughter of A. B., wife of A., etc. It is a sign of the time and also of the awakening of woman’s self-reliance that the government of Korea has been presented with a petition, signed by many women, requesting that these conditions be abolished and that women be granted the right to have their own names.


We have completed our journey round the world,—from Japan to the United States is only a short distance, and the intellectual relations between the two countries are quite intimate. Few oriental people seem more susceptible to European culture than the Japanese. But whatever woman’s rights movement there is in non-European countries, it owes its origin almost without exception to the activity of educated occidentals,—to the men and women teachers, educators, doctors, and missionaries. Here is an excellent field for our activities; here is a duty that we dare not forget in the midst of our own struggles. For we cannot estimate the noble work and uplifting power that the world loses in those countries where women are merely playthings and beasts of burden.

 

CONCLUSION

In the greater part of the world woman is a slave and a beast of burden. In these countries she rules[Pg 264] only in exceptional cases—and then through cunning. Equality of rights is not recognized; neither is the right of woman to act on her own responsibility. Even in most countries of European civilization woman is not free or of age. In these countries, too, she exists merely as a sexual being. Woman is free and is regarded as a human being only in a very small part of the civilized world. Even in these places we see daily tenacious survivals of the old barbarity and tyranny. Hence it is not true that woman is the “weaker,” the “protected,” the “loved,” and the “revered” sex. In most cases she is the overworked, exploited, and (even when living in luxury) the oppressed sex. These circumstances dwarf woman’s humanity, and limit the development of her individuality, her freedom, and her responsibility. These conditions are opposed by the woman’s rights movement. The movement hopes to secure the happiness of woman, of man, of the child, and of the world by establishing the equal rights of the sexes. These rights are based on the recognition of equality of merit; they provide for responsibility of action. Most men do not understand this ideal; they oppose it with unconscious egotism.

This book has given an accurate account of the means by which men oppose woman’s rights: scoffing, ridicule, insinuation; and finally, when prejudice, stubbornness, and selfishness can no longer resist the[Pg 265] force of truth, the argument that they do not wish to grant us our rights. There is little encouragement in this; but it shall not perplex us. Man, by opposing woman, caused the struggle between the sexes. Only equality of rights can bring peace. Woman is already certain of her equality. Man will learn by experience that renunciation can be “manly,” that business can be “feminine,” and that all “privilege” is obnoxious. The emancipation of woman is synonymous with the education of man.

Educating is always a slow process; but it inspires limitless hope. When “ideas” have once seized the masses, these ideas become an irresistible force. This is irrefutably proved by the strong growth of our movement since 1904 in all countries of European civilization, and by the awakening of women even in the depths of oriental civilization. The events of the past five years justify us in entertaining great hopes.

[Pg 266]

 

 


[Pg 267]

INDEX

Abbans, Count Jouffroy d’, 57.

Aberdeen, Lady, xi, note 1, 96.

Actresses’ Franchise League, 68.

Adams, Mr. Alva, 22, 23.

Adler, 167.

Adlersparre, Baroness of, 106.

Age of consent, in woman’s suffrage states of the United States, 39.
in Australia, 53, 54.

Agricultural Association for Women, 83.

Agriculturists, women,
in the United States, 36.
in Great Britain, 82-84.
in Sweden, 108.
in France, 186.
in Italy, 203, 204.

Alcala, Catalina d’, 210.

Alexander II, 218.

Alexandra House, 82.

Aloisia, Sigea, 208.

Amberly, Lady, 62.

American Commission, report on European prostitution, 37.

American Federation of Labor, favors woman’s suffrage, 10.
forms organizations of workingwomen, 33.

American Woman’s Suffrage Association, 12.

American women,
activities of, at Constitutional Convention (1787), 2-4.
means of agitation used by, 15, 16.
and political life, 18.
and the protection of youth, 18 and note 1.
and state legislative offices, 22, 23 and note 1.
members of city councils, 22.
in the Colorado legislature, 22, 23 and note 1.
and education, 23-27.
excluded by certain universities, 24.
and the teaching profession, 25.
students in higher institutions of learning, 26.
suffrage of, in school affairs, 27.
increase of women students, 27.
admitted to technical schools, 29.
legal status of, 36, 37.
and sports, 38, 39.

Amsterdam, xiii.

Ancketill, Mr., 100.

Ancketill, Mrs., 100.

Anstie, Dr., 77.

Anthony, Susan B., the Napoleon of the woman’s suffrage movement, 7.
various facts concerning, 7, 8.
joint author of a History of Woman’s Suffrage, 23, note 2.

Anti-Foot-Binding Societies, 258.

Anti-Slavery Congress, 5, 6.

Arenal, Concepcion, 209, 210.

Argentine Republic, 214.

Arsuaga, Pi y, 211.

Artists’ Suffrage League, 68.

Asquith, Mr., 66.

Association Opposed to Woman’s Suffrage (in the United States), 23.

Auclert, Madame, 188.

Augsburg, Dr. Anita, 151.
[Pg 268]
Australia, member of the International Woman’s Suffrage Alliance, xiii.
conditions in, 42 and ff.

Australian universities, 45, 46.

Australian Women’s Political Association, 54.

Austria, represented in The International Woman’s Suffrage Alliance, xiii;
see also German Austria.

Austrian Women Teachers’ Society, 159.


Bajer, 123.

Baltic Women’s Review, 229.

Bassiliades, Dr., 243, 244.

Bayadères, 255.

Bazan, Emilia Pardo, 208, 209.

Beauharnais, Josephine, 178.

Becker, 63.

Belgium, represented in the International Woman’s Suffrage Alliance, xiii.
conditions in, 190, 191.

Ben-Aid, Mrs. Haïrie, 247.

Béothy, Dr., 170.

Beresford-Hope, Mrs., 71.

Bey, Kassim Amin, 247.

Bieber-Böhm, Hanna, 151.

Biggs, 63.

Birmingham, 61.

Björnson, 110, 117, 123.

Blackburn, Helen, 59, note 1.

Blackwell, Elizabeth, 28, 29.

Blackwell, Emily, 29.

Blake, Jex, 77.

Boer War, 64.

Bohemia, conditions in, 230-232.

Boise, Idaho, 21.

Bonald, de, 180.

Bonnevial, Madame, 188.

Bosnia, conditions in, 250.

Boston, 22, 27, 38.

Brabanzon House, 82.

Brahmanism, 254.

