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Encyclopedia > Women's suffrage

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Women's suffrage


Suffrage Parade, New York City, 1912.

The Movement for Women's suffrage or female suffrage was a social, economic and political movement aimed at extending equal suffrage (the right to vote according to the one-man-one-vote principle) to women.

The territory of Wyoming was the first modern place where equal suffrage was extended to women. The first countries were New Zealand in 1893, Australia in 1902, and Finland in 1906.

Article 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that "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."

Women's suffrage has been granted (and been revoked) at various times in various countries throughout the world. In many countries women's suffrage was granted before universal suffrage, so women (and men) from certain races were still unable to vote.

Some countries do not extend suffrage to women, or extend it differently than they do to men (this list does not include countries where neither men nor women have suffrage):

  • Bhutan -- One vote per familiy in village-level elections
  • Kuwait -- No female suffrage.
  • Lebanon -- Proof of education required for women, not required for men. Voting compulsory for men, optional for women.
  • Vatican City -- Voting restricted to all-male College of Cardinals.
  • Oman -- limited to 175,000 people chosen by the government, mostly male

See also:

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