Timeline of women's suffrage

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Suffrage parade, New York City, May 6, 1912.

Women's suffrage – the right of women to vote – has been achieved at various times in countries throughout the world. In many nations, women's suffrage was granted before universal suffrage, so women and men from certain classes or races were still unable to vote. Some countries granted it to both sexes at the same time.

This timeline lists years when women's suffrage was enacted. Some countries are listed more than once as the right was extended to more women according to age, land ownership, etc. In many cases, the first voting took place in a subsequent year.

New Zealand became the first self-governing country in the world in which all women had the right to vote in parliamentary elections in 1893.[1] In Sweden, conditional women's suffrage was granted during the age of liberty between 1718 and 1771 to taxpaying female guild-members.[2]

For other women's rights, see Timeline of women's rights (other than voting).

18th century[edit]

  • 1718
    • Sweden: Female taxpaying members of city guilds are allowed to vote in local elections (rescinded in 1758) and national elections (rescinded in the new constitution of 1771).[2]
  • 1755
    • Corsica (rescinded upon annexation by France in 1769)[3]
  • 1756
  • 1776

19th century[edit]

Portrait of an unknown New Zealand suffragette, Charles Hemus Studio Auckland, circa 1880. The sitter wears a white camellia and has cut off her hair, both symbolic of support for advancing women's rights.
  • 1838
    • Pitcairn Islands
  • 1856
    • Norfolk Island
  • 1861
    • Australian state of South Australia: limited to property-owning women for local elections; universal franchise achieved in 1894.
  • 1862
    • Sweden: limited to local elections with votes graded after taxation; universal franchise achieved in 1919, which went into effect at the 1921 elections.[5]
  • 1863
    • The Grand Principality of Finland (part of the Russian Empire from 1809 to 1917): limited to taxpaying women in the countryside for municipal elections; and in 1872, extended to the cities.[5]
  • 1864
    Statue of Esther Hobart Morris in front of the Wyoming State Capitol
    • Australian state of Victoria, Australia: women were unintentionally enfranchised by the Electoral Act (1863), and proceeded to vote in the following year's elections. The Act was amended in 1865 to correct the error.[6]
    • The former Kingdom of Bohemia: limited to taxpaying women and women in "learned professions" who were allowed to vote by proxy and made eligible to the legislative body in 1864.[5]
  • 1869
    • United Kingdom: limited to single women ratepayers for local elections under the Municipal Franchise Act.[7][8] (Partial female suffrage in national elections in 1918; universal franchise in 1928.)
  • 1869–1920
  • 1870
  • 1881
    • Self-governing British Crown dependency of the Isle of Man: limited at first to women “freeholders” and then, a few years’ later, extended to include women “householders”.[10]
  • 1884
    • Canadian province of Ontario: limited to widows and spinsters to vote in municipal elections (later extended to other provinces).[11]
  • 1889
    • The municipality of Franceville: universal suffrage within its short existence.[12] Loses self-rule within months.
  • 1893
    Tribute to the Suffragettes, Christchurch, New Zealand
    • New Zealand: first self-governing country in the world in which all women are given the right to vote in parliamentary elections. Women were barred from standing for election until 1919.[13][14]
    • British protectorate of the Cook Islands: universal suffrage.[15]
    • U.S. state of Colorado: first state in the union to enfranchise women by popular vote.[16]
  • 1894
    • Australian state of South Australia: universal suffrage, extending the franchise to all women (property-owners could vote in local elections from 1861), the first in Australia to do so.
    • United Kingdom: Local Government Act confirms single women’s right to vote in local elections and extends this franchise to some married women.[8]
  • 1896
  • 1899

20th century[edit]

1900s[edit]