Brandes, George, 123.

Braun, Lily, 152.

Bremer, Frederika, 103;
see also Fredericka Bremer League.

Bristol, 61.

Brüstlein, Miss Dr., 136.

Buchner, Miss, 204.

Bulgaria, represented in the International Woman’s Suffrage Alliance, xiii.
conditions in, 239-242.

Butler, Mrs. Josephine, 95, 204.


Cabinet, British, and woman’s suffrage, 65, 67.

Cahiers feministes, 193.

California, woman’s suffrage amendment adopted by, 17, note 1.
efforts of women of, to secure the suffrage, 21.

Cambridge University, 75, 76.

Canada, represented in the International Woman’s Suffrage Alliance, xiii.
woman’s rights movement in, 96 and ff.

Carima, Mrs., 241.

Carinthia, see Slovene Woman’s Rights Movement.

Carniola, see Slovene Woman’s Rights Movement.

Catharine II, 217.

Catholic Woman’s League, 154.

Catholic Women Teachers’ Society, 159.

Catt, Mrs. Carrie Chapman, xiii, 42.

Cauer, Mrs., 150, 151, 152.

Cave, Miss, 78.

Central America, conditions in, 212, 213.

Central Committee for Woman’s Suffrage (England), 63.
[Pg 269]
Central states (of the United States), 35.

Chauvin, Jeanne, 185.

Chicago, 40.

Child labor, in United States, 35.

Children,
“Conference on the Care of Dependent Children,” 18 and note 1.
National Child Labor Committee, 35.
laws protecting, in Australia, 54.
see also Laws protecting women and children.

Children, authority over,
in Colorado, 19, 20.
in thirty-eight of the United States, 37.
in Australia, 49, 55.
in England, 74.
in Finland, 115.
in German Austria, 169.
in Switzerland, 140.
in France, 179.
in Spain, 210.

Chili, 214.

China, conditions in, 256-260.

Cincinnati, 30, 37.

Clergy, English, 6.

Cleveland, President, 15.

Clough, Anne, 75.

Cobden, Mrs., 71.

Code Napoleon, absence of, in Australia, 44.
in the Netherlands, 126.
in France, 178, 179.
in Belgium, 191.
in Italy, 202.

Coeducation,
in the United States, 24, 25.
in Australia, 45, 46.
in Scotland, 75.
in Sweden, 105.
in the Netherlands, 127.
in Switzerland, 134, 135.
in Germany, 147.
in Italy, 200.

College Equal Suffrage League, 10.

Collett, Clara, 117.

Colorado,
woman’s suffrage in, 16.
activities and rights of women in, 19, 20.
vote of immoral women in, 18, 19.
women in legislature of, 22, 23 and note 1.
conditions of women and children in, 39, 40.

Columbia University, 24.

“Conference on the Care of Dependent Children,” 18 and note 1.

Confucius, 260.

Conradi, Mrs., 219.

Conservative and Unionist Women’s Franchise Association, 68.

Convert, The (novel), 67, note 1.

Coote, Miss, 172.

Copenhagen, xiii.

Court of Appeals, 71.

Craigen, 63.

Creighton, Mrs. Louise, 69.

Curie, Madame, 84, 224.

Czaky, 172.


Davies, Emily, 75.

Dazynska, Dr., 234.

De Stem der Vrouw, 194.

Declaration of Independence, Woman’s, 6, 7, 11.
“The Declaration of the Rights of Women,” 176.

Deflou, Madame Oddo, 182.

Denison, Mrs. Macdonald, 98.

Denmark, represented in the International Woman’s Suffrage Alliance, xiii.
conditions in, 122-126.

Dennis, Mrs., 192.

Denver, Colorado, 18, 19.

Deraismes, Marie, 180.

Deroin, Jeanne, 180.
[Pg 270]
Derscheid-Delcour, Mrs., 193.

Despard, Mrs., 68.

Disraeli, 61.

Divorce laws,
in woman’s suffrage states, 39.
in Australia, 49, 52, 55.
in England, 74.
in Mexico and Central America, 213.
in Turkey and Egypt, 247.

Dobson, Mrs., 47.

Doctors, women,
in the United States, 28, 29.
in Australia, 46.
in Great Britain, 77.
in Sweden, 104, 107.
in Finland, 111.
in Norway, 121.
in the Netherlands, 128, 130, 131.
in Switzerland, 136.
in Germany, 148.
in German Austria, 160, 161.
in Hungary, 171.
in Belgium, 193.
in Italy, 201.
in Portugal, 212.
in Russia, 220, 221, 222, 223.
in Servia, 237.
in Bulgaria, 240.
in Rumania, 242.
in Bosnia, 251.
in Persia, 251.
in India, 253.

Dokumente der Frauen, 166.

Donohue, Mrs. M., 44.

Do You Know? (pamphlet), 42.

Drummond, Mrs., 66.

Dufferin, Lady, 254.

Durand, Madame Marguerite, 188.


Ebner-Eschenbach, Marie v., 169.

Education, women and,
in the United States, 23-27, 39.
in Australia, 45, 46.
in Great Britain, 74 and ff.
in Canada, 97.
in Sweden, 104, 106, 107.
in Finland, 111.
in Norway, 117-119.
in Denmark, 123.
in the Netherlands, 127, 128.
in Switzerland, 134-136.
in Germany, 146-148.
in Luxemburg, 157, 158.
in German Austria, 159, 160, 161-163.
in Hungary, 169-171.
in France, 183, 184.
in Belgium, 191-193.
in Italy, 199-201.
in Spain, 207, 208.
in Portugal, 212.
in Mexico and Central America, 212.
in South America, 214.
in Russia, 217-222, 225.
in Czechish Bohemia and Moravia,230.
in Servia, 236, 237.
in Bulgaria, 240.
in Greece, 243.
in Turkey and Egypt, 247, 248.
in India, 255.
in China, 259.
in Japan, 261.

Education Act, 71.

Egypt, conditions in, 245-250.

El Feminismo, 209.

Elmy, E. C. Wolstenholme, 70, notes 1 and 2.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 60.

England, represented in the International Woman’s Suffrage Alliance, xii;
see Great Britain.

English Constitution, 72.

Enrooth, Adelaide, 110.

Eudokimoff, Mrs., 229, note 1.


Factory inspectors, women,
in the Netherlands, 128, 129.
in Switzerland, 137.
in Germany, 149.
in France, 185.
[Pg 271]in Italy, 201.
in Russia, 224.

