Long Island and the Woman Suffrage Movement

Home to the Long Island Woman Suffrage Association, Antonia Petrash, Editor
March 4th, 2021 by burton33

March is Women’s History Month!

Hopefully we will soon reach the day when the celebration of women’s history is not limited to one month, but is celebrated throughout the entire year, marking no difference from men’s – “People’s history” it might be called. But until then we can’t resist this opportunity to use this month to celebrate the special women who helped make our world a better place.

Suffragist of the Month, March 2021

Kate Malcolm Sheppard,  1847 –  1934

American women certainly had no exclusive claim to the quest for woman suffrage. Women around the world worked tirelessly for political equality, experiencing much the same frustrations and, ultimately successes as our suffragists did.

Catherine (Kate) Malcolm was born around March 10, 1847 in Liverpool, England. After her father’s death her mother moved the family to New Zealand in the late 1860s, where Kate married  Walter Allen Sheppard in 1871. Far ahead of her time, Kate believed firmly in full equality for women in all aspects of society, including political equality. She also worked for dress reform, advocating freeing women from restrictive corsets, and encouraging them to exercise and be physically active.

In 1885 she became a founding member of the New Zealand branch of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union. But it became obvious to her that women could not achieve needed societal reforms without the power of the vote. Two years later she began to work for woman suffrage. 

A fervent advocate, she wrote pamphlets, organized countless meetings and lectures, and traveled throughout New Zealand, encouraging women to sign petitions lobbying for the vote. She presented a series of these petitions to Parliament, including one with over 30,000 signatures. New Zealand finally granted women the right to vote in 1893, becoming the first nation to grant universal suffrage.

Sheppard was later active in woman suffrage movements in other countries, including the United States, where she traveled and worked with Carrie Chapman Catt. Her likeness is now on the New Zealand $10 note, as well as a commemorative stamp. She died in 1934.

Sheppard was later active in woman suffrage movements in other countries, including the United States, where she traveled and worked with Carrie Chapman Catt. Her likeness is now on the New Zealand $10 note, as well as a commemorative stamp. She died in 1934.

Happy Birthday, Kate Malcolm Sheppard!

Comments

One Response to “March is Women’s History Month!”
  1. Linda Koenig says

    I enjoy your newsletter

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