Women's suffrage

Orfeas Katsoulis | Jul 2, 2024

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Women's suffrage refers to the right to vote extended to women. The political movement with the goal of extending suffrage to women has historically been that of the suffragettes. The modern origins of the movement are to be found in 18th-century France. Among the first countries to grant such a right were the Corsican Republic (in 1755), the Pitcairn Islands (in 1838), the Grand Duchy of Tuscany (from at least 1849), the Roman Republic (1849), which lasted only a few months, New Zealand (in 1893, when it was still not an independent state but a mostly self-governing British colony), the Territory of Wyoming, as early as 1869, the Isle of Man in 1881, Franceville in the New Hebrides. Some of these states had a short existence and others never had independence. A special case concerns Sweden, where some women were granted the right to vote during the Age of Freedom (1718-1771) but that right was not extended to all.

The first European state to recognize universal suffrage was the Grand Duchy of Finland, with the first women elected to parliament in 1907. In Russia during the provisional government at the height of the revolution in November 1917, elections were held for a constituent assembly with universal suffrage. Suffrage that was later confirmed in the Soviet constitution of 1918.

The right of women to vote was introduced into international law in 1948 when the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. As stated in Article 21: "1) Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country, either directly or through freely chosen representatives. 3) The will of the people shall form the basis of the authority of government; this shall be expressed by periodic and genuine elections to be held by universal and equal suffrage and held by secret ballot or by equivalent free voting procedures."

Women's suffrage is also explicitly considered a right under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, adopted by the United Nations in 1979, signed by 189 nations.

Women's suffrage was granted in different countries around the world at different times. In many countries women's suffrage was recognized before universal suffrage, so women of certain ethnicities and social classes were not granted the right to vote.

In medieval France and other European countries, voting for town and village assemblies and meetings was open to heads of families, regardless of gender. Women's suffrage was granted by the Corsican Republic of 1755 whose constitution provided for a national representative assembly elected by all inhabitants over 25 years of age, whether women (if single or widowed) or men. Women's suffrage was revoked when France annexed the island in 1769. The origins of the modern women's suffrage movement are to be found in France in the years between 1780 and 1790 in the writings of Antoine Condorcet and Olympe de Gouges, who advocated it as a right in national elections.

In 1756, Lydia Chapin Taft, also known as Lydia Taft, became the first legal woman voter in America. She voted on at least three occasions at a New England town meeting in Uxbridge, Massachusetts, with the consent of the electorate. This occurred between 1756 and 1768, during the American colonial period. New Jersey granted the vote to women (with the same ownership qualifications as men, although since married women did not own property by right, only single women and widows had this right). In the New Jersey State Constitution of 1776, the word inhabitants was used without distinction of sex or race. New Jersey women, along with people of different color, or blacks, lost the right to vote in 1807, when the franchise was restricted to white males, and this officially to combat voter fraud by simplifying the conditions of eligibility.

The Pitcairn Islands granted suffrage to women in 1838, which was followed by Norfolk in 1856. Several countries, colonies and states granted limited suffrage to women in the second half of the 19th century, beginning with South Australia in 1861. The Paris Commune of 1871 recognized women's right to vote, but it was withdrawn with the fall of the Commune and would be granted again in July 1944 by Charles de Gaulle. In 1886 the small kingdom of Tavolara became a republic and introduced women's suffrage. However, in 1899 the monarchy was reestablished, and the kingdom was a few years later annexed by Italy. The colony of Franceville, declaring independence in 1889, became the first nation to introduce universal suffrage regardless of sex or color, however, it soon returned under the colonial rule of France and the United Kingdom.

Unlimited women's suffrage in terms of voting rights (women were initially not allowed to stand as candidates in elections) in a self-governing colony was granted by New Zealand in the early 1890s. Following a movement led by Kate Sheppard, the women's suffrage edict was adopted just months before the 1893 general election.

The self-governing colony of South Australia granted both universal suffrage and allowed women to stand as candidates for colonial parliament in 1895. The Commonwealth of Australia guaranteed this status for women in federal elections from 1902 (except for Aboriginal women). The first European country to introduce women's suffrage was the Grand Duchy of Finland. Administrative reforms following the 1905 uprising recognized Finnish women's right to vote (in the 1907 elections, 19 members of parliament were elected, the first women in the world to hold elective institutional office.

In the years before World War I, Norway (1913) and Denmark also gave the vote to women, and it was extended to all other states in Australia. Russia's Soviet Federative Socialist Republic granted the right in 1918 as did Canada (except Quebec, where it was postponed until 1940). British women over 30 years of age and all German and Polish women had the vote in 1918, Dutch women in 1919, and U.S. women in states that had previously been denied suffrage were granted it in 1920. Women in Turkey had the right to vote in 1926. In 1928, suffrage was extended to all British women with the same rights as men, i.e., to all persons at least 21 years of age, regardless of sex. One of the most recent jurisdictions to grant women equal rights was Bhutan in 2008.

In Italy, universal suffrage was established by the short-lived Roman Republic of 1849: the vote for women was not excluded, but they remained outside by custom. Several attempts were made to introduce it between 1861 and 1919. The female vote was also legitimized in 1920, during the Italian Regency of Carnaro, the short-lived city-state founded by Gabriele D'Annunzio in Fiume. In 1925 a Fascist law granted women's suffrage in local elections only, but these were abolished in 1926, with no enforcement of the rule. In 1944 women had the right to vote, if head of household, a fact not at all uncommon at the time of the events, in the Partisan Republic of Carnia. The government of the Kingdom of Italy introduced women's suffrage by Lieutenancy Legislative Decree 23 of February 1, 1945. Women participated in the 1946 local elections, which were held beginning in March. The first nationwide vote took place on June 2, 1946, at the institutional referendum that sanctioned the birth of the Italian Republic and the simultaneous general elections for the Constituent Assembly.

No pro-suffrage movement was so broad as to include men and women. A major division, especially in Britain, was between suffragists, who sought a constitutional path to change, and suffragettes, who were more militant. There was also a diversity of views on the "place of women." Some who campaigned for women's suffrage believed that women were naturally kinder, gentler, and more sympathetic to the weaker members of society, especially children. it was often believed that women voters could exercise civilizing power over politics and tended to support control over alcohol, for example. It was believed that although the woman's place was in the home, she could influence laws that affected that home. Other proponents of these campaigns believed that men and women should be equal in every respect and that there was no so-called "natural role" for women.

There were also differences of opinion about other voters. Some social campaigners believed that all adults had the right to vote, rich and poor, male and female, and regardless of race. Others saw women's suffrage as a way to erase the votes of the lower classes and non-whites. The most current active movement in favor of women's suffrage operates in Saudi Arabia. The topic is intertwined with the complex role of modern Saudi women. (See Women's Rights in Saudi Arabia.)


In Egypt, women's suffrage was supported in 1956 by then-President Gamal Abdel-Nasser. The vote had previously been denied during the period of British occupation.

One of the first occasions during which women were allowed to vote was the Nova Scotian settlers in Freetown. In the 1792 election, all heads of households were eligible to vote, and one-third of these were ethnic Africans. Women won the right to vote in Sierra Leone in 1930.

The franchise was extended to white women 21 years and older by the Women's Enfranchisement Act, 1930. The first general election in which women were allowed to vote was held in 1933. On that occasion Leila Reitz (wife of Deneys Reitz) was the first woman to be elected Member of Parliament, representing Parktown for the South African Party. The right of black men to vote was very limited in Cape Province and Natal (Transvaal and Orange Free State denied voting rights to both black men and white foreigners altogether). These limitations were not extended to women, and were phased out between 1936 and 1968.

Voting rights for the Transkei Legislative Assembly, established in 1963 for Transkei bantustan, were granted to all adult citizens of Transkei, including women. Similar provisions were put in place for legislative assemblies created for other bantustans. All black adult citizens could vote for the Coloured Persons Representative Council, established in 1968 with limited legislative powers; however, the council was abolished in 1980. Similarly, all adult Indian citizens were eligible to vote for the South African Indian Council in 1981. In 1984, the Tricameral Parliament was established, and the right to vote for the House of Representatives and the House of Delegates was granted to all adult black citizens and all Indians, respectively.

In 1994, bantustans and the Tricameral Parliament were abolished and the right to vote for the National Assembly was granted to all adult citizens.