Far East, conditions in the, 245-265.

Favre, Miss Nellie, 136.

Fawcett, 63, 69.

February Revolution (1848), 180.

Federal Child’s Bureau, proposed in the United States, 18 and note 1.

Federation of French Women’s Clubs, 181, 183.

Federation of Labor, 10.

Federn, Elsie, 166.

Féminisme chrétien, le, 187.

“Feminist Society,” 172.

Fibiger, Matilda, 122.

Fickert, Augusta, 166.

Fifteenth Amendment, women and the, 9.

Finland,
represented in the International Woman’s Suffrage Alliance, xiii.
conditions in, 110-116.

Fontaine, Mrs., 192.

Fourierists, 180.

France,
represented in the International Woman’s Suffrage Alliance, xiii;
conditions in, 175 and ff.

Frauenwohl (magazine), 150.

“Frederika Bremer League,” 106.

French Revolution, and the woman’s rights movement, 175-178.

French Woman’s Suffrage Society, the, 189.

Fries, Ellen, 107.

“Fronde,” the, 188.


Galicia, conditions in, 232-235.

Galinda, Donna, 208.

Gammond, Madame Gatti de, 193.

Garfield, President, 15.

Garrison, William Lloyd, 6.

Geneva, University of, 29.

German Austria, conditions in, 158 and ff.

German Evangelical Woman’s League, 154.

Germanic countries, modern woman’s rights movement in, 1-174.

Germany,
represented in the International Woman’s Suffrage Alliance, xiii.
conditions in, 143-145.

Gikycki, Lily v., 151.

Girton College, 75.

Goldmann, (Mrs.) Dr., 166.

Goldschmidt, Henrietta, 145, 146.

Goldstein, Vida, 49, note 1, 54, 56.

Gore-Langton, Lady Anne, 62.

Gouges, Olympe de, 176, 177.

Great Britain,
represented in the International Woman’s Suffrage Alliance, xiii.
conditions in, 58 and ff.

Greece, conditions in, 242-244.

Grimke, Angelina, 5.

Group of Women Students, the, in France, 182, 183.

Gruber, Dr. Ludwig, 172.

Gyulai, P., 170.


Hainisch, Marianne, 166.

Hansteen, Aasta, 117.

Harem, 245.

Harper, Ida Husted, 23, note 2.

Harvard University, 24.

Hayden, Sophia, 29.

Hayes, President, 15.

Hein, Frau Dr., 136.

Helenius, Trigg, 116.

Hertzka, Mrs. Jella, 166.

Herzegovina, conditions in, 250.

Herzfelder, Miss, 166.

Heymann, Miss, 151.

Hickel, Rosina, 111.
[Pg 272]
Higinbotham, George, 50.

Hill, Octavia, 91.

Hirsch-Duncker Trades Union, 153.

History of Woman’s Suffrage, by Harper and Anthony, 23, note 1.
referred to, 37.

Holloway College, 75, 83.

House of Commons, attitude toward woman’s suffrage, 65.

Housmann, Lawrence, 69.

Hungarian Woman’s Club, 170.

Hungary,
represented in the International Woman’s Suffrage Alliance, xiii.
conditions in, 169 and ff.

Hutchins, Mrs. B. L., 92.


Ibsen, 110, 117, 123.

Iceland, represented in the International Woman’s Suffrage Alliance, xiii.

Idaho,
woman’s suffrage in, 16.
activities and influence of women in, 20, 21.
establishes lectureship in domestic science, 27.
condition of women and children in, 39, 40.

Illinois,
and woman’s suffrage, 6, 21.
women jurors in, 28.

India, conditions in, 252-255.

Indian Ladies’ Magazine, 255.

Inspectors of schools, see School inspectors (women).

Institute de demoiselles, 217.

International Council of Women, x-xii.

International Federation for the Abolition of the Official Regulation of Prostitution,
headquarters of, 140.
Austrian branch of, 166.
Hungarian branch of, 172.
Italian branch of, 204, 205.
Polish branch of, 235.

International Vigilance Society, 172.

International Woman’s Suffrage Alliance, the, various facts concerning, x, xii, xiii.

Ionades, Miss, 244.

Iowa, 21.

Ireland, 68; see Great Britain.

Isle of Man, 63.

Italy,
represented in the International Woman’s Suffrage Alliance, xiii.
conditions in, 196-199.


Jackson, Miss, 32.

Jacobs, Dr. Aletta, 130.

Japan, conditions in, 260-262.

Java, woman’s suffrage society in, 132.

Johns Hopkins University, 24.

Jones, Miss, 29, 30.

Journalists, women,
in the United States, 28.
in Great Britain, 81.
in Spain, 209.
in Bulgaria, 240.

July Revolution (1830), 180.

Juvenile courts,
in Australia, 54.
advocated in Germany, 155.


Kalapothaki, Marie, 243.

Kang You Wei, 258.

Kansas,
municipal woman’s suffrage in, 16, 20.
efforts of women of, to secure full suffrage rights, 21.

Kapnist, Mrs. v., 244.

Keller, Helen, 27.

Kelly, Abby, 4, 5.

Kenney, Annie, 66.

Kerschbaumer, Dr., 160, 161.

Kettler, Mrs., 146.

Key, Ellen, 107, 108.
[Pg 273]
Kingsley, 63.

Koran, 248, 251.

Korea, conditions in, 262, 263.

Kowalewska, Sonja, 107, 224.

Krajevska, Feodora, 251.

Kronauwetter, 167.

Kutschalska-Reinschmidt, Mrs., 234, 235.

Kveder, Zofka, 235, 236.


Labriola, Therese, 201.

La Française, 189.

Lang, Helena, 146.

Lang, Maria, 166.

Lascaridis, Miss, 244.

Lawrence, Mr. Pethick, 66, 74, note 1, 92, note 1.

Lawrence, Mrs., Pethick, 66.

Laws protecting women and children,
in the United States, 39, 40.
in Australia, 48, 52-54.
in Great Britain, 86, 87.
in Finland, 115.
in Norway, 121, 122.
in Switzerland, 138, 140, 141.
in Germany, 154.
lack of, in France, 179.

Lawyers, women,
in the United States, 27.
in Australia, 54.
absence of, in Great Britain, 77.
in Canada, 97.
in Sweden, 107.
in Finland, 112.
in Norway, 121.
in Switzerland, 136.
in Germany, 148.
in German Austria, 161.
in France, 185.
in Belgium, 192.
in India, 253, 254.

