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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Rose Scott

In their own words

Rose Scott
Audio: 2 minutes

How amusing it is to hear men talk of the exalted position of the wife and mother! And yet she is frequently the most ill-treated creature on earth; a servant without wages, a partner without a penny, worse still even her children do not belong to her, but can be torn from her arms and sent if the father wills to the care of strangers in far distant lands and even when her husband dies he can leave her penniless.

We enfranchised women, happy and comfortable in our homes, why have we not yet won all these rights for our fellow women? Here again comes in the eternal sex question, and it shows that the majority of women have chosen rather to serve men at election time than work to ameliorate the wrongs endured by their own sex.

We see government programme after government programme – men’s needs, interests or fads always first – women’s nowhere. Before the Women’s Suffrage Cause was won, these reforms I have indicated were most of them advocated as reasons for the woman’s vote. And even now if women would only combine and work for these reforms and stand apart from Parties and factions, there is nothing that they would not be able to accomplish for their fellow women and the children. Greater, far greater, is justice than charity – for justice speaks emancipation, liberty and freedom.

Acknowledgements

Scott, Rose (1912) Laws Women Need, 1912, speech to National Council of Women

Attribution

Voiced by Karen Vickery

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Rose Scott

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The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency