Centuries of struggle to have the right to suffrage-A A +A
Bahin sang Bubay
Friday, June 29, 2012
WOMEN studies never fail to amaze me. For instance, I have already known that the struggle of our maternal ancestors for the right to vote did not actually start only in the 1900 but way, way back in 1780s. It appears that even during the early period, our mothers and sisters had already taken steps to correct what could have been considered as a given or norm in societies all over the world.
It was said that a French woman writer by the name of Mary Wollstonecraft wrote a document entitled A Vindication of the Rights of Women, which reportedly call for the full participation of women in their “rights and duties as citizens” including the right to suffrage in 1792. Reportedly, it became the foundation of the women’s struggle in this century.
Then over half a century later, another woman who called herself Sojourner Truth came, a black woman who was also an ex-slave and whose stirring feminist speeches characterize the continuance of the women’s struggle during her time.
While it seemed like the women’s struggle had not really gained ground, the efforts of the British suffragists in 1903 only pointed to the centuries-long efforts of women to win the right to vote. This only pointed to the fact that though women had become bolder when it comes to pursuing their causes, it still remained a daunting task for them in the new era of supposedly advanced consciousness and technology.
Past a couple of centuries later, the women’s fight for the right to suffrage was finally enjoyed by the later generations of women when finally they were allowed to exercise this inherent right to suffrage. But did we fare well? When women were finally able to choose their representatives in the seat of government, was their lot improved? Where they finally given due recognition as a partner in society?
Alas, this did not happen the way it was expected, I guess. Even up to this day, we are still not enjoying the benefits of being equal to the opposite sex, and this did not need elaboration as it is clear as the noon day sun that women are still considered ?second class citizens? by most people in our society.
Thus, in our time today, women continuous to seek the long-denied right that we had for centuries, and it might take another century until we finally stand above the heap of ignorance that still beset the current generation.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on June 30, 2012.