League for Freedom of Labor Defense, 86.

Lee, Mrs. Mary, 53.

Lincoln, Abraham, 15.

Lindsey, Judge, 18.

Lischnewska, Maria, 146.

Listrow, Mrs. v., 166.

Local Self-government Act for England and Wales, 72.

Loeper-Houselle, Marie, 146.

London, xiii, 61, 81.

London, University of, 77.

London College for Workingwomen, 89, 90.

London Girls’ Club Union Magazine, 90.

Lords, House of, 72.

Losa, Isabella, 208.

Luxemburg, conditions in, 157.


McCullock, Mrs. C. Waugh, 39.

McGee, Miss, 29, note 1.

Mackenroth, Miss Anna, 136.

MacLaren, Agnes, 204.

MacLaren, 63, 96, note 1.

Maclay, A. v., 173.

Madame Mère, 178.

Mahrenholtz-Bülow, Countess, 127.

Maine, 21.

Maireder, Rosa, 166.

Malinoff, Mrs., 241.

Manchester, 61, 62.

Mariani, Emilia, 203.

Mario, Jessie White, 202.

Massachusetts, 21.

Meath, Countess of, 82.

Men’s League for Woman’s Suffrage, 68.

Men’s League Opposing Woman’s Suffrage, 68.

Mericourt, Théroīgne de, 177.

Mexico, conditions in, 212, 213.

Meyer, Mr. Julius, 150.

Michel, Louise, 180.

Mill, John Stuart, 60, 61, 123.

Miller, Paula, 154.

Minnesota, 21.

Mohammedan countries, see Turkey, Egypt, Persia, Bosnia, and Herzegovina.

Monod, Miss Sara, 188.
[Pg 274]
Montessori, Maria, 201.

Monti, Rina, 201.

Moravia, conditions in, 230-232.

Morgenstern, Lina, 145, 152.

Morsier, Emile de, 190.

Mothers, school for, 94, 95.

Mothers’ congresses, in the United States, 20, note 1.

Mott, Lucretia, 5, 6.

Münsterberg, Deputy, 156.

Mystery of Woman, The, 236.


Napoleon, 178, 179.

Napoleonic Code, see Code Napoleon.

National American Woman’s Suffrage Association, 22, 42, note 1.

National Anti-slavery Society, 6.

National Child Labor Committee, 35.

National Council, xi, xii.

National Council of French Women, 189.

National Council of Women (in Australia), 47, note 1.

National Trades Union League, 10.

National Union of Woman’s Suffrage Societies, 64.

National Woman’s Antisuffrage Association, 68.

National Woman’s Social and Political Union, 64.

Nebraska, 16, 21.

Netherlands, the,
represented in the International Woman’s Suffrage Alliance, xiii.
conditions in, 126.

New Hampshire, 21.

Newnham College, 75.

New York, 21.

New Zealand, 42, note 2; see Australia.

Nightingale, Florence, 91.

Night labor, of women, in the United States, 36.

North America, the cradle of the woman’s rights movement, 2.

Northern states (of the United States), 35.


Oberlin College, 24.

Ohio, 27.

Oklahoma, 21, and note 2.

Olga, Queen of Greece, 243.

Oregon,
outlook for woman’s suffrage in, 16.
woman’s suffrage amendment (1910) defeated in, 16, note 2; 22, note 2.
opposition to woman’s suffrage in, 22.
failure of woman’s suffrage campaign (1906) in, 22.

Orient, the, conditions in, 245-265.

Otto-Peters, Louise, 145.

Oxford University, 75, 76.


Panajuta, Miss, 244.

Pankhurst, Miss, 66.

Pankhurst, Mrs., 66.

Pappritz, Anna, 151.

Parent, Mrs., 192.

Parental authority, see Children, authority over.

Parliament,
act of, bearing on woman’s suffrage, 62.
obligation of members of, to the woman’s suffrage movement, 65.
women deputations and, 66, 67.

Parren, Madame Killirhoe, 243, 244.

Parsee women, 255.

Patents, taken out by women in the United States, 30.

Paterson, Mrs., 85.

Paulus, Erica, 171.

Pavlovna, Helene, 218.

Pease, Elizabeth, 5, 6.

Pennsylvania, 21, 27.

Perhaps (pamphlet), 42.
[Pg 275]
Pernerstorfer, 167.

Persia, conditions in, 251, 252.

Peter the Great, 217.

Petzold, Miss v., 78.

Philosophow, Mrs. v., 228, 229.

“Physical Force Fallacy, The,” 69.

Poët, Laidi, 201.

Police matrons, in the United States, 37.

Political Equality League, in Australia, 55.

Political Equality League (Chicago), 40.

“Political Equality Series,” 12, 33.

Popelin, Miss Marie, 192.

Popp, Mrs., 166.

Pornography,
prohibited in woman’s suffrage states of the United States, 40.
suppressed in Australia, 54.

Portland, 27.

Portugal, conditions in, 211, 212.

Posada, Professor, 207, 208.

Possauer, Dr., 161.

Poster, F. Laurie, 40.

Preachers, women,
in the United States, 28.
in Australia, 46.
in Great Britain, 78.
in Canada, 97.
in Sweden, 104, 107.
in the Netherlands, 128.
in German Austria, 161.
in France, 185.

“Primrose League,” 63.

Prohibition movement,
in Sweden, 109, 110.
in Finland, 116.

Progress, 42.

Prostitution, laws concerning,
in the United States, 37.
in woman’s suffrage states, 39.
in England, 95.
in Finland, 115, 116.
in Norway, 117.
in Denmark, 126.
in Switzerland, 140.
in Germany, 144, 155, 156.
in German Austria, 165, 166.
in Hungary, 172.
in France, 190.
in Italy, 204, 205.
in Galicia, 234.
in Servia, 238.
in India, 254, note 1.

Purischkewitch, Mr., 229.

Putnam, Mary, 77.


Quakers, in the United States, 4.

Qualification of Women Act, 72.

Qvam, Mrs., 121.


Ramabai, Pundita, 255.

Red Cross Society, 91, 261.

Refia, Princess, 250.

Rhode Island, 21.

Richer, Leon, 180.

Riza, Selma, 247.

Robin, E., 67, note 1.

Roland, Henrietta, 130.

Roland, Madame, 177.