  • 1902
    • Australia: The Australian Constitution gives the federal franchise to all persons allowed to vote for the lower house in each state unless the Commonwealth Parliament stipulates otherwise. South Australian and Western Australian women can vote in the first federal election in 1901. During the first Parliament, the Commonwealth passes legislation extending federal franchise to non-Aboriginal women in all states. Aboriginal women have the vote in South Australia in 1901. The Commonwealth Franchise Act 1902 withdraws any such Aboriginal voting rights for federal elections, providing that, "No aboriginal native of Australia ... shall be entitled to have his name placed on an Electoral Roll unless so entitled under section forty-one of the Constitution".[17]
    • Australian state of New South Wales: limited to non-indigenous women
  • 1903
    • Australian state of Tasmania: limited to non-indigenous women
  • 1905
    • Latvia
  • 1905
    • Australian state of Queensland: limited to non-indigenous women
First Female Parliamentarians in the world were elected in Finland in 1907.
  • 1906
    • The Grand Duchy of Finland (part of the Russian Empire): first in Europe to grant women suffrage and the first in the world where women are able stand as candidates at elections. [18]
    • New Hebrides: Perhaps inspired by the Franceville experiment, the Anglo-French Condominium of the New Hebrides grants women the right to vote in municipal elections and to serve on elected municipal councils. (Limited to British, French, and other colonists, and excluding indigenous women.)[19]
The argument over women's rights in Victoria was lampooned in this Melbourne Punch cartoon of 1887
  • 1908
    • Denmark: limited to local elections
    • Australian state of Victoria: limited to non-indigenous women

1910s[edit]

  • 1915
    • Denmark: full voting rights
    • Iceland
  • 1916
    • Canadian province of Manitoba
    • Canadian province of Saskatchewan
    • Canadian province of Alberta
  • 1917
  • 1918
    • U.S. State of Michigan
    • U.S. State of South Dakota
    • U.S. State of Oklahoma
    • Austria
    • Canada: limited to women over 21, and "not alien-born", and meeting provincially-determined property qualifications
    • Canadian province of Nova Scotia
    •  Germany
    • Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic
    • United Kingdom (See Representation of the People Act 1918): limited to women above the age of 30, compared to 21 for men and 19 for those who had fought in World War One. Various property qualifications remained.
  • 1919
    • Belgium: limited to voting at municipal level
    • Georgia
    • Hungary: full suffrage granted in 1945
    • Luxembourg
    • Netherlands: right to stand in election granted in 1917
    • New Zealand: women have the right to stand for election into parliament
    • Canadian province of New Brunswick: limited to voting. Women are given the right to stand for office in 1934.
    • U.S. state of Minnesota
    • Self-governing British crown colony of Southern Rhodesia: women now allowed to vote and stand for election into parliament

1920s[edit]

  • 1920
    • Albania
    • Czechoslovakia
    • United States: all remaining states by amendment to federal Constitution
  • 1921
    • Sweden
  • 1922
    • Irish Free State (now known as the Republic of Ireland): equal suffrage granted upon independence from UK. Partial suffrage granted as part of UK in 1869 and 1918.
    • Canadian province of Prince Edward Island
    • Mexican state of Yucatán: limited to regional and congressional elections
  • 1924
    • Ecuador: a doctor, Matilde Hidalgo de Prócel, sues and wins the right to vote
    • Spain: limited to single women and widows in local elections. First women mayors.
    • Mongolia: no electoral system in place prior to this year.
    • Saint Lucia
    • Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic
    • Tajik Soviet Socialist Republic
  • 1925
  • 1927
    • Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic
    • Uruguay: women's suffrage is broadcast for the first time in 1927, in the plebiscite of Cerro Chato.
  • 1928
  • 1929
    • Romania: limited to local elections only, with restrictions.[20]
    • Unincorporated U.S. territory of Puerto Rico: women given the right to vote
    • Ecuador: the right of women to vote is written into the Constitution

1930s[edit]

  • 1930
    • South Africa (Women's Enfranchisement Act, 1930: limited to white women on the same basis as white men.
    • Turkey: limited to municipal elections.[21] On December 5, 1934, women are granted full universal suffrage. Turkish women run in parliamentary elections for the first time on February 8, 1935, obtaining 18 seats.
  • 1931
    • Ceylon (Sri Lanka)
    • Chile: limited to municipal level for female owners of real estate under Legislative Decree No. 320.
    • Portugal: with restrictions following level of education.
    • Spain: universal suffrage
  • 1932
  • 1934
    • Chile: limited to municipal level under Law No. 5,357
    • Cuba
    • Portugal: suffrage is expanded
    • Mexican state of Tabasco: limited to regional and congress elections only
  • 1935
    • British Raj: granted in the same year as suffrage for men and retained by India and Pakistan after independence in 1947.
    • Burma: women are granted the right to vote.[14]
  • 1937
  • 1938
    • Bolivia
    • Bulgaria: limited to mothers only
    • Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic
  • 1939
    • El Salvador[14]
    • Romania: women are granted suffrage on equal terms with men with restrictions on both men and women; in practice the restrictions affected women more than men.[22][23]

1940s[edit]

