Mr. Buchan, in his history of the war, says of the women of Britain -- "From the beginning they realised the gravity of the struggle. The women's movement in recent years had given to a large class a special organisation and discipline, which was turned to admirable purpose. The leaders of that movement in the Press and on the platform did a great work in rousing the nation, and none dealt more trenchantly with counsels of supineness and peace." This is true; and it furnishes the best answer that has yet been given of the capacity of women to deal with the subject of war. For years we have refused to give women the vote because it was believed that they would embarrass the Empire in dealing with the question of war. It now turns out that the women of the nation have far clearer ideas and for more capacity for forming a policy for its prosecution than the male politicians who refused them the franchise. A Cabinet of women could hardly have been guilty of the blunders which have been practised by the Asquith Cabinet. They would not have gambled with 200,000 men, the very flower of the British race, in the Dardanelles fiasco; and they would have drowned in the depths of the sea that prolific parent of all our misfortunes, "wait and see," unless, indeed, they had been a Cabinet of very "old women." The war will bring about new adjustments in reference to the political status of women. It will become abhorrent to all patriotic men to refuse a vote to such women as Miss Cavell, and give it to every slacker and shirker whose only known qualification is the boast that he belongs to "the superior sex.” The Empire owes already far too much to its noble women to refuse any lawful demand they may make in the future. Other adjustments will also necessarily follow, in the field of industry, in the field of commerce, in the field of scholarship, in the manifold fields of public and private life.
This article by "Southern Presbyterian" appeared in The Witness, 3rd March 1916.