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Distant SistersAustralasian Women and the International Struggle for the Vote, 1880-1914$
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James Keating

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781526140951

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.7765/9781526140968

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(p.203) Conclusion
Distant Sisters

James Keating

Manchester University Press

The conclusion assesses the Australasian suffragists’ legacy from the perspective of their interwar antecedents. Beginning with the apologies issued by the Australian novelist Miles Franklin and the New Zealand journalist Jessie Mackay, it explores the sense of shame that 1920s feminists felt at their forebears’ inability to fulfil their promises to lead the international women’s suffrage movement. It then retraces the networks that allowed enfranchised Australasian women to first envisage a future of international leadership and, later, to express heartfelt regret at their shortcomings in globally circulated publications. In doing so, it argues for an approach to transnational history that grapples with the limits and fragility of liberal internationalism as well as offering a deeper understanding of the hope and solidarity that allowed the international suffrage movement to flourish and the ways that cross-border ties altered and enriched women’s lives, elite and ordinary alike.

Keywords:   Australia, international women’s suffrage movement, interwar feminism, Jessie Mackay, New Zealand, transnational history, women’s suffrage

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