International Woman Suffrage Timeline

Winning the Vote for Women Around the World

World Woman Suffrage Map 1908
Progress of states and nations with woman suffrage. Courtesy Library of Congress. Original published in Harper's Magazine, April 25, 1908.

When did various nations give all women the right to vote? Many granted suffrage in steps -- some locales gave the vote for local elections first, or some racial or ethnic groups were excluded until later. Often, the right to stand for election and the right to vote were given at separate times. "Full suffrage" means that all groups of women were included, and could both vote and run for any office.

Also see the state-by-state timeline and the women's suffrage events timeline.

1850-1879

1851: Prussian law forbids women from joining political parties or attending meetings where politics is discussed. (This was a reaction to the European revolutions of 1848.)

1869: Britain grants unmarried women who are householders the right to vote in local elections

1862/3: Some Swedish women gain voting rights in local elections.

1880-1899

1881: Some Scottish women get the right to vote in local elections.

1893: New Zealand grants equal voting rights to women.

1894: The United Kingdom expands women's voting rights to married women in local but not national elections. 

1895: South Australian women gain voting rights.

1899: Western Australian women were granted voting rights. 

1900-1909

1901: Women in Australia get the vote, with some restrictions. 

1902: Women in New South Wales get the vote.

1902: Australia grants more voting rights to women.

1906: Finland adopts woman suffrage.

1907: Women in Norway are permitted to stand for election.

1908: Women in Denmark some women granted local voting rights.

1908: Victoria, Australia, grants women voting rights.

1909: Sweden grants vote in municipal elections to all women.

1910-1919

1913: Norway adopts full woman suffrage.

1915: Women get the vote in Denmark and Iceland.

1916: Canadian women in Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan get the vote.

1917: When the Russian Czar is toppled, the Provisional Government grants universal suffrage with equality for women; later the new Soviet Russian constitution includes full suffrage to women.

1917: Women in the Netherlands are granted the right to stand for election.

1918: The United Kingdom gives a full vote to some women -- over 30, with property qualifications or a UK university degree -- and to all men age 21 and older.

1918: Canada gives women the vote in most provinces by federal law. Quebec is not included. Native women were not included.

1918: Germany grants women the vote.

1918: Austria adopts woman suffrage.

1918: Women given full suffrage in Latvia, Poland, Estonia, and Latvia.

1918: Russian Federation gives women the right to vote.

1921: Azerbaijan grants woman suffrage. (Sometimes given as 1921 or 1917.)

1918: Women granted limited voting rights in Ireland.

1919: Netherlands gives women the vote.

1919: Woman suffrage is granted in Belarus, Luxembourg and Ukraine.

1919: Women in Belgium granted right to vote.

1919: New Zealand allows women to stand for election.

1919: Sweden grants suffrage with some restrictions.

1920-1929

1920: On August 26, a constitutional amendment is adopted when the state of Tennessee ratifies it, granting full woman suffrage in all states of the United States. (For more on woman suffrage state-by-state, see the American Woman Suffrage Timeline.)

1920: Woman suffrage is granted in Albania, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

1920: Canadian women get the right to stand for election (but not for all offices - see 1929 below).

1921: Sweden gives women voting rights with some restrictions.

1921: Armenia grants woman suffrage.

1921: Lithuania grants woman suffrage.

1921: Belgium grants women the right to stand for election.

1922: Irish Free State, separating from the UK, gives equal voting rights to women.

1922: Burma grants women voting rights.

1924: Mongolia, Saint Lucia and Tajikistan give suffrage to women.

1924: Kazakstan gives limited voting rights to women.

1925: Italy grants limited voting rights to women.

1927: Turkmenistan grants woman suffrage.

1928: The United Kingdom grants full equal voting rights to women.

1928: Guyana grants woman suffrage.

1928: Ireland (as part of the UK) expands women's suffrage rights.

1929: Ecuador grants suffrage, Romania grants limited suffrage.

1929: Women found to be "persons" in Canada and therefore able to become members of the Senate.

1930-1939

1930: White women granted suffrage in South Africa.

1930: Turkey grants women the vote.

1931: Women get full suffrage in Spain and Sri Lanka.

1931: Chile and Portugal grant suffrage with some restrictions.

1932: Uruguay, Thailand and Maldives jump on the woman suffrage bandwagon.

1934: Cuba and Brazil adopt woman suffrage.

1934: Turkish women are able to stand for election.

1934: Portugal grants woman suffrage, with some restrictions.

1935: Women gain right to vote in Myanmar.

1937: The Philippines grants women full suffrage.

1938: Women get the vote in Bolivia.

1938: Uzbekistan grants full suffrage to women.

1939: El Salvador grants voting rights to women.

1940-1949

1940: Women of Quebec are granted voting rights.

1941: Panama grants limited voting rights to women.

1942: Women gain full suffrage in the Dominican Republic.

1944: Bulgaria, France and Jamaica grant suffrage to women.

1945: Croatia, Indonesia, Italy, Hungary, Japan (with restrictions), Yugoslavia, Senegal and Ireland enact woman suffrage.

1945: Guyana allows women to stand for election.

1946: Woman suffrage adopted in Palestine, Kenya, Liberia, Cameroon, Korea, Guatemala, Panama (with restrictions), Romania (with restrictions), Venezuela, Yugoslavia and Vietnam.

1946: Women allowed to stand for election in Myanmar.

1947: Bulgaria, Malta, Nepal, Pakistan, Singapore and Argentina extend suffrage to women.

1947: Japan extends suffrage, but still retains some restrictions.

1947: Mexico grants the vote to women at the municipal level.

1948: Israel, Iraq, Korea, Niger and Surinam adopt woman suffrage.

1948: Belgium, which previously granted the vote to women, establishes suffrage with a few restrictions for women.

1949: Bosnia and Herzegovina grant woman suffrage.

1949: China and Costa Rica give women the vote.

1949: Women gain full suffrage in Chile but most vote separately from men.

1949: Syrian Arab Republic gives the vote to women.

1949/1950: India grants woman suffrage.

1950-1959

1950: Haiti and Barbados adopt woman suffrage.

1950: Canada grants full suffrage, extending the vote to some women (and men) previously not included, still excluding Native women.

1951: Antigua, Nepal and Grenada give women the vote.

1952: Covenant on Political Rights of Women enacted by the United Nations, calling for women's right to vote and right to stand for elections. 

1952: Greece, Lebanon and Bolivia (with restrictions) extend suffrage to women.

1953: Mexico grants women the right to stand for election. and to vote in national elections.

1953: Hungary and Guyana give voting rights to women.

1953: Bhutan and the Syrian Arab Republic establish full woman suffrage.

1954: Ghana, Colombia and Belize grant woman suffrage.

1955: Cambodia, Ethiopia, Peru, Honduras and Nicaragua adopt woman suffrage.

1956: Women given suffrage in Egypt, Somalia, Comoros, Mauritius, Mali and Benin.

1956: Pakistani women gain right to vote in national elections.

1957: Malaysia extends suffrage to women.

1957: Zimbabwe grants women the vote.

1959: Madagascar and Tanzania give suffrage to women.

1959: San Marino permits women to vote.

1960-1969

1960: Women of Cyprus, Gambia and Tonga get suffrage.

1960: Canadian women win full rights to stand for election, as Native women are also included.

1961: Burundi, Malawy, Paraguay, Rwanda and Sierra Leone adopt woman suffrage.

1961: Women in the Bahamas gain suffrage, with limits.

1961: Women in El Salvador are permitted to stand for election.

1962: Algeria, Monaco, Uganda and Zambia adopts woman suffrage.

1962: Australia adopts full woman suffrage (a few restrictions remain).

1963: Women in Morocco, Congo, the Islamic Republic of Iran and Kenya gain suffrage.

1964: Sudan adopts woman suffrage.

1964: The Bahamas adopts full suffrage with restrictions.

1965: Women gain full suffrage in Afghanistan, Botswana and Lesotho.

1967: Ecuador adopts full suffrage with a few restrictions.

1968: Full woman suffrage adopted in Swaziland.

1970-1979

1970: Yemen adopts full suffrage.

1970: Andorra permits women to vote.

1971: Switzerland adopts woman suffrage, and the United States lowers the voting age for both men and women to eighteen by a Constitutional amendment.

1972: Bangladesh grants woman suffrage.

1973: Full suffrage granted to women in Bahrain.

1973: Women permitted to stand for election in Andover and San Marino.

1974: Jordan and the Solomon Islands extend suffrage to women.

1975: Angola, Cape Verde and Mozambique give suffrage to women.

1976: Portugal adopts full woman suffrage with a few restrictions.

1978: The Republic of Moldova adopts full suffrage with a few restrictions.

1978: Women in Zimbabwe are able to stand for election.

1979: Women in the Marshall Islands and Micronesia gain full suffrage rights.

1980-1989

1980: Iran gives women the vote.

1984: Full suffrage granted to women of Liechtenstein.

1984: In South Africa, voting rights are extended to Coloureds and Indians.

1986: Central African Republic adopts woman suffrage.

1990-1999

1990: Samoan women gain full suffrage.

1994: Kazakhstan grants women full suffrage.

1994: Black women gain full suffrage in South Africa.

2000-

2005: Kuwaiti Parliament grants women of Kuwait full suffrage.

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I've cross-checked this list where possible, but there may be errors. If you've got a correction, please send a reference, preferably on the Net.

Text copyright Jone Johnson Lewis

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