This article first appeared in the 'Shetland News' on 23 March
The image has been provided courtesy of Shetland Museum and
Many people are still ignorant why women want the vote, though
no subject has been more talked of in recent years. If the papers
published accounts of the solid work done by Suffragists with the
same alacrity they publish sensational militant and anti-Suffrage
news, this would not be the case.
Labour, wages, housing, education, drunkenness, immorality, and
war are all questions that concern women as deeply as men. But all
the laws affecting them have hitherto been made by men. They have
not shown that they can cope with them. These questions are as
acute as ever.
It is more and more strongly felt by people engaged or
interested in public work that women should be given opportunity to
deal with these questions of common human interest. They should be
given equal voice in choosing the legislators of their county to
whom such questions are always ultimately referred. It is nonsense
to say laws do not really affect these things. In the process of
civilization all questions of common human interest are ultimately
referred to the State.
Women enfranchised would take a far keener interest in these
great questions they have hitherto left to men. They would
immeasurably strengthen the laws against evil. This has already
been shown in New Zealand, where drunkenness has been reduced 90
per cen and crime has almost disappeared in the districts where
temperance regulations are enforced.