White women in Southern Rhodesia gained the vote in 1919, and Ethel Tawse Jollie (1875-1950) was elected to the Southern Rhodesian legislature in 1920-1928, the first woman to sit in a national Commonwealth parliament outside Westminster. The influx of women settlers from Britain proved a decisive factor in the 1922 referendum that rejected the annexation of a South Africa increasingly under the rule of traditionalist Afrikaner nationalists in favor of "Rhodesian Home Rule" or "responsible government." Rhodesian black males qualified for the vote in 1923 (based only on property, assets, income and literacy). It is unclear when the first black woman qualified to vote.

Women have had the right to vote in Afghanistan since 1965 (except during Taliban rule, 1996-2001, when no elections were held). Women have been less involved during voting in part because they were unaware of their right to vote. In the 2014 elections, Afghanistan's president-elect pledged equal rights for women.

Bangladesh was a province of Bengal in India until 1947 and then became part of Pakistan. It became an independent nation in 1971. Women were granted suffrage in 1947 and have had a reserved seat in parliament ever since. Bangladesh is noteworthy in that since 1991 two women, namely Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia, have continued to serve as the country's prime minister. Women have traditionally played a minimal role in politics beyond the anomaly of the two leaders; few ran against men in elections and therefore few were elected ministers. Recently, however, women have become more active in politics, with several important ministerial positions given to women and their participation in national, district, and municipal elections against men, reporting several victories. Choudhury and Hasanuzzaman argue that Bangladesh's strong patriarchal traditions explain why women are so reluctant to come forward in politics.

Women in India were allowed to vote from the very first general election after India's independence in 1947. During British rule, the right to vote had been granted to women only in limited contexts. The Indian Women's Association (WIA) was founded in 1917. It fought to gain women the right to hold legislative office on the same basis as men. These positions were endorsed by the main political group, the Indian National Congress. British and Indian feminists joined together in 1918 to publish a magazine called Stri Dharma that presented international news from a feminist perspective. In 1919, in the Montagu - Chelmsford reforms, the British established provincial legislatures that had the power to grant women's suffrage. Madras in 1921 granted the right to vote to wealthy and educated women on the same terms as men. The other provinces followed, but not the princely states (which did not even have the vote for men, being monarchies). In Bengal province, the provincial assembly rejected him in 1921, but an intense campaign led to victory that same year. Success in Bengal depended on middle-class Indian women who emerged from a rapidly growing urban elite. They linked their crusade to a moderate nationalist agenda, showing how one could participate fully in nation-building by having the power to vote. In doing so, they carefully avoided attacking traditional gender roles by arguing that traditions could coexist with political modernization.

While wealthy and educated women in Madras were granted the right to vote in 1921, in Punjab the Sikhs granted women equal voting rights in 1925, regardless of their educational qualifications or whether they were wealthy or not. This happened with the passage of the Gurdwara Act. The original draft of the Gurdwara Act sent by the British to the Sharomani Gurdwara Prabhandak Committee (SGPC) did not include Sikh women, but the Sikhs inserted the clause without women having to ask for it. The equality of women with men is enshrined in the Guru Granth Sahib, the sacred scripture of the Sikh faith.

In the Government of India Act of 1935, the British Raj established a system of separate seats for women, which most leaders opposed. In 1931, Congress promised a union when it came to power and fulfilled its promise, enacting equal voting rights for men and women in 1947.

Indonesia granted women the right to vote for town councils in 1905. Only men who could read and write could vote, thus excluding many non-European men. At that time, the literacy rate for men was 11 percent and for women 2 percent. The main group pressing for women's suffrage in Indonesia was the Dutch Vereeninging voor Vrouwenkiesrecht (VVV-Women's Suffrage Association), founded in the Netherlands in 1894. VVV tried to attract Indonesian members, but had very limited success because the organization's leaders had little ability to relate to even the educated class. In 1918, the first national representative body, the Volksraad, was formed, which still excluded women from voting. In 1935, the colonial administration used its appointment power to appoint a European woman to the Volksraad. In 1938, women gained the right to be elected to urban representative institutions, which led to some Indonesian and European women entering city councils. Eventually, only European women and city councils could vote, excluding all other women and local councils. In September 1941, the Volksraad extended voting to women of all ethnicities. Finally, in November 1941, the right to vote for municipal councils was granted to all women on a basis similar to men (i.e., based on property titles and educational qualifications).

A January 1963 referendum overwhelmingly approved by voters gave women the right to vote, a right previously denied them under the 1906 Iranian Constitution, Chapter 2, Article 3.

Women have had full suffrage since the proclamation of the State of Israel in 1948.

The first woman to be elected prime minister of Israel was Golda Meir in 1969.

Although women were allowed to vote in some prefectures as early as 1880, women's suffrage was enacted nationwide in 1945.

South Korean women gained the right to vote in 1948.

When voting was first introduced in Kuwait in 1985, women were allowed to take part. The right to vote was then temporarily removed, only to be finally restored in May 2005 by the Kuwaiti Parliament.

Pakistan was part of the British Raj until 1947, when it gained independence. Women received full suffrage in 1947. Muslim women leaders of all classes actively supported the Pakistani movement in the mid-1940s, including by organizing large-scale public demonstrations. The movement was led by wives and other relatives of prominent politicians. In November 1988, Benazir Bhutto became the first Muslim woman to be elected prime minister of a Muslim country.

The first Aurat March (Women's March) was held in Pakistan on March 8, 2018 (in the city of Karachi). In 2019, one was organized in Lahore and Karachi by a women's collective called Hum Auratein (We the Women), and in other parts of the country, including Islamabad, Hyderabad, Quetta, Mardan, and Faislabad, by the Women's Democratic Front (WDF), Women Action Forum (WAF), and others. The march was endorsed by the Lady Health Workers Association and included representatives from various women's rights organizations. The march aimed to call for greater accountability regarding violence against women and support for women who experience violence and harassment by security forces, in public spaces, at home, and in the workplace. Reports suggest that more and more women rushed to join the march until the crowd was dispersed. Women (as well as men) carried posters with phrases such as "Women are human beings, not honor," which became a battle cry.

The Philippines was one of the first countries in Asia to grant women the right to vote. Suffrage in the Philippines was achieved following a special women-only plebiscite held on April 30, 1937, during which 447,725 of them-about ninety percent-voted in favor of women's suffrage against 44,307 who voted against it. In accordance with the 1935 Constitution, the National Assembly passed a law extending the right of suffrage to women, which remains to this day.

In late September 2011, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud declared that women would be able to vote and run for office as of 2015. This applied to municipal councils, which are the only semi-elected bodies in the kingdom, which have few powers and half of the seats are elective. Council elections had been held as early as 2005, but it was in December 2015 that Saudi women were given the opportunity to vote and run for office, and on that same occasion Salma Biz Hizab al-Oteibi became the first woman elected in Saudi Arabia, winning a seat on the Madrakah council in Mecca province. A total of twenty women were elected to municipal councils during those elections.

The king also declared that women could be appointed to the Shura Council, an unelected body that issued advisory opinions on national policy. "This is great news," Saudi writer and women's rights activist Wajeha al-Huwaider said about it. "Women's voices will finally be heard. Now it is time to remove other barriers such as women not being allowed to drive and not being able to live a normal life without male guardians." Robert Lacey, author of two books on Saudi Arabia, said "This is the first positive and progressive discourse outside the government since the Arab Spring.... First the warnings, then the payments, now the beginnings of solid reform." The king made the announcement in a five-minute speech to the Shura Council. In January 2013, King Abdullah issued two royal decrees, granting women thirty seats on the council and stating that women must always hold at least one-fifth of the seats on the council. According to the decrees, women council members must be "engaged in the Islamic disciplines of Shariah without any violation" and be "moderated by the religious veil." The decrees also said women council members would enter the council building through special gates, sit in seats reserved for women and pray in special places of worship. Earlier, officials said a screen would separate the sexes and an internal communication network would allow men and women to communicate. Women first joined the council in 2013, occupying 30 seats, two of which were held by two Saudi royal women, Sara bint Faisal Al Saud and Moudi bint Khalid Al Saud. In addition, three women were appointed vice chairpersons of three committees in 2013: Thurayya Obeid was appointed vice-chair of the Human Rights and Petitions Committee, Zainab Abu Talib, vice-chair of the Information and Culture Committee, and Lubna Al Ansari vice-chair of the Health and Environment Committee.

