the people

In 2007 the High Court found that Australia's Constitution conferred a limited right to vote because members of the House of Representatives and the Senate "shall be composed of members directly chosen by the people".

A majority of the Court decided in favour of an appeal against the validity of legislation preventing an inmate of a women's prison from voting, but was not invited to, and did not consider whether the Constitution's protection of the right to vote actually extended to women.

Coverture laws in effect in Victorian England when the Constitution was enacted bound women as the property of men unless otherwise legislated.

Women's right to vote was never assumed under the Constitution and had to be legislated soon after Federation.

A women's legislature in the Constitution would secure protection for women.

1 September, 2011