Saturday, April 24, 2010

Thoroughly Modern Theodor

Jewish Daily Forward article "Thoroughly Modern Theodor" (April 21st, 2010) makes an untrue claim about women's suffrage in Europe. Specifically, it claims that Theodore Herzl gave women the vote in the First Zionist Conference in 1897, as compared to European countries, none of which, the article claims, gave women the vote in national elections.

Herzl gave women voting rights in 1897, when no European country permitted women’s suffrage in national elections.

First, women did not have the vote in the 1897 First Zionist Conference, but instead were given the right to vote in 1898, in the Second Zionist Conference. Second, in 1881, the Isle of Man gave women the right to vote in parlimentary (national) elections. Beyond comparing apples and oranges, the Forward's statement is twice factually incorrect.

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