East Africa Women’s League Push for Women’s Right to Vote

new drug like clomid twins by | Dec 17, 2012 | Christine Nicholls |

  I’ve recently taken over the editorship of Jambo, the magazine for the East Africa Women’s League (UK). The EAWL is still going strong in both Kenya and Britain. I looked up some notes I had made for my book Red Strangers and found details of the early EAWL in Colonel Ainsworth’s ‘Kenya Reminiscences’ in Rhodes House Library, Oxford. He said the EAWL was formed in March 1917 at a public meeting in Nairobi, attended by fifty to sixty men and women. It was decided that membership should be confined to women and that the organisation’s objects ‘should be to study and take action upon subjects of interest to women and children in this Protectorate’. Soon the membership rose to 108.   The EAWL’s first object was the promotion of women’s suffrage.  Led by its first President, Isabel Ross, the wife of W. McGregor Ross, it organised a petition signed by 533 men and women and went on a deputation to the Franchise Committee of the Legislative Council, arguing for the inclusion of women in the proposed white electorate. In February 1918 Ainsworth petitioned the Legislative Council on the matter and this was forwarded to the Secretary of State for the Colonies. The EAWL also cabled the Colonial Secretary. Eventually women’s suffrage was granted and white women had the vote in Kenya before they had it in Britain.   The EAWL was active in other matters in 1918. It asked the government to appoint a lady visitor to the Lunatic Asylum outside Nairobi. It also collected evidence of objectionable films shown in Nairobi and Mombasa, tried to get a better milk supply to Nairobi and arranged for a children’s playground in Parklands. 

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