In 1931, Sri Lanka (at that time Ceylon) became one of the first Asian countries to allow women over the age of 21 the right to vote without any restrictions. Since then, women have enjoyed a significant presence in Sri Lanka's political arena. The culmination of this favorable condition for women was the July 1960 general election, in which Ceylon elected Sirimavo Bandaranaike, the world's first democratically elected woman head of government, as prime minister. Her daughter, Chandrika Kumaratunga, also became Prime Minister later in 1994, and that same year she was elected Executive President of Sri Lanka, making her the fourth woman in the world to be elected President and the first Executive President.


In Europe, the last countries to enact women's suffrage were Switzerland and Liechtenstein. In Switzerland, women gained the right to vote in the 1971 federal elections; but in the canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden, women did not gain the right to vote on local issues until 1991, when the canton was forced to grant it by the Swiss Federal Supreme Court. In Liechtenstein, women received the right to vote through the 1984 referendum on women's suffrage. Three previous referendums, held in 1968, 1971 and 1973, had failed to grant women the right to vote.

Only after the collapse of the Habsburg monarchy would Austria grant the general, equal, direct and secret right to vote to all citizens, regardless of gender, through the amendment of the Electoral Code in December 1918. The first elections in which women participated were those of the Constituent Assembly in February 1919.

Universal voting rights were recognized in Azerbaijan in 1918 by the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan.

A revision of the constitution in October 1921 (amended Article 47 of the 1831 Constitution of Belgium) introduced the general right to vote according to the principle of "one man, one vote." Art. 47 allowed WWI widows to vote nationally as well. The introduction of women's suffrage was already on the agenda at the time, through the inclusion of an article in the constitution that allowed the approval of women's suffrage by special law (which meant that a majority of 2

Bulgaria was liberated from Ottoman rule in 1878. Although the first constitution adopted, the Tarnovo Constitution (1879), guaranteed women equal electoral rights, in reality women were not allowed to vote and be elected. the Bulgarian Women's Union was an umbrella organization of the 27 local women's organizations established in Bulgaria since 1878. It was founded as a response to the limitations of women's education and access to university studies in the 1890s, with the aim of promoting women's intellectual development and participation by organizing national congresses and using the Zhenski glas newspaper as an organ. However, they have limited success and women were not allowed to vote and be elected until later, when communist rule was established.

In the former Bohemia, women who paid taxes and women in professions could vote by proxy and were admitted to the legislative body in 1864. The first Czech female deputy was elected to the Bohemian Diet in 1912. The October 18, 1918 Declaration of Independence of the Czechoslovak Nation declared that "Our democracy will be based on universal suffrage. Women will be placed on an equal footing with men politically, socially and culturally, " and women were appointed to the National Revolutionary Assembly (parliament) on November 13, 1918. On June 15, 1919, women voted in local elections for the first time. In February 1920, the 1920 Constitution of the Czechoslovak Republic guaranteed women equal voting rights, and they were able to vote for parliament for the first time in April 1920.

In Denmark, the Dansk Kvindesamfund (Danish Women's Society, DK) has discussed and informally supported women's suffrage since 1884, but did not support it publicly until 1887, when it supported MP Fredrik Bajer's proposal to grant municipal suffrage to women. In 1886, in response to the DK's attitude, perceived as too cautious on the issue of women's suffrage, Matilde Bajer founded Kvindelig Fremskridtsforening (or KF, 1886-1904) to deal exclusively with the right to suffrage, both in municipal and national elections, and in 1887, Danish women publicly demanded the right to women's suffrage for the first time through the KF. However, full attention was not given to the issue of women's suffrage, as the KF was very involved in the struggle for workers' rights and pacifist activity. This led to the creation of a strictly women's suffrage movement Kvindevalgretsforeningen (1889-1897). In 1890, the KF and Kvindevalgretsforeningen joined with the five women workers' unions to found De samlede Kvindeforeningere and through this new body an active women's suffrage campaign was organized through agitations and demonstrations.

In 1893, after being met by a compact resistance, the Danish suffrage movement ceased almost completely, with the dissolution of De samlede Kvindeforeninger.

An umbrella organization, the Danske Kvindeforeningers Valgretsforbund or DKV, was founded in 1898 and became part of the International Woman Suffrage Alliance (IWSA). In 1907, the Landsforbundet for Kvinders Valgret (LKV) was founded by Elna Munch, Johanne Rambusch and Marie Hjelmer in response to what they saw as the Danish Women's Society's overly attentive attitude. The LKV grew out of a local suffrage association in Copenhagen and, like its rival DKV, has successfully organized other such local associations nationwide.

Women gained the right to vote in municipal elections on April 20, 1908. However, it was not until June 5, 1915 that they could vote in the Rigsdag elections.

Estonia gained independence in 1918 with the Estonian War of Independence. However, the first official elections were held in 1917. These were the elections of the temporary council (Maapäev), which ruled Estonia from 1917 to 1919. Since then, women have had the right to vote.

Parliamentary elections were held in 1920. After the elections, two women entered parliament: history teacher Emma Asson and journalist Alma Ostra-Oinas. The Estonian parliament was called Riigikogu and during the First Republic of Estonia had 100 seats.

The geographical area, which became Finland in 1809, was for over six hundred years a provincial territory of the Kingdom of Sweden. Therefore, women in Finland were allowed to vote during the Swedish Age of Freedom (1718-1772), during which conditional suffrage was granted to female members of tax-paying guilds (guilds). However, this right was opposed. It seems that women's suffrage was opposed in some parts of the kingdom: in Vaasa, there was opposition against women in the city participating in discussions on political issues, as that was not considered the proper role for them. When in Turku in 1771, Anna Elisabeth Baere and two other women initiated a petition to be allowed to vote, they did not receive permission from city officials.

The previous state of modern Finland, the Grand Duchy of Finland, was part of the Russian Empire from 1809 to 1917 and enjoyed a high degree of autonomy. In 1863, tax-paying women were granted municipal suffrage in the countryside, and in 1872, the same reform was extended to the cities. In 1906, it became the first country in the world to implement universal suffrage, in that women could also run for office. In fact, during the 1907 Finnish parliamentary elections, out of 19 parliamentarians there were 13 women elected, the first parliamentarians in the world.

The order of the French Liberation Committee of April 21, 1944, confirmed in October 1944 by the French Provisional Government, extended suffrage to French women. The first elections with women's participation were the municipal elections of April 29, 1945 and the legislative elections of October 21, 1945. "Indigenous Muslim" women in French Algeria, also known as colonial Algeria, had to wait for the Decree of July 3, 1958. Although several countries have begun to extend suffrage to women since the late 19th century, France was one of the last countries to do so in Europe. In fact, the Napoleonic Code declared the legal and political incapacity of women, blocking all attempts to grant women political rights.

The first feminist claims about voting began to emerge during the French Revolution in 1789. Condorcet expressed his support for women's right to vote in an article published in the Journal de la Société in 1789, but his project failed. Jacques Godechoot argued that Maximilien de Robespierre spoke in favor of women's vote at the time of the National Constituent Assembly, but others argue otherwise, and the revolutionary leader's position remains ambiguous. Advocates of women's suffrage during the revolution were the moderate Olympe de Gouges, in the context of census suffrage, who was guillotined. Radicals close to Jacobin-montagnard ideology and Enragé of the Society of Revolutionary Republican Women, led by several Sanculotte activists such as Claire Lacombe, an actress who belonged to the Cordiglieri Club, repeatedly asked the National Convention to institute universal women's suffrage between 1793 and 1794 by petitions and speeches at the forum. Because of the Society's proximity to the Hebertists and the Arrabists, and the Gouges to the Girondins, these figures came into conflict with both the Jacobin Club and with male chauvinist exponents of the Hebertist group such as Pierre-Gaspard Chaumette, causing these projects to fail. Article 28 of the second part ("Constitutional Act") of the never-entered French Constitution of 1793 reads anyway (although Article 4 names "every man," in practice women were also called "citizens"), making no distinction of sex:

The first part, the second version of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen, reads:

In the context of multilevel and corporate-family suffrage, the royalist pretender Henry d'Artois presented a proposed constitution in 1871 that included noncensal women's suffrage.