Romance countries, conditions in, 175.

Rookwood pottery, 30.

Roosevelt, Theodore,
and woman’s suffrage, 15.
calls “Conference on the Care of Dependent Children,” 18, note 1.
involved in conflict with American women, 34.

Rose, Ernestine, 8.

Rosores, Isabel de, 208.

Rumania, conditions in, 242-244.

Runeburg, Frederika, 110.

Rural Woman’s Industrial Society, 171.

Russia,
represented in the International Woman’s Suffrage Alliance, xiii.
conditions in, 215 and ff.
[Pg 276]

Saint Simonians, 180.

Salaries, women’s compared with men’s,
in the United States, 25 and note 1, 31.
in woman’s suffrage states, 39.
in Australia, 46, 47, 55.
in Great Britain, 78-80, 85.
in Canada, 97.
in Sweden, 105, 107, 108.
in Norway, 118, 119.
in the Netherlands, 128.
in Switzerland, 135.
in Germany, 147.
in German Austria, 159.
in France, 184.
in Portugal, 212.
in Bulgaria, 240.

Salic Law, absence of,
in Australia, 44.
in England, 58.

Salt Lake City, Utah, 21.

Sand, George, 180.

Sandhurst, Lady, 71.

Scandinavian countries, conditions in, 102, 103.

Schabanoff, Mrs., 228.

Schiff, Paoline, 203.

Schirmacher, Dr., 151.

Schlesinger, Mrs., 166.

Schmall, Madame, 189.

Schmidt, Augusta, 145, 146.

School inspectors, women,
appointment of, agitated in the United States, 27.
in Great Britain, 79.
in France, 185.

Schütze, E., 229.

Schwerin, Jeanette, 151.

Schwietland, Mrs., 166.

Scotland, 68; see also Great Britain.

Seddon, Mrs., 51, 52.

Servia,
represented in the International Woman’s Suffrage Alliance, xiii.
conditions in, 236, 239.

Sévigné, Madame de, 178.

Sewall, Mrs. Wright, xi, note 1.

Sex, the sexes,
relationship of the sexes, xiv.
woman’s use of her sex, as a weapon, 40-42.

Shaw, Rev. Anna Howard,
challenges Mrs. Humphrey Ward, 18.
Denver elections investigated by, 18.
president of the National Woman’s Suffrage Association, 22.
a woman’s rights advocate with theological training, 28.
on the legal status of woman, 36, 37.

Sheldon, Mrs. French, 80.

Siam, 255, note 1.

Sie, Tou Fa, 259.

Silberstein, Mr., 150.

Simcox, Miss, 85.

Simpson, Mrs. Anna, 192.

Sin, Miss Peng Sie, 258.

Slavic countries, conditions in, 215 and ff.

Sloane Garden Houses, 81.

Slovene Woman’s rights movement, 235, 236.

Slovenka, 236.

“Social Purity League,” 37, 38.

Social secretaries, 35.

Society for Jewish Women, 154.

Society for the Amelioration of the Condition of Woman and for Demanding Woman’s Rights, 180.

Soho Club and Home for Working Girls, 90.

Somersville Hall, 75.

Sorabija, Cornelia, 254.

South Africa,
represented in the International Woman’s Suffrage Alliance, xiii.
conditions in, 100, 101.
[Pg 277]
South America, conditions in, 213, 214.

South Dakota, 16 and note 2, 21.

Southern States, conditions in, 35.

Spain, conditions in, 206, 207.

Sprung, Mrs. v., 166.

Stael, Madame de, 177, 178.

Stanley, Hon. Maude, 90.

Stanton, Elizabeth Cady,
refused admission to anti-slavery congress, 5, 6.
introduces woman’s suffrage resolution, 7.

Steyber, Ottilie v., 145.

Stone, Lucy, 5, 24.

Stopes, Mrs. C. C., 62, note 1.

Strindberg, 110.

Stritt, Mrs., 151.

Styria, see Slovene woman’s rights movement.

Suffragettes, English,
influence of, in the United States, 21.
importance of, 58.
tactics, influence, and activities of, 65-70.
support given to, 69.

Suslowa, Miss, 221.

Suttner, Bertha v., 169.

Swain, Dr. Clara, 253.

Sweden,
represented in the International Woman’s Suffrage Alliance, xiii.
conditions in, 103-110.

Switzerland,
represented in the International Woman’s Suffrage Alliance, xiii.
conditions in, 133-134.


Tasmania, see Australia.

Teachers, women,
in the United States, 25.
in Australia, 46, 47.
in Great Britain, 76, 81.
in Sweden, 104, 106, 107.
in Finland, 111.
in Norway, 118, 119.
in Denmark, 123.
in the Netherlands, 128.
in Switzerland, 135.
in Germany, 147.
in German Austria, 161, 162.
in Hungary, 174.
in France, 184.
in Italy, 200, 201.
in Spain, 207, 208.
in Mexico and Central America, 212, 213.
in Russia, 221, 222.
in Galicia, 234.
in Servia, 237.
in Bulgaria, 240.
in Persia, 251, 252.

Terem, 217.

Téry, Audrée, 195.

Tessel Benefit Society (Schadeverein), 129.

Thorbecke, Minister, 138.

Tilmans, Madame, 194.

Tod, 63.

Trade-unions, women in,
in the United States, 32, 33.
in Great Britain, 84-88.
in Sweden, 108.
in Finland, 112.
in Norway, 122.
in the Netherlands, 129, 130.
in Switzerland, 137.
in Germany, 150, 153, 154.
in German Austria, 159, 160, 164, 165.
in France, 185, 186.
in Belgium, 193.
in Italy, 203, 204.
in Russia, 222, 225.
in the Slovene countries, 236.
in Bulgaria, 240.

Trinity College, 76.

Troy Seminary, 24.

Tsin King, 258.

Tumova, Miss, 232.

Turkey, conditions in, 245-250.
[Pg 278]
Turmarkin, Dr. Anna, 135, 136.

Tuszla, Dolna, 251.


United States,
Represented in the International Woman’s Suffrage Alliance, xii, xiii.
conditions in, 2-42.
See also American Women.

United States, Constitution of,
leaves suffrage matters to the various states, 3.
not opposed to woman’s suffrage, 10.
preamble to, 10.

United States, women in,
leaders in modern woman’s rights movement, x.
oppose slavery, 4.
attitude toward negro suffrage, 9.
methods of obtaining the franchise, 13-15.