  • 1940
  • 1941
    • Netherlands Dutch East Indies: limited to European women only.
    • Panama: with restrictions.
  • 1942
    • Dominican Republic
  • 1944
    • Bermuda: limited to property-holding women.[24]
    • Bulgaria: full rights
    • Jamaica
  • 1945
  • 1946
    • Cameroon
    • Djibouti (French Somaliland)
    • Guatemala
    • Kenya
    • North Korea[26]
    • Liberia (Americo women only; indigenous men and women were not enfranchised until 1951)
    • British Mandate for Palestine
    • Portugal: expands suffrage
    • Romania[27]
    • Venezuela
    • Vietnam
  • 1947
    • Argentina[28]
    • Republic of China (includes Taiwan): with restrictions
    • Malta
    • Mexico: limited to municipal level
    • Nepal
    • Pakistan: with independence
    • Singapore
  • 1948

The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.

[29]

  • 1949
    • Chile: right expanded to all elections on January 8 by Law No. 9,292
    • Netherlands Antilles (Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Sint Maarten, Saba, and Sint Eustatius)[30]
    • People's Republic of China
    • Costa Rica
    • Syria

1950s[edit]

  • 1950
    • Barbados
    • Haiti
    • India: granted in the same year as men's suffrage
  • 1951
    • Antigua and Barbuda
    • Dominica
    • Grenada
    • Nepal
    • Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla
    • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • 1952
    • United Nations enacts Convention on the Political Rights of Women
    • Bolivia
    • Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
    • Greece
    • Lebanon
  • 1953
    • Bhutan
    • British Guiana (now Guyana)
    • Mexico: rights extended to all women and for national elections
  • 1954
  • 1955
    • Cambodia
    • Ethiopia (and Eritrea, as then a part of Ethiopia)
    • Honduras
    • Nicaragua
    • Peru
  • 1956
  • 1957
  • 1958
    • Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso)
    • Chad
    • Guinea
    • Laos
    • Nigeria (South)
  • 1959

1960s[edit]

  • 1960
    • Cyprus: suffrage granted upon its establishment
    • Gambia
    • Geneva
    • Tonga
  • 1961
    • Burundi
    • Mauritania
    • Malawi
    • Paraguay
    • Rwanda
    • Sierra Leone
  • 1962
    • Algeria
    • Australia: universal suffrage extended to Aboriginal men and women.
    • Brunei: suffrage revoked (including men)
    • Monaco
    • Uganda
    • Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia)
  • 1963
  • 1964
  • 1965
  • 1966
  • 1967
  • 1968
    • Basel-Landschaft
    • Bermuda: universal suffrage
    • Nauru
    • Portuga:l claims to have established "equality of political rights for men and women", although a few electoral rights were reserved for men.
    • Swaziland

1970s[edit]

  • 1970
  • 1971
    • Switzerland: on the federal level; introduced on the Cantonal level from 1958–1990
  • 1972
    • Bangladesh: suffrage granted upon its establishment
  • 1973
    • Bahrain[35] (Bahrain did not hold elections until 2002)[36]
  • 1974
    • Jordan
    • Solomon Islands
  • 1975
    • Angola
    • Cape Verde
    • Mozambique
    • São Tomé and Príncipe
    • Vanuatu (New Hebrides)
  • 1976
  • 1977
    • Guinea-Bissau
  • 1978
    • Marshall Islands
    • Federated States of Micronesia
    • Nigeria (North)
    • Palau

1980s[edit]

  • 1985
    • Kuwait (revoked in 1999; re-granted in 2005)[39]
  • 1986
    • Central African Republic
  • 1989

1990s[edit]

