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After her husband’s death, she devoted more of her time to political campaigning and became involved in the Personal Rights Association. This was a group dedicated to protecting vulnerable women. In 1890, she was elected President of the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (NUWSS) which was the largest group campaigning for women to receive the vote. This organisation campaigned mainly on equal rights for women, but under Fawcett also supported other causes such as the abolition of the slave trade, and forming a relief fund for South African women and children during the Boer war. I can only imagine Cardinal canvas. In 1901, there was growing outrage against the use of ‘scorched earth’ tactics against the Boer civilian population. As part of an investigation, Fawcett was asked to visit South Africa and report on conditions in the concentration camps. Her report confirmed early warnings that many were dying needlessly in the camps, though the official government version attributed the deaths to other factors.
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A big disappointment for the women’s suffrage movement was when the Liberal government refused to countenance giving women the vote in their period in office 1901–1914. This encouraged the more militant suffragettes to engage in direct action — breaking windows and, when sent to jail, taking part in hunger strikes. This willingness to resort to violence caused a deep divide in the women’s movement. Fawcett and the NUWSS remained committed to achieving the vote through constitutional means and argued that militancy was counter-productive. Although Fawcett admired the courage of the more militant WPSU members, she blamed the WPSU’s direct action for preventing the government voting on the issue. In 1912, fed up with the Liberal’s opposition to giving women the vote, the NUWSS supported the nascent Labour Party.
The NUWSS and the WSPU between 1905 and 1911 adopted different election policies… The WSPU cry in every election was “Keep the Liberal out,” not, as they asserted, from party motives, but because the Government of the day, and the Government alone, had the power to pass a Suffrage Bill; and as long as any government declined to take up suffrage they would have to encounter all the opposition which the militants could command… The NUWSS adopted a different election policy — that of obtaining declarations of opinion from all candidates at each election and supporting the man, independent of party, who gave the most satisfactory assurances of support. The whole text can be found in Lewis, J. (ed) (1987) Before the Vote was Won: Arguments For and Against Women’s Suffrage, London, Routledge & Kegan Paul, pp. 418–424. I can only imagine Cardinal canvas.
OFFICIAL I can only imagine Cardinal canvas
uring 1900–1906, Emily began writing patriotic travel sketches, published under her pseudonym, Janey Canuck. However, in Alberta, Emily became increasingly engaged in social issues, becoming concerned about widespread poverty, and particularly the welfare of women and children. In 1910, she became the first woman appointed to the Edmonton Hospital Board. She was particularly struck when she became aware that the property law gave women no rights; and if a husband sold a property and moved out, the wife and children could be left with nothing. Murphy took to speaking on issues of unjust social conditions and injustice. After a few years of campaigning to overturn the unjust property law, in 1916, the Alberta legislature passed the Dower Act, giving women a legal right to 33% of their husband’s property. This gave women the power of legal recourse. The successful campaign and new law enhanced the public profile of Emily Murphy. Emily Murphy was also a member of the Equal Franchise League and worked with Nelli McClung to help get the vote for women. (Alberta women got the vote in 1916, Canadian women in 1919)