Since World War I, French women continued to demand political rights, and although the Chamber of Deputies was in favor, the Senate continually refused to analyze the bill. Surprisingly, the political left, which was generally great supporters of women's emancipation, repeatedly opposed voting rights for women because they would have supported conservative positions. Not surprisingly, a staunch supporter of the vote for women with universal suffrage 1919 was far-right leader Charles Maurras. It was only after World War II that women were granted political rights equal to men.

After its declaration of independence on May 26, 1918, following the Russian Revolution, the Democratic Republic of Georgia extended suffrage to its women. Georgia's women first exercised their right to vote in the 1919 legislative elections.

Women were granted the right to vote and be elected from November 12, 1918.

Greece had had universal suffrage since its independence in 1832, but it excluded women. The first proposal to grant Greek women the right to vote was made by a member of parliament on May 19, 1922, supported by then Prime Minister Dimitrios Gounaris, during a constitutional convention. When it was first presented, the proposal garnered a limited majority of those present but failed to gain the broad 80% support needed to add it to the constitution. In 1925, consultations began again and a law was passed allowing women the right to vote in local elections, provided they were 30 years old and had attended at least primary education.

The law was not enforced, until feminist movements within the civil service lobbied the government to enforce it in December 1927 and March 1929. Women were allowed to vote for the first time at the local level in the Thessaloniki elections on December 14, 1930, where 240 women exercised their right to vote. Women's turnout remained low, about 15,000 in the 1934 local national elections, although women represented a narrow majority of a population of 6.8 million. Women were not allowed to stand for election, despite the fact that Interior Minister Ioannis Rallis had put forward a proposal to make this possible. Rallis was challenged for this in court. The courts had ruled that the law gave women only " a limited right to vote" and eliminated all lists in which women had been proposed as candidates for local councils.

Misogyny was rampant in that era: Emmanuel Rhoides is said to have stated that "two professions are suitable for women: housewife and prostitute."

Nationwide, women over the age of 18 voted for the first time in April 1944 for the National Council, a legislative body established by the National Liberation Front. Eventually, women did not obtain the legal right to vote and stand for election until May 28, 1952.

In 1953 Eleni Skoura, again from Thessaloniki, became the first woman elected to the Hellenic Parliament, with the conservative Greek party Hellenic Grouping, when she won an election against another woman opponent. Women were finally able to participate in the 1956 elections, with two more women becoming Members of Parliament: Lina Tsaldari, wife of former prime minister Panagis Tsaldaris, won more votes than any other candidate in the country and became the first woman minister in Greece under the conservative National Radical Union government of Konstantinos Karamanlis.

The first woman to lead a major political party was Aleka Papariga, general secretary of the Communist Party of Greece from 1991 to 2013. No woman has ever been elected prime minister of Greece, but Vasilikī Thanou-Christofilou served as the country's prime minister, heading a technical government, between Aug. 27 and Sept. 21, 2015.

In Hungary, although it was already scheduled in 1818, the first occasion when women were able to vote was the January 1920 elections.

From 1918, with the rest of the United Kingdom, women in Ireland could vote at age 30 with property titles or in university constituencies, while men could vote at age 21 without qualifications. Since separation in 1922, the Irish Free State has given equal voting rights to men and women. ["All citizens of the Irish Free State (Saorstát Eireann) without distinction of sex, who have attained the age of twenty-one years and who comply with the provisions of the prevailing electoral laws, are entitled to vote for members of Dáil Eireann and to take part in the referendum and initiative. "] Beginning with the Proclamation, the promises of equal rights were enshrined in the Constitution in 1922, when Irish women gained full voting rights. Over the next ten years or however, laws were introduced that eliminated the rights granted to women to serve on juries, to work in industry and after marriage. The 1937 Constitution and the conservative leadership of Taoiseach Éamon de Valera further stripped women of their previously guaranteed rights. Moreover, although the 1937 Constitution guaranteed women the right to vote, nationality and citizenship on an equal basis with men, it also contained a clause, Article 41.2, which stated:

1st The State recognizes that from her life within the home, the woman provides the State with support without which the common good cannot be achieved. 2nd The State, therefore, undertakes to ensure that mothers are not forced by economic necessity to engage in work while neglecting their duties in the home.

In 1881, the Isle of Man (in the British Isles, but not part of the United Kingdom) passed a law granting the vote to single and widowed women to whom they had conveyed a title. This law allowed them to vote in elections to the House of Keys, in the island's parliament, Tynwald. Then with universal suffrage, the right was extended to men and women in 1919.

In Italy, women's suffrage was not introduced after World War I, but supported by Socialist and Fascist activists and partly introduced by Benito Mussolini's government in 1925 but eliminated de facto when elections were eliminated in 1926 and the regime established. In the Partisan Republic of Carnia, the right to vote for women heads of households, very common at the time, was guaranteed in the 1944 municipal elections. On February 1, 1945, the Bonomi government decreed the emancipation of women, which allowed their immediate appointment to public office: the first was Elena Fischli Dreher. In the elections of June 2, 1946, all Italians voted at the same time for the Constituent Assembly, and for a referendum asking the people to choose for Italy a Monarchy or a Republic. The elections were not held in Venezia-Giulia and Alto Adige because they were under Allied occupation.

The new version of Article 51 of the Constitution recognizes equal opportunity on the electoral rolls.

In Liechtenstein, women's suffrage was granted by referendum in 1984.

In Luxembourg, Marguerite Thomas-Clement spoke in favor of women's suffrage in the public debate through articles in the press from 1917-1919. However, there was never any organized movement for women's suffrage in Luxembourg, as women's suffrage was included without debate in the new democratic constitution of 1919.

Liberal politician Gina Krog was the leading activist for women's suffrage in Norway since 1880. She founded the Norsk Kvinnesaksforening (Norwegian Women's Rights Association) and the National Women's Voting Association to promote this cause. The members of these organizations were politically well-connected and well-organized, and gradually within a few years they succeeded in gaining equal rights for women. Middle-class women won the right to vote in municipal elections in 1901 and in parliamentary elections in 1907. Universal suffrage for women for municipal elections was introduced in 1910, and in 1913 a proposal for universal suffrage was unanimously adopted by the Norwegian Parliament (Stortinget). Norway thus became the last independent country to introduce universal women's suffrage.

Women were granted the right to vote in the Netherlands on August 9, 1919. In 1917, a constitutional reform already allowed women to be elected. However, although women's right to vote was approved in 1919, this did not take effect until January 1, 1920.

The women's suffrage movement in the Netherlands was led by three women-Aletta Jacobs, Wilhelmina Drucker, and Anette Versluys-Poelman. In 1889, Wilhelmina Drucker founded a women's movement called Vrije Vrouwen Vereeniging (Union of Free Women) and it was from this movement that the campaign for women's suffrage in the Netherlands emerged. This movement gained much support from other countries, particularly the women's suffrage movement in England. In 1906 the movement wrote an open letter to the queen calling for women's suffrage. When this letter was rejected, despite popular support, the movement organized several demonstrations and protests in favor of women's suffrage. This movement was of great significance for women's suffrage in the Netherlands.

Regaining independence in 1918, after the 123-year period of foreign partition and rule, Poland immediately granted women the right to vote and to be elected on November 28, 1918.

Le prime donne elette al Sejm nel 1919 furono: Gabriela Balicka, Jadwiga Dziubińska, Irena Kosmowska, Maria Moczydłowska, Zofia Moraczewska, Anna Piasecka, Zofia Sokolnicka e Franciszka Wilczkowiakowa.

Carolina Beatriz Ângelo was the first Portuguese woman to vote in the 1911 National Constituent Assembly elections, taking advantage of an ambiguity in the country's electoral law.

In 1931, during the Estado Novo regime, women were allowed to vote for the first time, but only if they had a high school or college degree, while men only had to read and write. In 1946 a new electoral law expanded the possibility of voting to women, but with some differences from men. A 1968 law claimed to establish "equal political rights for men and women," but some electoral rights were reserved only for men. After the Carnation Revolution in 1976,women gained full and equal electoral rights.

