Timeline of women's suffrage
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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.
Though it did not achieve nationhood until 1907, the colony of New Zealand was the first self-governing country in the world in which all women had the right to vote in, but not stand for, parliamentary elections in 1893, followed closely by the colony of South Australia in 1894 (which, unlike New Zealand, also allowed women to stand for Parliament). In Sweden, conditional women's suffrage was granted during the age of liberty between 1718 and 1772.
In 1906, the autonomous Grand Principality of Finland, which became the republic of Finland, was the first country in the world to implement truly universal full suffrage, i.e. both active and passive suffrage, by being the first country in the world to give women full political rights, i.e. both the right to vote and to run for office. It was the second country in the world and the first in Europe to give women the right to vote. The world's first female members of parliament were elected in Finland the following year.
In Europe, the last jurisdiction to grant women the right to vote was the Swiss canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden, in 1991. Women in Switzerland obtained the right to vote at federal level in 1971, and at local cantonal level between 1959 and 1991, see Women's suffrage in Switzerland.
For other women's rights, see Timeline of women's legal rights (other than voting).
- Sweden: Female taxpaying members of city guilds are allowed to vote in local city elections (rescinded in 1758) and national elections (rescinded in 1772): from 1734, female taxpaying property owners of legal majority are allowed to vote in local country side elections (never rescinded).
- Corsica (rescinded upon annexation by France in 1769)
- U.S. (Still under British crown up until 1776) town of Uxbridge, Massachusetts: One woman, Lydia Taft, is allowed to vote in the town meeting
- 1853 Velez Province in what was then the New Granada Republic (Colombia) grants universal suffrage to men and women. The Supreme Court annulled the provision for women.
- Australian colony of South Australia: limited to property-owning white women for local elections; universal franchise achieved in 1894.
- Sweden: limited to local elections with votes graded after taxation; universal franchise achieved in 1919, which went into effect at the 1921 elections.
- The Grand Duchy of Finland ( Russian Empire): limited to taxpaying women in the countryside for municipal elections; and in 1872, extended to the cities.
- Australian colony of Victoria: 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.
- Kingdom of Bohemia: limited to taxpaying women and women in "learned professions" who were allowed to vote by proxy and made eligible for election to the legislative body in 1864.
- United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland: limited to single women ratepayers for local elections under the Municipal Franchise Act. (Partial female suffrage in national elections in 1918; universal franchise in 1928.)
- United States-incorporated Territory of Wyoming: full suffrage for women.
- United States-incorporated Utah Territory: repealed by the Edmunds-Tucker Act in 1887.
- May 10, 1872, New York City: Equal Rights Party nominates Victoria C. Woodhull as their candidate for US-President.
- Isle of Man (British Crown dependency) (limited at first to women “freeholders” and then, a few years’ later, extended to include women “householders”).
- Ontario (Canadian province) (limited to widows and spinsters to vote in municipal elections) (later extended to other provinces).
- United States- Proposed Constitutional Amendment to extend suffrage and the right to hold office to women (limited to spinsters and widows who owned property).
- The municipality of Franceville in the New Hebrides (universal suffrage within its short existence. Loses self-rule within months)
- New Zealand (first self-governing colony 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).
- Cook Islands (British protectorate) universal suffrage.
- Colorado (U.S. state) (first state in the union to enfranchise women by popular vote)
- Australian colony of South Australia: universal suffrage, extending the franchise to all women (n.b. all property-owners, including property-owning women, could vote in local elections from 1861), the first colony in Australia to do so. In 1895, South Australian women became the first in the world to be allowed to stand for election.
- United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland: Local Government Act confirms single women’s right to vote in local elections and extends this franchise to some married women. By 1900, over 1 million women were registered for local government elections in England.
- Australian colony of Western Australia
- South Australia (Australian state) (were allowed to vote in Australia's first federal election)
- Western Australia (Australian state) (were allowed to vote in Australia's first federal election)
- 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 had been able 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)
- New South Wales (Australian state) (White women only)
- Tasmania (Australian state) (limited to White women only)
- Australia (The first independent country to hold national elections where women were given the vote nationwide, was Australia in that country's second federal election)
- Grand Duchy of Finland ( Russian Empire) (first in the world to give women full political rights, i.e. both the right to vote and to run for office, first in Europe to give women the right to vote). The world's first female members of parliament were elected in Finland the following year.
- 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.)
