Parliament House Perth 1918
Courtesy of The Battye Library
Frances Ruffy Hill
Courtesy of The West Australian
Between 1910 and 1920 the power of the women's vote began to have an increasingly noticeable effect on the law and on society. Divorce laws were made more equitable, King Edward Memorial Hospital was established as
a women's hospital, women justices were appointed to the Children's Court, and
barmaids and female musicians were granted equal pay with men.
The controversial Conscription Referendum in 1916 included much campaigning aimed directly at mothers and wives. And a maternity allowance of five pounds was made payable to new mothers in 1912, although Aboriginal mothers were not eligible.
The decade closed with a major step forward: 21 years after winning the right to vote Western Australian women were now eligible to stand for State Parliament on the same terms as men.