Universities, state, in the United States, 26.

Utah,
woman’s suffrage in, 16.
work of women in, 19.
condition of women and children in, 39, 40.


Vambéry, Professor, 172.

Vandervelde, Madame, 193.

Vassar College, 24.

Veres, Mrs. v., 169.

Victoria, represented in the International Woman’s Suffrage Alliance, xii;
see also Australia.

Vooruit, 194.

Vorst, Mrs. v., her book referred to, 31, 35.

Vos, Roosje, 130.

Votes for Women, English woman’s suffrage organ, referred to, 62, note 1, 66, 69.


Wachtmeister, Countess, 52.

Wales, see Great Britain.

Wallis, Professor, 105.

War of Independence (1774-1783), relation of, to woman’s rights movement, 2.

Ward, Mrs. Humphry,
opposed to woman’s suffrage, 18.
in debate, 69.

Warren, Ohio, 42.

Warwick, Lady, 83.

Washington, State of, woman’s suffrage secured in, 16, note 1, 21, 22, and note 1.

Webb, Mrs. Sidney, 69.

Wenckheim, Baroness, 172.

Wendt, Dr, Cecilia, 163.

West Australia, see Australia.

White slave trade,
in Australia, 54.
in Hungary, 172.

Why does the Working-woman need the Right to Vote? (pamphlet), 33.

Willard, Frances E., 38.

Wisconsin, 21.

Wolfring, v., 166.

Wollstonecraft, Mary, 176.

Woman’s Coöperative Gild, 93, 94.

Woman’s Equal Suffrage League (Natal), 100.

Woman’s Freedom League, 68.

Woman’s Industrial Society, 159.

Woman’s Institute, 80.

Woman’s Journal, 34, 35.

Woman’s rights movement, the modern,
definition, leadership in, origins, ix, x.
international organization of, xi, xii.
chief demands of, xiii, xiv.
characteristics, in Germanic and Romance countries compared, 1, 2.
in Germanic-Protestant countries, 1, 2.
the cradle of, 2.
[Pg 279]and American War of Independence, 2.
character of, in the United States, 4 and ff.
in Australia, 42 and ff.
in Great Britain, 58 and ff.
in Canada, 96 and ff.
in South Africa, 100 and ff.
in the Scandinavian countries, 103 and ff.
in the Netherlands, 126 and ff.
in Switzerland, 133 and ff.
in Germany, 144 and ff.
in German Austria, 158 and ff.
in Europe, 175.
in France, 176 and ff.
in Belgium, 191 and ff.
in Italy, 199 and ff.
in Spain, 210, 211.
in South America, 214.
in Russia, 215 and ff.
in Bohemia, 230-232.
in Servia, 236-239.
in Bulgaria, 240-242.
in Turkey and Egypt, 247-250.
in Persia, 251.
in India, 252-255.
in China, 258-260.
in Japan, 262.
in Korea, 263.
See also woman’s suffrage movement.

Woman’s Rights Movement (periodical), 20, 21.

Woman’s Suffrage Alliance, see International Woman’s Suffrage Alliance.

Suffrage in Australia (pamphlet), 56.

Woman’s Suffrage in New Zealand, (pamphlet), 56.

Woman’s suffrage movement,
organized internationally, xii, xiii.
in the United States, 2-23.
in Australia, 49-58.
in England, 58-74.
in Canada, 98, 99.
in South Africa, 100, 101.
in Sweden, 104, 108, 109.
in Finland, 114-116.
in Norway, 119-121.
in Denmark, 124, 125.
in Iceland, 125.
in the Netherlands, 130-133.
in Switzerland, 141-143.
in Germany, 153-157.
in German Austria, 166-169.
in Hungary, 172, 173.
in France, 188 and ff.
in Belgium, 194, 195.
in Italy, 202 and ff.
in Russia, 227-229.
in Czechish Bohemia and Moravia, 231, 232.
in Japan, 262.

Woman’s suffrage states (United States),
and educational matters, 27.
women jurors in, 28.
laws concerning women and children in, 39, 40.

Women, see also Agriculturists, American women, Coeducation, Divorce laws, Doctors, Children (authority over), Education, Factory inspectors, Journalists, Laws protecting women and children, Lawyers, Patents, Preachers, Salaries, Sex, Teachers, Trade-unions, Working-day.

Women in the professions and the industries,
in the United States, 25-36.
in Australia, 46-48.
in Great Britain, 77-95.
in Canada, 97.
in Sweden, 104-108.
in Finland, 111-113.
in Norway, 117-121.
in Denmark, 123-124.
[Pg 280]in the Netherlands, 128-131.
in Switzerland, 135-139.
in Germany, 147-150.
in Luxemburg, 157, 158.
in Hungary, 171-174.
in France, 185-187.
in Belgium, 193.
in Italy, 200-204.
in Portugal, 212.
in Mexico and Central America, 212, 213.
in South America, 214.
in Russia, 220-226.
in Czechish Bohemia and Moravia, 230, 231.
in Galicia, 232, 233, 235.
in the Slovene countries, 236.
in Servia, 237, 238.
in Greece, 243, 244.
in Persia, 251, 252.
in Japan, 261, 262.

Women, legal status of,
in the United States, 36, 37.
in Australia, 49.
in England, 73, 74.
in Canada, 97, 98.
in Sweden, 105, 106.
in Finland, 113.
in Denmark, 122, 123, 124.
in the Netherlands, 126, 127.
in Switzerland, 140.
in Germany, 155.
in German Austria, 168, 169.
in France, 178, 179, 182.
in Belgium, 191.
in Italy, 202.
in Spain, 210.
in Mexico and Central America, 213.
in Russia, 226, 227.
in Servia, 239.
in Bulgaria, 240.
according to the Koran, 248.
in China, 256, 257.

Women’s Charter of Rights and Liberties, the, 96, note 1.

Women’s clubs, see under the woman’s rights movement of the various countries.

Women’s colleges,
in the United States, 24.
in Great Britain, 75-77.

Women’s Enfranchisement League (in Cape Colony), 101.

Women’s Franchise, the Need of the Hour, 70, note 1.

Women’s Liberal Federation, 63.

Working-day for women,
in the United States, 35.
in woman’s suffrage states, 39.
in Australia, 48.
in Switzerland, 139.
in Germany, 154.
in Italy, 203.

Workingwoman’s movement, not antagonistic to woman’s rights movement, x.