The campaign for women's suffrage in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland gained momentum during the early part of the 19th century as women became increasingly politically active, particularly during campaigns for suffrage reform in the United Kingdom. John Stuart Mill, elected to Parliament in 1865 and an open supporter of women's suffrage (about to publish The Subjection of Women ), campaigned for an amendment to the 1832 Reform Act to include women's suffrage. Although defeated in an all-male parliament under a conservative government, the issue of women's suffrage began to emerge.

Until the Reform Act of 1832, which unambiguously defined a voter as a male person, some women had the right to vote in parliamentary elections as property owners, although it was rare for them to avail themselves of it. Even in local government elections, women lost the right to vote under the Municipal Corporations Act 1835. For single female taxpayers, the right was restored under the Municipal Franchise Act of 1869 and then confirmed in the Local Government Act of 1894 and extended to married women of equal status. By 1900, more than 1 million single women were registered to vote in local government elections in England.

In 1881, the Isle of Man (in the British Isles but not part of the United Kingdom) passed a law granting the vote to single and widowed women who had passed a property qualification. This was to allow them to vote in elections for the House of Keys, in the island's parliament, Tynwald. Universal suffrage for men and women was extended in 1919.

During the second half of the 19th century, a number of women's suffrage groups in national elections were formed in an attempt to lobby members of Parliament and gain support. In 1897, seventeen of these groups came together to form the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies (NUWSS), which held public meetings, wrote letters to politicians and published various texts. In 1907, the NUWSS organized its first major demonstration. This march became known as the Mud March, as over 3,000 women dragged themselves through the streets of London from Hyde Park to Exeter Hall in support of women's suffrage.

In 1903 some NUWSS members broke away and, led by Emmeline Pankhurst, formed the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU). As the national media lost interest in the suffrage campaign, the WSPU decided it would use other methods to create publicity. This began in 1905 at a meeting in the Manchester Free Trade Hall, where Edward Gray, 1st Viscount Gray of Fallodon, a member of the newly elected Liberal government, was speaking. As he spoke, Christabel Pankhurst and Annie Kenney of the WSPU constantly shouted, "Will the Liberal government give votes to women?" When they refused to stop shouting, the police were called to clear them out, and the two suffragettes (when WSPU members became known after this incident) were involved in a fight, which ended in their arrest and a charge of assaulting a public official. When they refused to pay the fine, they were sent to jail for 10 days. The British public was shocked and noted the use of violence to get the vote for women.

After this media success, the WSPU's tactics became increasingly violent. This included an attempt in 1908 to storm the House of Commons, the arson of David Lloyd George's country house (despite his support for women's suffrage). In 1909 Lady Constance Lytton was imprisoned, but immediately freed when her identity was discovered, so in 1910 she disguised herself as a working-class seamstress named Jane Warton and suffered inhumane treatment that included force-feeding. In 1913, suffragette Emily Davison protested by interfering with a horse owned by King George V during the running of The Derby;she was trampled and died four days later. The WSPU ceased their militant activities during World War I and agreed to help the war effort.

The National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies, which had always employed "constitutional" methods, continued to lobby during the war years, and compromises were worked out between the NUWSS and the coalition government. The 1917 Speaker's Conference on electoral reform represented all parties in both houses and came to the conclusion that women's suffrage was essential. Regarding concerns that women might suddenly go from zero to the majority of voters because of the severe loss of men during the war, the Conference recommended that the minimum voting age be 21 for men and 30 for women.

On February 6, 1918, the Representation of the People Act was passed, which encouraged women over the age of 30 who met minimum property requirements. About 8.4 million women gained the vote in Britain and Ireland. In November 1918, the Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act 1918 was passed, which allowed women to be elected to Parliament. The Actation of the People (Equal Franchise) Act of 1928 extended the right to vote in Great Britain and Northern Ireland to all women over the age of 21, guaranteeing them the same voting conditions as men.

In 1999, Time magazine, naming Emmeline Pankhurst as one of the 100 most important people of the 20th century, said, "...she shaped an idea of women for our times; she shook society into a new pattern from which it might not come back."

The timing of the granting of women's suffrage in Romania was gradual and complex because of the turbulent historical period in which it developed. The concept of universal suffrage for all men was introduced in 1918, and was reinforced by the Romanian Constitution of 1923. Although this constitution also opened the way for the possibility of women's suffrage (Article 6), this did not materialize: the 1926 electoral law did not guarantee women the right to vote, retaining only men's suffrage. Starting in 1929, women who assumed certain qualifications were allowed to vote in local elections. After the Constitution of 1938 (drafted under Charles II of Romania, who had tried to implement an authoritarian regime) voting rights were extended to women for national elections by the Electoral Law of 1939, but both women and men had restrictions. In practice these restrictions had affected women more than men, although the new restrictions imposed caused men to lose their right to universal suffrage. Although women could vote, they could only be elected to the Senate and not the House of Representatives (Article 4(c)).

In 1940 the Senate was abolished. Because of the historical context of the time, which included the dictatorship of Ion Antonescu, there were no elections in Romania between 1940 and 1946. In 1946, Law No. 560 gave full rights and equality to both men and women and the possibility of being elected to the Chamber of Deputies; and women voted in the 1946 Romanian general elections. The 1948 Constitution gave women and men equal civil and political rights (Article 18).

Despite initial apprehension about women gaining the right to vote for the upcoming Constituent Assembly elections, the League for Women's Equality and other suffragists rallied during the year 1917 to demand the right to vote. After much pressure (including a march of 40,000 people on the Tauride Palace), the Russian Provisional Government granted women the right to vote on July 20, 1917.

San Marino introduced women's suffrage in 1959, followed by the 1957 constitutional crisis known as the Facts of Rovereta. It was not until 1973 that women gained the right to stand for election.

During the regime of Miguel Primo de Rivera (1923-1930), only women who were considered heads of households could vote in local elections, but there were none at that time. Women's suffrage was officially adopted in 1931 despite opposition from Margarita Nelken and Victoria Kent, two female parliamentarians (both members of the Radical-Socialist Republican Party), who argued that Spanish women at that time lacked the social and political education to vote responsibly and consciously, and would inevitably be influenced by Catholic priests. During Franco's regime in the type of "organic democracy," the type of elections called "referendum" (Franco's regime was dictatorial) women over 21 were allowed to vote without distinction. Since 1976, during Spain's transition to democracy, women have fully exercised their right to vote and be elected to office.

During the Age of Freedom (1718-1772), Sweden had conditional women's suffrage. Until the 1865 reform, local elections consisted of mayors in cities and vicars in rural parishes. The Sockenstämma was the parish council in charge of local affairs, chaired by the parish vicar and local peasants, who met and voted, an informally regulated process in which women are said to have participated as early as the 17th century. National elections consisted of the election of state Riksdag representatives.

Suffrage was gender-neutral and therefore applied to women as well as men if they possessed the appropriate qualifications for a citizen to vote. These qualifications were modified during the 18th century, as was the local interpretation of credentials, affecting the number of qualified voters: the qualifications had different valence both between city and country and between what were local or national elections.

Initially, the right to vote in local municipal elections (mayoral elections) was granted to every burgess, who was defined as a contributing citizen with a guild subscription. Just as men, women were also members of guilds, which guaranteed women's suffrage to a limited number of women. In 1734, suffrage in national and local elections, both in cities and in the countryside, was granted to all owners of estates, legal majority contributing citizens.

This suffrage was extended to all possessed taxpaying women, regardless of whether or not they were members of the guild. It excluded most unmarried women and married women, however, as these were defined as legal minors, while unmarried women were minors unless they claimed a legal majority by royal dispensation. Widowed and divorced women had a legal majority. The 1734 reform increased women's participation in elections from 55 percent to 71 percent.

Between 1726 and 1742, women voted in 17 of the 31 union elections examined. Reportedly, during union elections, some female voters preferred to appoint a man by proxy to vote for them in the town hall because they had found it embarrassing to do so in person. This event was cited as evidence for abolishing women's suffrage by those who opposed it. However, the custom of appointing proxy voting was also used by males, and it was in fact common for men, who were absent or ill during elections, to appoint their wives to vote for them.

In Vaasa, Finland (then a Swedish province), there was opposition against women participating in town hall life, discussing political issues, as that was not seen as the place for them. Indeed, it seems that the practice of women's suffrage had been opposed in some parts of the kingdom: when Anna Elisabeth Baer and two other women petitioned to vote in Åbo in 1771, but city officials would not allow them to do so.