- New York (U.S. State)
- Azerbaijan Democratic Republic
- Belarusian People's Republic
- Latvia (as an independent country)
- British Columbia (Canadian province)
- Ontario (Canadian province)
- Canada (limited to war widows, women serving overseas, and women with family serving overseas)
- Russian Republic
- Ukrainian People's Republic
- Uruguay (per Constitution)
- Crimean People's Republic
- Michigan (U.S. state)
- South Dakota (U.S. state)
- Oklahoma (U.S. state)
- Canada (limited to women over 21, and "not alien-born", and meeting provincially-determined property qualifications)
- Nova Scotia (Canadian province)
- Moldavian SSR (Soviet Union)
- Second Polish Republic
- Russian SFSR (Soviet Union)
- Kyrgyz SSR (Soviet Union)
- United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (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). (See Representation of the People Act 1918)
- Belgium (limited to voting at municipal level)
- Hungary (full suffrage granted in 1945)
- Netherlands (right to stand in election protected in 1917)
- New Zealand (women have the right to stand for election into parliament)
- New Brunswick (Canadian province) (limited to voting. Women's right to stand for office protected in 1934)
- Minnesota (U.S. state)
- Southern Rhodesia (British Crown Colony) (women now allowed to vote and stand for election into parliament)
- Irish Free State (equal suffrage granted upon independence from UK. Partial suffrage granted as part of UK in 1869 and 1918)
- Prince Edward Island (Canadian province)
- Yucatán (Mexican state) (limited to regional and congressional elections)
- 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 SSR (Soviet Union)
- Tajik SSR (Soviet Union)
- Italy (limited to local elections)
- Dominion of Newfoundland (limited to women 25 and older; men can vote at age 21)
- Turkmen SSR (Soviet Union)
- Uruguay (women's suffrage is broadcast for the first time in 1927, in the plebiscite of Cerro Chato)
- Romania (limited to local elections only, with restrictions)
- Puerto Rico (women given the right to vote)
- Ecuador (the right of women to vote is written into the Constitution)
- South Africa (Women's Enfranchisement Act, 1930: limited to white women on the same basis as white men.
- Turkey (limited to municipal elections).
- 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)
- Chile (limited to municipal level under Law No. 5,357)
- Portugal (suffrage is expanded)
- Tabasco (Mexican state) (limited to regional and congress elections only)
- Turkey (parliamentary elections).
- El Salvador (with restrictions requiring literacy and a higher age)
- 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)
- French Somaliland
- North Korea
- Liberia (Americo women only; indigenous men and women were not enfranchised until 1951)
- Mandatory Palestine
- Portugal (expands suffrage)
- Republic of China (includes Taiwan: with restrictions)
- Mexico (limited to municipal level)
- United Nations adopted The Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 21
- Israel (establishment of the state)
- South Korea
- Dutch Surinam
- Chile (right expanded to all elections on January 8 by Law No. 9,292)
- Netherlands Antilles
- People's Republic of China
- Costa Rica
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- United Nations enacts Convention on the Political Rights of Women
- Côte d'Ivoire
- Lebanon (An educational requirement)
- Pakistan (national level; previously only literate women could vote).
- British Somaliland
- Australia (universal suffrage Australian Aboriginals men and women)
- Brunei (revoked) (including men)
- Northern Rhodesia
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Ecuador (women's vote made obligatory, like that of men's)
- South Yemen
- Basel-Landschaft (Swiss canton)
- Bermuda (universal)
- Portugal (few electoral rights were reserved for men)
- Switzerland (federal level)
- Bangladesh (suffrage granted upon its establishment)
- Bahrain (Bahrain did not hold elections until 2002)
- Kuwait (first time)
- Western Samoa
- Appenzell Innerrhoden (Swiss Canton) was forced to accept women's suffrage by the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland
- Kuwait (granted after fall of Ba'athist government of Saddam Hussein)
- Iraq (granted after fall of Ba'athist government of Saddam Hussein)
- United Arab Emirates (UAE) (limited suffrage for both men and women).
Note: in some countries both men and women have limited suffrage. For example, in Brunei, which is a sultanate, there are no national elections, and voting exists only on local issues. In the United Arab Emirates the rulers of the seven emirates each select a proportion of voters for the Federal National Council (FNC) that together account for about 12% of Emirati citizens.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Suffragettes.|
- Timeline of first women's suffrage in majority-Muslim countries
- Timeline of women's suffrage in the United States
- Timeline of women's legal rights (other than voting)
- List of the first female holders of political office in Europe
- List of suffragists and suffragettes
- List of women's rights activists
- Women's suffrage organizations
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- Women's Suffrage
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- Google Spreadsheet with map—above timeline data has been tabulated and can be viewed on a world map for any given year.