World’s Woman’s Christian Temperance Union,
formation of, x.
facts concerning, 38.
advocates woman’s suffrage, 38.

Worm, Pauline, 122.

Writers’ League, 68.

Wu, Fang Lan, 258.

Wyoming,
woman’s suffrage in, 16.
elections in, 20.
legal status of women in, 39, 40.


Yale University, 24.

Young Turkish Woman’s League, 249, 250.

Young Turk movement, women and, 248, 249.


Zenana, 250, 253.

Zetkin, Clara, 152.

 

 


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Footnotes:

[1] I have discussed the theoretical side in a pamphlet of “The German Public Utility Association” (Deutscher Gemeinnütziger Verein), Prague, 1918 Palackykai.

[2] The presiding officers of the International Council to the present time were: Mrs. Wright Sewall and Lady Aberdeen. This year, June, 1909, Lady Aberdeen was reëlected.

[3] The report of the International Woman’s Suffrage Congress, London, May, 1909, had not yet appeared, and the reader is therefore referred to it.

[4] Their inferiority in numbers (in Australia and in the western states of the United States) has, however, often served their cause in just the same way.

[5] “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”

[6] Composed of the House of Representatives and the Senate.

[7] In many states by two consecutive legislatures.

[8] On November 8, 1910, an amendment providing for woman’s suffrage was adopted by the voters of Washington. [Tr.]

[9] On November 8, 1910, both South Dakota and Oregon rejected amendments providing for woman’s suffrage. [Tr.]

[10] In October, 1911, California adopted woman’s suffrage by popular vote. [Tr.]

[11] This “Conference on the Care of Dependent Children” was called by President Roosevelt, and met, January 25 and 26, 1909, in the White House. Two hundred and twenty men and women,—experts in the care of children, from every state in the Union,—met, and proposed, among other things, the establishment of a Federal Child’s Bureau. Thus far Congress has done nothing to carry out the proposal. (Charities and the Commons, Vol. XXI, 643, 644; 766-768; 968-990.) [Tr.]

[12] The “mothers” hold special congresses in the United States to discuss educational and public questions. (Mothers’ Congresses.)

[13] Here universal male suffrage is meant. [Tr.]

[14] In November, 1910, an amendment in favor of woman’s suffrage was defeated by a referendum vote in Oklahoma. [Tr.]

[15] The amendment passed the Senate and was adopted in November, 1910, by popular vote. [Tr.]

[16] In November, 1910, a woman’s suffrage amendment was again defeated, as was the amendment prohibiting the sale of liquor. [Tr.]

[17] In November, 1910, four women were elected to the House of Representatives of the Colorado legislature. [Tr.]

[18] Mrs. Ida Husted Harper, in collaboration with Susan B. Anthony, has written a History of W Suffrage which deals with the subject so far as the United States are concerned. [Tr.]

[19] Equal pay has been established by law in the states having woman’s suffrage.

[20] It is worth mentioning that in the Spanish-American War Miss McGee filled the position of assistant surgeon in the medical department, doing so with distinction.

[21] A. v. Máday, Le droit des femmes au travail, Paris, Giardet et Briere.

[22] In her book, L’ouvrière aux États-Unis, Paris, Juven, 1904.

[23] Those who cannot pay an annual tax of two dollars.

[24] In L’ouvrière aux États-Unis.

[25] The organ of the National American Woman’s Suffrage Association is Progress and is published in Warren, Ohio. There, one can also secure Perhaps and Do you Know, two valuable propaganda pamphlets written by Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt. Other literature on woman’s suffrage can be obtained from the same source.

[26] Although New Zealand is not politically a part of the Australian Federation, it will for convenience be treated here as such.

[27] The theological degrees are granted only in England.

[28] Report of the International Woman’s Suffrage Conference, Washington, 1902.

[29] Report of the National Council of Women, 1908.

[30] Woman Suffrage in Australia, by Vida Goldstein.

[31] Both published in Rotterdam, 92 Kruiskade, International Woman’s Suffrage Alliance.

[32] Consult Helen Blackburn, History of Woman’s Suffrage in England.

[33] See the excellent little work of Mrs. C. C. Stopes, “The Sphere of ‘Man’ in the British Constitution,” Votes for Women, London, 4 Clement’s Inn.

[34] In the Irish Sea, between Ireland and Scotland, having a population of 29,272 women and 25,486 men.

[35] 4 Clement’s Inn, Strand, London, W.C.

[36] See E. Robin’s novel, The Convert.

[37] By Lawrence Housman, Feb. 11, 18, and 26, 1909.

[38] See E. C. Wolstenholme Elmy, Women’s Franchise, the Need of the Hour.

[39] Wolstenholme Elmy, ibid.

[40] This right is possessed by women in Scotland and Ireland also.

[41] This is in direct conflict with the statute (13 Vict., c. 21, sec. 4) providing that women enjoy all those rights from which they are not expressly excluded.

[42] London, like other capital cities, is regulated by a separate set of laws.

[43] Applying to England and Wales.

[44] The right to vote is a condition necessary for the holding of office.

[45] See the Married Women’s Property Acts of 1870 and 1883.

[46] See the article by Mr. Pethick Lawrence in Votes for Women, March 3, 1909.

[47] London, S.W., 92 Victoria Street.

[48] Valuable information concerning women in the industries is given in the programme of April 4, 1909, of the London Congress of the International Woman’s Suffrage Alliance.

[49] Ansiaux, La réglementation du travail des femmes.

[50] See Mrs. Pethick Lawrence, “Women and Administration,” Votes for Women, March 12, 1909.

[51] See the article of Alice Salmon, Zentralblatt.

[52] For a survey of English conditions affecting women we recommend The Women’s Charter of Rights and Liberties, by Lady McLaren, 1909, London.

[53] In Canada there are municipal elections, provincial parliamentary elections, and elections for the Dominion Parliament.

[54] See the Report of the Woman’s Suffrage Alliance Congress, Amsterdam, 1908.

[55] See the Report of the International Women’s Suffrage Alliance, Amsterdam, 1908.

[56] The last two arguments are easily refuted.

[57] Woman never reaches her majority; she must always have a male representative.

[58] The husband still remains the guardian of the wife. To-day the wife controls her personal earnings, but merely as long as they are in cash; whatever she buys with them falls into the control of the husband.

[59] See the Report of the International Woman’s Suffrage Alliance Congress, Amsterdam, 1908.