In 1758, women were excluded from union elections by a new regulation, by which they could no longer be called bourgeois, but women's suffrage was maintained in national elections and parish elections in the countryside. Women participated in all eleven national elections, held until 1757. In 1772, women's suffrage in national elections was abolished at the request of the bourgeois class, first for unmarried female contributors, then for widows. However, the local interpretation of the ban on women's suffrage varied, and some cities continued to allow women to vote: in Kalmar, Växjö, Västervik, Simrishamn, Ystad, Åmål, Karlstad, Bergslagen, Dalarna, and Norrland, women were allowed to vote despite the 1772 ban, while in Lund, Uppsala, Skara, Åbo, Gothenburg, and Marstrand, women were strictly excluded from voting after 1772.

While women's suffrage was banned in the 1758 election and the 1772 national election, such a blockade was never introduced in local elections in the countryside, where women thus continued to vote in local parish vicar elections. In a series of reforms in 1813-1817, unmarried women with a legal majority, "Unmarried maiden, who has been declared a legal majority," were given the right to vote in the sockestämma (local parish council, the predecessor of town and city councils) and the kyrkoråd (local church councils).

In 1823, the mayor of Strängnäs suggested reintroducing women's suffrage for women who paid the legal majority (unmarried, divorced and widowed women) in mayoral elections, and this right was reintroduced in 1858.

In 1862, tax majority women (unmarried, divorced, and widowed women) were again allowed to vote in municipal elections, making Sweden the first country in the world to grant women the right to vote. This came after the introduction of a new political system, in which a new local authority was introduced: the municipal council. The right to vote in municipal elections applied only to people with a legal majority, which excluded married women, as they were legally under the guardianship of their husbands. In 1884, the proposal to grant women the right to vote in national elections was initially rejected in Parliament. During the 1880s, the Married Women's Property Rights Association organized a campaign to encourage women voters, qualified to vote in accordance with the 1862 law, to take advantage of their vote, increasing the participation of women voters in elections, but there was still, among women, no real common demand regarding women's suffrage.

In 1888, temperance activist Emilie Rathou became the first woman in Sweden to demand the right to women's suffrage in a public speech. In 1899, a delegation from the Fredrika Bremer Association presented a proposal for women's suffrage to Prime Minister Erik Gustaf Boström. The delegation was led by Agda Montelius, accompanied by Gertrud Adelborg, who had written the request. This was the first time that the Swedish women's movement had officially submitted a request for suffrage.

In 1902 the Swedish Women's Suffrage Society was founded. In 1906, the women's suffrage proposal was again voted on in parliament. In 1909, the right to vote in municipal elections was extended to include married women. That same year, women gained eligibility for election to municipal councils, and in the subsequent municipal elections of 1910-1911, about 40 women were elected to various municipal councils:Gertrud Månsson was the first. In 1914 Emilia Broomé became the first woman in the legislative assembly.

The right to vote in national elections was not granted to women until 1919, and was exercised again in the 1921 election, for the first time in 150 years.

After the 1921 elections, the first women were elected to the Swedish parliament: Kerstin Hesselgren in the upper house and Nelly Thüring (Social Democrat), Agda Östlund (Social Democrat) Elisabeth Tamm (Liberal) and Bertha_Wellin (Conservative) in the lower house. Karin Kock-Lindberg became the first female government minister and, in 1958, Ulla Lindström became the first interim minister.

A referendum on women's suffrage was held on February 1, 1959. The majority of Swiss men (67 percent) voted against it, but in some French-speaking cantons women got the vote. The first Swiss woman to hold political office was Trudy Späth-Schweizer, elected to the municipal government of Riehen in 1958.

Switzerland was the last Western republic to grant women suffrage. They gained the right to vote in federal elections in 1971, only after the second referendum held that year.

In 1991, following a decision by the Swiss Federal Supreme Court, Appenzell Innerrhoden became the last Swiss canton to grant women the vote on local issues.

The first female member of the seven-member Swiss Federal Council was Elisabeth Kopp, who served from 1984 to 1989. From 1993 to 1999, the second member of the Council was Ruth Dreifuss, who was also the first woman to serve as president of the Swiss Confederation in 1999. From Sept. 22, 2010, to Dec. 31, 2011, the highest political leadership of the Swiss Confederation had a majority of female councilors (Switzerland has had an all-female presidency for three consecutive years (the last presidency was in 2017.

In 1935, eighteen women parliamentarians joined the Turkish parliament in Turkey. Atatürk, founding president of the republic, led a cultural and legal secularist transformation in support of women's rights, including voting and election. Women gained the right to vote in municipal elections on March 20, 1930. Women's suffrage was achieved for parliamentary elections on December 5, 1934, through a constitutional amendment. Turkish women, who participated in parliamentary elections for the first time on February 8, 1935, won 18 seats.

In the First Republic, when Atatürk ran a one-party state, his party chose all the candidates. A small percentage of seats were reserved for women, so naturally those women candidates won. When multi-party elections began in the 1940s, the percentage of women in the legislature declined, and the 4 percent share of parliamentary seats gained in 1935 was not reached until 1999. In the 2011 parliament, women hold about 9 percent of the seats. However, Turkish women gained the right to vote a decade or more before women in Western European countries such as France, Italy and Belgium, a sign of Atatürk's profound social changes.


The female descendants of the Bounty mutineers living on Pitcairn Islands obtained the right to vote in 1838 and this right was transferred with their resettlement on Norfolk Island (now an Australian foreign territory) in 1856.Women owners of the South Australian colony obtained the vote in local elections (but not in parliamentary elections) in 1861. Henrietta Dugdale formed Australia's first women's suffrage society in Melbourne, Victoria in 1884. Women became eligible to vote for the South Australian Parliament in 1895, as did Aboriginal men and women. In 1897, Catherine Helen Spence became the first female figure to hold political office, running unsuccessfully for election as a delegate to the Federal Convention on the Australian Federation. Western Australia granted women the right to vote in 1899.

The first elections for Parliament in the newly formed Commonwealth of Australia in 1901 were based on the electoral arrangements of the six pre-existing colonies, so that women who had the vote and the right to run for Parliament at the state level had the same rights for the 1901 Australian federal election. In 1902, the Commonwealth Parliament passed the Commonwealth Franchise Act, which allowed all women to vote and stand for election to the federal parliament. The following year Nellie Martel, Mary Moore-Bentley, Vida Goldstein and Selina Siggins stood for election. The law expressly excluded "natives" from rights unless they belonged to one of the states that were part of the Commonwealth. In 1949, the right to vote in federal elections was extended to all natives who had served in the armed forces or had been drafted (Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory, however, excluded indigenous women from voting rights). The remaining restrictions were lifted in 1962 by the Commonwealth Electoral Act.

In the 1921 Western Australian Legislative Assembly Edith Cowan was elected, the first woman in an Australian Parliament. In 1943 Dame Enid Lyons, in the House of Representatives, and Australian Senator Dorothy Tangney, were the first women in the federal Parliament. Lyons also became the first woman to hold a cabinet post in Robert Menzies' 1949 ministry. Rosemary Follett was elected Prime Minister of the Australian Capital Territory in 1989, becoming the first woman elected to lead a state or territory. In 2010, the population of Australia's oldest city, Sydney, had female leaders occupying all major political offices, with Clover Moore as Lord Mayor, Kristina Keneally as Premier of New South Wales, Marie Bashir as Governor of New South Wales, Julia Gillard as Prime Minister, Quentin Bryce as Governor-General of Australia, and Elizabeth II as Queen of Australia.

Women in Rarotonga gained the right to vote in 1893, shortly after New Zealand.

New Zealand's Electoral Act of September 19, 1893 made New Zealand the first country in the world to grant women the right to vote in parliamentary elections.

The bill granted the vote to women of all races. New Zealand women were denied the right to run for parliament, however, until 1920. In 2005, nearly one-third of elected members of parliament were women. Recently, women have also held important and symbolic positions such as prime minister (Jenny Shipley, Helen Clark, and Jacinda Ardern), governor general (Catherine Tizard and Silvia Cartwright), chief justice (Sian Elias), Speaker of the House of Representatives (Margaret Wilson), and from March 3, 2005 to August 23, 2006, all four of these positions were held by women, along with Queen Elizabeth as head of state.


