Something very special arrived in the mail yesterday. It was addressed to me. It even had my middle initial, and it looked official. The powers-that-be have decided that I can vote in the UK General Election. Which is great, because let’s face it I’m not good at being quiet.
I want my right to be choosey, to count!!!
As a Commonwealth citizen with rights to reside here I’m allowed to have a say in which pillocks politicians get to have a go at stuffing up the country fixing the country.
“To make democracy work, we must be a national of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.” Louis L’Amour
I’m not going to talk politics here. There you can all relax now. My political views are more closely held than my sex life, the shape of my brazilian wax and my children’s puberty. However, I am going to make an appeal…..
Please, please, please ….. in the name of all that is good and holy… if you can vote today in the UK election, do.
Especially if you are female. And here’s why…
There are four main countries in the world today that restrict women from voting. They are;
- Bhutan – one vote per household usually utilised by male head of household
- Saudi Arabia – women are unable to drive and lead very restricted lives
- UAE – though the situation here is changing
- Lebanon – women are allowed to vote if they have reached elementary education. Men have no restriction.
The inability for women to vote is cited by international human rights’ agencies as one of the major indicators of an environment that restricts the quality of women’s lives. Women in these countries are unable to speak up about issues that affect them and their children. Many live hard lives and die young.
I’m very grateful as a modern woman living in a modern country to be able to cast a vote, but as I trod down to the polling booth I won’t be thinking of Emmeline Panckhurst or the other English suffragettes.
I will instead be thinking of Kate Sheppard whose insistence (some would say bloody-mindedness) brought a country and its male politicians to their senses, and instigated the women’s right to vote on 28th November 1893.
That country was the first country in the world to enable women to vote.
Guess where it was?
Image: Kate Sheppard from wikipedia