[60] See the supplement, “Opposed to Alcoholism,” in One People, One School, for April, 1909.

[61] A Realschule teaches no classics, but is a scientific school emphasizing manual training. A Gymnasium prepares for the university, making the classics an essential part of the curriculum. [Tr.]

[62] By Vera Hillt, Statistics of Labor, VI, Helsingfors, 1908.

[63] See the complete list of measures in Jus Suffragi, September 15, 1908. This is the organ of the International Woman’s Suffrage Alliance.

[64] In 1904 women were declared eligible by an official ordinance to hold university offices.

[65] It might be well to mention Dansk Kvindesamfund, Politisk Kvindeforening, Landsforbund, Valgretsforeningen of 1908 (a Christian association of men and women).

[66] Compare similar proceedings in the United States and England.

[67] Since Switzerland contains a preponderance of the Germanic element, it will be considered with the Germanic countries.

[68] In Geneva and Lausanne the men exerted every effort to exclude women from the typographical trade. The prohibition of night work made this easy. The same result will follow in the railroad and postal service. Therefore in the Swiss woman’s rights movement there are some that are opposed to laws for the protection of women laborers.

[69] Industrial training was promoted chiefly by the “Lette-House,” founded in Berlin in 1865 by President Lette and his wife.

[70] In Germany there are one million domestic servants.

[71] For information concerning the German woman’s rights movement we recommend The Memorandum-book of the Woman’s Rights Movement (Das Merkbuch der Frauenbewegung), B. G. Teubner, Leipzig.

[72] A body having advisory powers in matters relating to the medical profession and to sanitary measures. [Tr.]

[73] The question was decided by the administrative court in one special case. Compare the case of Jacobs, Amsterdam.

[74] See Dokumente der Frauen (Documents concerning Women); November 15, 1899.

[75] The German system of stenography. [Tr.]

[76] See the resolutions of the party sessions in Graz, 1900; in Vienna, 1903; and of the first, second, and third conferences of the International Woman’s Suffrage Alliance, in 1904, 1906, and 1908.

[77] Except in Illyria, Carinthia, and Lower Austria.

[78] For political and practical reasons Hungary will be discussed at this point.

[79] Dokumente der Frauen, June 1, 1901.

[80] The proposed law grants the suffrage even to male illiterates.

[81] Later the Code Napoleon infected other countries, but such horrors originated spontaneously nowhere else.

[82] In the years 1848, 1851, 1871, 1874, 1882, 1885.

[83] See the resolutions of the two women’s congresses, Paris, 1900.

[84] Le mouvement féministe, Countess Marie de Villermont.

[85] Le féminisme, Emile Ollivier.

[86] Miss Chauvin made a similar request of the French Chamber of Deputies; as we have seen, her request was granted. Dr. Popelin did not make her request of the Belgian Chamber of Deputies, which had not a Republican majority. Dr. Popelin may have considered such a step hopeless.

[87] Since 1899 special socialistic workingwomen’s congresses have been held.

[88] See the action of the Socialists in Sweden and in Hungary.

[89] Else Hasse, Neue Bahnen.

[90] The recognized gallant of a married woman. [Tr.]

[91] Marianne Weber, Zentralblatt.

[92] But only the enlightened clergy—those living in Rome—consent to the higher education of girls.

[93] Dokumente der Frauen, June 1, 1901.

[94] See Stanton, The Woman’s Rights Movement in Europe.

[95] El Feminismo, 1899.

[96] See the Report of the International Suffrage Congress, Washington, 1902.

[97] See the Report of the International Suffrage Congress, Washington, 1902.

[98] This has just been organized.

[99] The following statistics are significant: Between January 1 and July 1, 1908, Russia showed an increase in the consumption of alcoholic liquors. The total amount of spirits consumed was 40,887,509 vedros (1 vedro is 3.25 gallons), which is an increase of 600,185 vedros over the amount consumed during the same months of the preceding year. These figures correspond also to the government’s income from its monopoly on spirits; this was 327,795,312 rubles (a ruble is worth 51.5 cents), an increase of 3,745,836 rubles over the same months of the preceding year.

[100] See the very interesting article Frauenbewegung (The Woman’s Rights Movement), by Berta Kes, Moscow.

[101] See Berta Kes, Frauenbewegung.

[102] See Documents Concerning Women (Dokumente der Frauen), April 15, 1900.

[103] I am indebted to Mrs. Eudokimoff, of St. Petersburg, for an English translation of the resolutions, the address of the Lord Mayor, and the proceedings against the deputy of the Duma; also for a biography of Mrs. v. Philosophow.

[104] Springtime.

[105] A doctor employed by a workingmen’s association. [Tr.]

[106] Dr. Schirmacher treats Russian Poland here with Galicia, which is Austrian Poland. [Tr.]

[107] Dokumente der Frauen, November, 15, 1901.

[108] Greek conditions are analogous to conditions prevailing in Slavic countries; hence Greece will be treated here. Greece was liberated from Turkish control in 1827.

[109] There are elementary schools for boys and girls. The secondary schools for girls are private. The first of these was founded by Dr. Hill and his wife, who were Americans. Preparation for entrance to the university is optional and is carried on privately. Athens University has admitted women since 1891.

[110] The English have abolished slavery in Egypt.

[111] See Conseil des Femmes, October, 1902, for the romantic “Désenchantées” of P. Loti, and Hussein Rachimi’s “Verliebter Bey.”

[112] Compare La crise de l’orient, by Ahmed Riza.

[113] See the analogous action of the English in India.

[114] Report of the International Suffrage Congress, Washington, 1902.

[115]

Mag der Baum wohl wachsen in dem Walde,
Aber keine Tochter mir geboren werden.

[116] India still retains the official regulation of prostitution (which was abolished in England in 1886). Here again, militarism is playing a decisive part in blocking this reform.

[117] In Bangkok, in Farther India (Siam), there is a woman’s club with the Siamese Princess as President.

[118] Report of the International Suffrage Conference, Washington, 1902.

[119]Le Chinois admet la supériorité, avec toutes ses conséquences, dès qu’il la constate, qu’elle se révèle chez un homme ou chez une femme.

[120] Report of the International Suffrage Conference, Washington, 1902.

[121] The University of Tokio is still closed to women. Women attend the Woman’s University, founded in 1901 by N. Naruse.

the_modern_women_s_rights_movement.txt · Last modified: 2015/02/07 22:56 by briancarnell