Women in Central and South America and those in Mexico gained the right to vote later than in Canada and the United States. Ecuador to Paraguay, by date of full suffrage:

There have been political, religious and cultural debates around the issue of women's suffrage in these countries. Important supporters of women's suffrage include Hermila Galindo (Mexico), Eva Perón (Argentina), Alicia Moreau de Justo (Argentina), Julieta Lanteri (Argentina), Celina Guimarães Viana (Brazil), Ivone Guimarães (Brazil), Henrietta Müller (Chile), Marta Vergara (Chile), Lucila Rubio de Laverde (Colombia), María Currea Manrique (Colombia), Josefa Toledo de Aguerri (Nicaragua), Elida Campodónico (Panama), Clara González (Panama), Gumercinda Páez (Panama), Paulina Luisi Janicki (Uruguay), Carmen Clemente Travieso, (Venezuela),Abigail Mejia,(Rep. Dominican).

The political status of non-voting women was promoted by the National Council of Women of Canada from 1897 to 1916. It promoted a vision of "transcendent citizenship" for women. Voting was not necessary, as citizenship was to be exercised through personal influence and moral suffering, through the election of men with strong moral character, and through the raising of public-spirited children. The position of the National Council was embedded in the national construction that sought to sustain Canada as a nation of white settlers. While the women's suffrage movement was important in extending the political rights of white women, it was also empowered through race-based arguments that linked white women to the need to protect the nation from "racial degeneration."

Women had the right to vote in some provinces, such as in Ontario from 1850, where women who owned property could vote for school trustees. By 1900 other provinces had adopted similar provisions, and in 1916 Manitoba took the lead by extending women's suffrage. At the same time, suffragists gave strong support to the prohibition movement, especially in Ontario and the western provinces.

The Wartime Elections Act of 1917 gave the vote to British women who were war widows or who had sons, husbands, fathers or brothers serving overseas. Unionist Prime Minister Sir Robert Borden pledged during the 1917 campaign to equalize suffrage for women. After his overwhelming victory, he introduced a bill in 1918 to extend the vote to women. On May 24, 1918, women considered citizens (not aboriginal women or most women of color) became eligible to vote provided they were "21 years of age or older, not foreign-born, and meeting the requirements of property in the provinces in which they live."

Most Quebec women were granted full suffrage in 1940. Aboriginal women across Canada were not granted federal voting rights until 1960.

The first woman elected to parliament was Agnes Macphail in Ontario in 1921.

Before the Nineteenth Amendment was passed in 1920, some individual states in the United States granted women's suffrage in certain types of elections. Some allowed women to vote in school elections, municipal elections and for members of the Electoral College. Other territories, such as Washington, Utah and Wyoming, gave women the right to vote even before they became states.

The New Jersey Constitution of 1776 allowed all adult citizens who owned a certain amount of property to vote. Laws enacted in 1790 and 1797 referred to voters verbatim as "he or she," and women voted regularly. A law passed in 1807, however, excluded women from voting in that state.

Lydia Taft was one of the first women in colonial America allowed to vote in three New England town meetings, beginning in 1756, in Uxbridge, Massachusetts. The women's suffrage movement was closely linked to abolitionism, with many activists in their first experience against slavery.

In June 1848, Gerrit Smith made women's suffrage one of the crucial points of the Liberty Party. In July of that year, at the Seneca Falls Convention in upstate New York, activists including Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony began a 70-year struggle by women to secure the right to vote. The participants signed a document known as the Declaration of Rights and Sentiments, of which Stanton was the lead author. Equal rights became the battle cry of the early women's rights movement and meant claiming access to all definitions of freedom. In 1850 Lucy Stone organized an assembly with a broader focus, the National Women's Rights Convention in Worcester, Massachusetts. Susan B. Anthony, a resident of Rochester, New York, joined the cause in 1852 after reading Stone's 1850 speech. Stanton, Stone and Anthony were the three leading figures in this movement in the United States during the nineteenth century-the "triumvirate" that sought to gain voting rights for women. Women's suffrage activists pointed out how unfair it was that blacks were not included in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, which guaranteed people equal protection under the law and the right to vote regardless of their race, respectively. The first victories were won in the territories of Wyoming (1869) and Utah (1870).

John Allen Campbell, the first governor of Wyoming, passed the first law in U.S. history explicitly granting women the right to vote. The law was passed on December 10, 1869. This day was later commemorated as Wyoming Day. On February 12, 1870, the Secretary of the Territory and Acting Governor of Utah Territory, S. A. Mann, passed a law allowing women as young as twenty-one years old to vote in any election in Utah. Noteworthy is the story of Louisa Swain, of Laramie, Wyoming, who got up early on September 6, 1870, donned her apron, shawl and bonnet and went downtown with a tin bucket to buy yeast from a merchant. He walked past the polling station and decided to vote there. The polling station had not yet been officially opened, but election officials asked her to come in and vote. She was described by a Laramie newspaper as "a kind, white-haired, Quaker-looking housewife." She was the first woman to vote in the U.S. general election.

The push to grant women suffrage in Utah was at least partly fueled by the belief that, with their vote, they would eliminate polygamy. Instead, when they voted for polygamy, the U.S. Congress decided to disenfranchise them with the federal Edmunds-Tucker Act in 1887.

By the end of the 19th century, Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming had rewarded women after the effort of suffrage associations at the state level; Colorado, in particular, did so in an 1893 referendum, while California granted women the right to vote in 1911.

In the early 20th century, when women's suffrage faced several major federal votes, part of the suffrage movement known as the National Woman's Party led by suffragist Alice Paul became the first "cause" to be picketed outside the White House. Paul had been led by Emmeline Pankhurst while in England, and both she and Lucy Burns led a series of protests against the Wilson administration in Washington.

Wilson ignored the protests for six months, but on June 20, 1917, as a Russian delegation approached the White House, suffragists unfurled a banner that stated, "We women of America tell you that America is not a democracy. Twenty million women are denied the right to vote. President Wilson is the leading opponent of their national ownership." Another banner on August 14, 1917 referred to "Kaiser Wilson" and compared the situation of the German people with that of American women. Many women were arrested for this. Another tactic of the National Woman's Party was fires, where copies of President Wilson's speeches were burned, often outside the White House or in nearby Lafayette Park. The Party continued to cause fires even when the war began, drawing criticism from the public and even other suffrage groups for not being patriotic. On October 17, Alice Paul was sentenced to seven months and began a hunger strike on October 30, but after a few days prison authorities began forcing her to eat. After years of opposition, Wilson changed his position in 1918 to support women's suffrage as a war measure.

The key vote came on June 4, 1919, when the Senate passed the amendment after four hours of debate, during which Democratic senators opposed the amendment formed to prevent a roll call until their absent senators could be protected by pairs. The Ayes included 36 Republicans (82 percent) and 20 Democrats (54 percent). The Nays included 8 Republicans (18 percent) and 17 Democrats (46 percent). The Nineteenth Amendment, which prohibited state or federal restrictions on voting based on sex, was ratified in 1920. According to Leslie Goldstein's article "Nineteenth Amendment," from the Encyclopedia of the U.S. Supreme Court, "it also included prison sentences and prison hunger strikes accompanied by brutal force-feeding; mob violence; and legislative votes so close that partisans were carried there on stretchers" (Goldstein, 2008). Even after the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment, women did not stop having problems. For example, in Maryland, when women registered to vote "residents sued to have women's names removed from the register on the grounds that the amendment itself was unconstitutional." (Goldstein, 2008).

Before 1965, black women, like African Americans and Native Americans, were disenfranchised, especially in the South.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 prohibited racial discrimination in voting and guaranteed voting rights for racial minorities in the United States.

The modern suffragist movement in Argentina arose partly in conjunction with the activities of the Socialist Party and anarchists in the early 20th century. Women involved in broader social justice movements began to demand equal rights and opportunities of men; following the example of their European peers, Elvira Dellepiane Rawson, Cecilia Grierson, and Alicia Moreau de Justo began to form a series of groups in defense of women's civil rights between 1900 and 1910. The first major victories for the extension of women's civil rights occurred in the province of San Juan. Women had been allowed to vote in that province since 1862, but only in municipal elections. A similar right was extended in the province of Santa Fe, where a constitution was enacted guaranteeing women's suffrage at the municipal level, although initially women's participation in voting was low. In 1927, San Juan enshrined its constitution and recognized equal rights for men and women. However, the 1930 coup d'état erased this progress.

