Strong ladies feature again this month!
We’re showing The Divine Order on the 21st at The Elgiva Theatre.
It’s a Swiss film about women getting the vote in Switzerland in - wait for it! - 1971. Yes, as recent as that.
Women in that country only gained the right to vote in federal elections after a referendum in February 1971. Yet it wasn’t until 1991, following a decision by the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland, that Appenzell Innerrhoden became the last Swiss canton to grant women the vote on local issues - AI is the smallest Swiss canton with just over 14,000 inhabitants.
Of course, there is a local connection with women fighting for the vote… Muriel Matters was an Australian actress who came over to Britain in 1905 to tour in plays, but she was shocked and appalled that women in this country could not vote. Back home, women had been voting since 1902.
Muriel settled down in Chesham, and became a leading light in the Women’s Freedom League. In October 1908, she chained herself to the Grille of the Ladies’ Gallery in the House of Commons. Then in February 1909, as King Edward was officially opening parliament, she hired an air balloon with the intention of flying over the building and dropping pamphlets… sadly, the wind blew her over Kensington and Tooting. She did manage to drop 56lbs of handbills and because of this she made news around the world. What a woman!
For more information about the Chiltern Film Society check out our website, email us at email@example.com or call us on 07754 058859.
Paul Vates, Chairman, CFS