“Yield women’s suffrage!” – 1908 to 1918
After universal and equal men's suffrage was introduced, the social-democratic women’s movement focussed its activities on women’s suffrage. Social democratic women campaigned at the mass demonstrations of 1st May and from 1911 at the annual Women’s Day. At the Second International Conference of Socialist Women in Copenhagen in 1910, it was decided to hold an International Women’s Day every year to fight for women’s suffrage. The first one was held in Vienna in 1911, with a demonstration march on the Ringstrasse – according to the newspaper “Arbeiter-Zeitung” around 20.000 women – but men too – taking part.
The liberal women’s suffrage movement increasingly considered itself to be part of an international movement. There were contacts with the International Woman Suffrage Alliance, founded in 1904. The opportunity for the Austrians to make their mark internationally in the women’s movement came in 1913, when an international women’s suffrage conference was held in Vienna on 11 and 12 June. During the conference a “circular tour” demonstration was arranged on the 12th. “Over 120 automobiles and carriages, adorned with yellow flags and the slogan ‘Votes for Women’, were on the road.”
The political upheaval with the end of the monarchy, the First World War and the emergence of the Republic finally created new conditions for women.