A great pioneer of women's suffrage was Julieta Lanteri, daughter of Italian immigrants, who in 1910 asked a national court to grant her the right to citizenship (at that time generally not granted to unmarried immigrant women) and suffrage. Judge Claros granted her request and declared, "As a judge, it is my duty to declare that her right to citizenship is enshrined in the Constitution, and therefore that women enjoy the same political rights as male citizens, with the only restrictions expressly determined by these laws, since no inhabitant is deprived of what is not prohibited."

In November 1911, Dr. Lanteri was the first Ibero-American woman to vote. In 1919 she was presented as a candidate for national congresswoman for the Independent Center Party, receiving 1,730 votes out of 154,302.

In 1919, Rogelio Araya UCR Argentina had made history for being the first to introduce a bill recognizing women's right to vote, an essential component of universal suffrage. On July 17, 1919 he served as a national deputy on behalf of the people of Santa Fe.

On February 27, 1946, three days after the elections consecrated by President Juan Perón and his wife First Lady Eva Perón, 26, gave her first political speech. On that occasion, Eva called for equal rights for men and women and especially for women's suffrage:

The bill was presented by the new constitutional government immediately after May 1, 1946. The opposition of conservative bias was evident, not only in opposition parties but also within parties that supported Peronism. Eva Perón constantly urged parliamentary approval, even provoking protests from parliament over this intrusion.

The Senate preliminarily approved the draft on August 21, 1946, and it waited more than a year before the House of Representatives published Law 13.010 on September 9, 1947, which established equal political rights between men and women and universal suffrage in Argentina. Finally, Law 13.010 was passed unanimously.

In an official statement on national television, Eva Perón announced the extension of suffrage to Argentine women:

On September 23, 1947, the Women's Registration Law (No. 13,010) was enacted during Juan Domingo Perón's first presidency, which was implemented in the elections of November 11, 1951, in which 3,816,654 women voted (63.9 percent voted for the Justicialist Party and 30.8 percent for the Radical Civic Union). Later in 1952, the first 23 senators and deputies took their seats, representing the Justicialist Party.

Women were granted the right to vote and be elected in the 1932 Electoral Code, followed by the Brazilian Constitution of 1934. However, Rio Grande do Norte state law has allowed women to vote since 1926. The struggle for women's suffrage was part of a larger movement to gain rights for women.

The debate over women's suffrage in Chile began in the 1920s. Women's suffrage in municipal elections was first established in 1931 by a decree with the force of law; the voting age for women was set at 25. In addition, the House of Representatives passed a law on March 9, 1933, establishing women's suffrage in municipal elections, while the right to vote in parliamentary and presidential elections occurred concurrently with those held in 1949. The share of women voters steadily increased after that date, reaching the same levels of participation as men in 1970.

Women gained the right to vote in 1947 for some local elections and for national elections in 1953, after a struggle that began in the 19th century.

After the student protests of 1928, women began to participate more actively in politics. In 1935, women's rights advocates founded the Women's Cultural Group (known as "ACF" from its initials in Spanish), with the goal of addressing women's issues. The group advocated women's political and social rights and found it necessary to involve and inform them on these issues in order to ensure their personal development. It continued to hold seminars, as well as founding night schools and the House of Laboring Women for working women.

The first Venezuelan Women's Congress was called for in 1940 by groups seeking to reform the 1936 Code of Civil Conduct, in collaboration with the Venezuelan representation to the Union of American Women. At this congress, delegates discussed the situation of women in Venezuela and their demands. Key goals were women's suffrage and a reform of the Code of Civil Conduct. About twelve thousand signatures were collected and delivered to the Venezuelan Congress, which reformed the Code in 1942.

In 1944 groups advocating women's suffrage came to light, the most important of which was Feminine Action. In 1945 women gained the right to vote at the municipal level. This prompted women to take more action; for example, Feminine Action began publishing a newspaper called Correo Cívico Femenino to connect, inform, and orient Venezuelan women in their struggle. Eventually, after the Venezuelan coup in 1945 and the call for a new constitution, women's suffrage became a constitutional right in the country.

Notes: (a) Data not available. (Women cannot become Cardinals. (c) The date given gives the year in which women first voted in Italy, not the year in which they were granted the right to vote, 1945.


  1. Women's suffrage
  2. Suffragio femminile
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Karlsson Sjögren, Åsa, Männen, kvinnorna och rösträtten: medborgarskap och representation 1723–1866 [Men, women, and suffrage: citizenship and representation 1723–1866], Carlsson, Stockholm, 2006 (in Swedish).
  4. ^ https://www.amrevmuseum.org/virtualexhibits/when-women-lost-the-vote-a-revolutionary-story/pages/how-did-the-vote-expand-new-jersey-s-revolutionary-decade#:~:text=New%20Jersey%20became%20the%20first,that%20propertied%20women%20could%20vote.
  5. ^ Documenting Democracy: Constitution (Female Suffrage) Act 1895 (SA); National Archives of Australia.
  6. ^ a b c Brief history of the Finnish Parliament. eduskunta.fi.
  7. ^ a b (EN) Colin Campbell Aikman, History, Constitutional, in McLintock, A.H. (a cura di), An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, vol. 2, Wellington, NZ, R.E. Owen, Government Printer, 1966, pp. 67-75.
  8. ^ a b Pitcairn è il primo paese al mondo ad aver riconosciuto il diritto di voto alle donne, su news.avventisti.it, Notizie Avventiste, 3 dicembre 2013. URL consultato il 27 marzo 2016 (archiviato dall'url originale il 2 aprile 2016).
  9. ^ La Toscana festeggia, su intoscana.it.
  10. ^ Tesoro del foro toscano, o sia, Raccolta delle decisioni del Supremo consiglio e delle Ruote civili, Volume 24.«In Toscana le donne partecipavano alle elezioni di politica locale già nella prima metà dell'Ottocento, anche se non potevano essere elette. In Toscana un decreto datato 20 novembre 1849 sanciva il diritto di voto amministrativo per le donne, attivo ma non passivo, attraverso una procura; e dal 1850 anche tramite una scheda inviata al seggio con una busta sigillata»
  11. ^ Articolo 17 della Costituzione della Repubblica Romana: "Ogni cittadino che gode i diritti civili e politici a 21 anni è elettore, a 25 eleggibile"
  12. «Sufragio universal». Diccionario Político. España: La Sexta. Consultado el 21 de agosto de 2020.
  13. Zegada Claure, María Teresa (2012). Indígenas y mujeres en la democracia electoral: análisis comparado. Temas selectos de Derecho Electoral. México: Tribunal Electoral del Poder Judicial de la Federación. p. 15. ISBN 978-607-708-110-4.
  14. ^ [a b c d e f g] Benjamin Isakhan, Stephen Stockwell, red (2015). The Edinburgh companion to the history of democracy: from pre-history to future possibilities (Paperback ed). Edinburgh Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0-7486-4075-1. Läst 26 juni 2023
  15. ^ Sheldon, Kathleen (2016-03-04) (på engelska). Historical Dictionary of Women in Sub-Saharan Africa. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-1-4422-6293-5. https://books.google.se/books?id=HwqQCwAAQBAJ&pg=PA160&dq=liberia+women+League&hl=sv&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiBkOyZyp77AhXvh4sKHe6kAhUQ6AF6BAgMEAI#v=onepage&q=liberia%20women%20League&f=false. Läst 26 juni 2023
  16. ^ Medie, Peace A. (2020) (på engelska). Global Norms and Local Action: The Campaigns to End Violence Against Women in Africa. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-092296-2. https://books.google.se/books?id=a9bODwAAQBAJ&pg=PA57&dq=liberia+women+suffrage&hl=sv&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj4tZmtyZ77AhVmhosKHWkACSAQ6AF6BAgDEAI#v=onepage&q=liberia%20women%20suffrage&f=false. Läst 7 december 2022
  17. ^ Shinn, David Hamilton (2004). Historical dictionary of Ethiopia. Historical dictionaries of Africa (New ed). Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0-8108-4910-5. Läst 26 juni 2023

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