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Women’s voting rights threatened

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My article for Women’s Views on News about the how changes to the voting laws in the USA are threatening to women’s right to vote.

“The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman […]

He has never permitted her to exercise her inalienable right to the elective franchise.

He has compelled her to submit to laws, in the formation of which she had no voice.”

Declaration of Sentiments, Seneca Falls 1848

On a corner of the high street in Seneca Falls, New York, stands a sign commemorating the ‘First Convention of Women’. This landmark event in 1848 saw 300 women and men gather to discuss the unequal status of women in the US.

The outcome was a Declaration of Sentiments and the beginning of a 70 year battle to gain suffrage for women.

The monument to this landmark meeting is humble. In fact you’d miss it if you didn’t know it was there. It is almost as if these hard-won rights are taken for granted…

But now they are now under attack.

A spate of recent bills in over 50 per cent of states in the US could dramatically reduce citizens’, especially women’s, ability to vote.

The Voter Identification Bill has seen 34 states introduce legislation that requires in-date photo identification for voting.

Those without current photo identification will be prevented from voting. The Brennan Centre for Justice estimates these laws could impact up to 5 million voters. The groups that stand to be affected the most are women, those from ethnic minorities, young voters, low-income voters, and seniors.

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