21st century[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 'New Zealand women and the vote', URL: http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/politics/womens-suffrage, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 17 July 2014.
  2. ^ a b Karlsson-Sjögren, Åsa. Männen, kvinnorna och rösträtten : medborgarskap och representation 1723–1866 [Men, women and the vote: citizenship and representation 1723–1866] (in Swedish). 
  3. ^ Lucien Felli, "La renaissance du Paolisme". M. Bartoli, Pasquale Paoli, père de la patrie corse, Albatros, 1974, p. 29. "Il est un point où le caractère précurseur des institutions paolines est particulièrement accusé, c'est celui du suffrage en ce qu'il était entendu de manière très large. Il prévoyait en effet le vote des femmes qui, à l'époque, ne votaient pas en France."
  4. ^ Lydia Chapin Taft Biography Womens Suffrage by Frances Stanford | Humanities 360
  5. ^ a b c P. Orman Ray: Woman Suffrage in Foreign Countries. The American Political Science Review. Vol. 12, No. 3 (Aug., 1918), pp. 469-474
  6. ^ "Women in Parliament – Parliament of Victoria". Parliament.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 2013-05-06. 
  7. ^ "Women's rights". The National Archives. Retrieved 11 February 2015. 
  8. ^ a b "Which Act Gave Women the Right to Vote in Britain?". Synonym. Retrieved 11 February 2015. 
  9. ^ Rea, Tom. "Right Choice, Wrong Reasons: Wyoming women win the right to vote". wyohistory.org. Retrieved 26 August 2015. 
  10. ^ Myers, Rebecca (28 May 2013). "General History of Women’s Suffrage in Britain". The Independent. Retrieved 26 August 2015. 
  11. ^ "Canada-WomensVote-WomenSuffrage". Faculty.marianopolis.edu. 1916-01-27. Retrieved 2013-05-06. 
  12. ^ "Wee, Small Republics: A Few Examples of Popular Government," Hawaiian Gazette, Nov 1, 1895, p 1
  13. ^ 'New Zealand women and the vote', URL: http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/politics/womens-suffrage, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 17-Jul-2014
  14. ^ a b c d Women's Suffrage
  15. ^ 'World suffrage timeline', URL: http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/politics/womens-suffrage/world-suffrage-timeline, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 5-Aug-2015
  16. ^ Chapin, Laura (21 August 2010). "Colorado Led the Way on Women's Suffrage". usnews.com. Retrieved 26 August 2015. 
  17. ^ Documenting a Democracy, Museum of Australian Democracy, retrieved 13 October 2011 
  18. ^ http://www.aanioikeus.fi/en/articles/strike.htm
  19. ^ Bourdiol, Julien (1908), Condition internationale des Nouvelles-Hebrides, p 106
  20. ^ Popescu, Camelia. "Lupta pentru dreptul de vot feminin în România interbelică". Historia.ro. Adevărul Holding. Retrieved 4 January 2014. 
  21. ^ "This Day in World History: February 6, 1935 – Turkey Holds First Election That Allows Women to Vote". OUP Blog. 
  22. ^ "Summary: Rights to Vote in Romania". Retrieved 6 October 2014. 
  23. ^ "CONSTITUŢIA: României din 1938". Retrieved 6 October 2014. 
  24. ^ "The Evolution of Bermuda's Franchise". Parliamentary Registry Bermuda. 
  25. ^ (Italian) Extension to the women of the right to vote
  26. ^ "Women's Suffrage". Ipu.org. 1997-05-23. Retrieved 2013-05-06. 
  27. ^ "Summary: Rights to Vote in Romania". Retrieved 6 October 2014. 
  28. ^ Gregory Hammond, The Women's Suffrage Movement and Feminism in Argentina From Roca to Peron (U of New Mexico Press; 2011)
  29. ^ The Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  30. ^ http://www.everyculture.com/Ma-Ni/Netherlands-Antilles.html
  31. ^ "Pakistan Ministers". Guide2womenleaders.com. Retrieved 2013-05-06. 
  32. ^ http://www.banrepcultural.org/blaavirtual/linea-de-tiempo/voto-mujer-frente-nacional
  33. ^ "Woman Suffrage Timeline International – Winning the Vote Around the World". Womenshistory.about.com. 1908-04-25. Retrieved 2013-05-06. 
  34. ^ "El Voto Feminino en Ecuador, published 6 April 1991, accessed 1 November 2010". Hoy.com.ec. 2011-10-14. Retrieved 2013-05-06. 
  35. ^ a b Women's Suffrage
  36. ^ Darwish, Adel (October 25, 2002). "Bahrain's women vote for first time". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved May 25, 2010. 
  37. ^ http://www.idea.int/publications/voter_turnout_weurope/upload/chapter%204.pdf
  38. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/womanshour/timeline/votes_to_women.shtml
  39. ^ "African Women and Children". Apollo Rwormie. 
  40. ^ "Kuwaiti women win right to vote". BBC news. 17 May 2005. Retrieved 4 March 2015. 
  41. ^ "Kuwait grants women right to vote". CNN. May 16, 2005. Retrieved 13 April 2014. 
  42. ^ "Women in Saudi Arabia 'to vote and run in elections'". BBC News (London). September 25, 2011. Retrieved September 25, 2011. 

External links[edit]