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Women's suffrage or woman suffrage[1] is the right of women to vote and to run for office. The expression is also used for the economic and political reform movement aimed at extending these rights to women[2] and without any restrictions or qualifications such as property ownership, payment of tax, or marital status. The movement's modern origins are attributed to 18th century France. In 1906, Finland was the first nation in the world to give full suffrage (the right to vote and to run for office) to all citizens, including women. New Zealand was the first country in the world to grant all citizens the right to vote, in 1893, but women did not get the right to run for the New Zealand legislature until 1919.
Women's suffrage has been granted at various times in various countries throughout the world, and in many countries it was granted before universal suffrage. Women’s suffrage is explicitly stated as a right under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, adopted by
The modern movement for women's suffrage originated in France in the 1780s and 1790s, where Antoine Condorcet and Olympe de Gouges advocated women's suffrage in national elections. In medieval France and several other European countries, voting for city and town assemblies and meetings was open to the heads of households. In Sweden, during the age of liberty between 1718 and 1771, women were permitted to vote if they were tax paying guild-members. Women were entitled to vote in the Corsican Republic in 1755 whose Constitution stipulated a national representative assembly elected by all inhabitants over the age of 25, both women (if unmarried or widowed) and men.[citation needed] Women's suffrage was ended when France annexed the island in 1769.
United Nations

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Eighteen female MPs joined the Turkish Parliament in 1935
Women in Pitcairn Islands could vote from 1838. Various countries, colonies and states granted restricted women's suffrage in the latter half of the nineteenth century, starting with South Australia in 1861. The 1871 Paris Commune granted voting rights to women, but they were taken away with the fall of the Commune and would only be granted again in July 1944 by Charles de Gaulle (at that time most of France—including Paris—was under Nazi occupation; Paris was liberated the following month). The Pacific colony of Franceville, declaring independence in 1889, became the first self-governing nation to practice universal suffrage without distinction of sex or color;[5] however, it soon came back under French and British colonial rule.
Unrestricted women's suffrage in terms of voting rights (women were not initially permitted to stand for election) in a self-governing colony was granted in New Zealand in the early 1890s. Following a movement led by Kate Sheppard, the women's suffrage bill was adopted mere weeks before the general election of 1893.
The self-governing colony of South Australia granted both universal suffrage and allowed women to stand for the colonial parliament in 1895.[6] The Commonwealth of Australia provided this for women in Federal elections from 1902 (except Aboriginal women). The first European country to introduce women's suffrage was the Grand Duchy of Finland. The administrative reforms following the 1905 uprising granted Finnish women the right both to vote (universal and equal suffrage) and to stand for election in 1906. The world's first female members of parliament were also in Finland, when on 1907, 19 women took up their places in the Parliament of Finland as a result of the 1907 parliamentary elections.
Of currently existing independent countries, New Zealand was the first to give women the right to vote in 1893 when it was a self-governing British colony.[7] Similarly, the colony of South Australia enacted legislation giving women the vote in 1894. Places with similar status which granted women the vote include Wyoming Territory (1869). Other possible contenders for first "country" to grant female suffrage include the Corsican Republic, the Isle of Man (1881), the Pitcairn Islands, and Franceville, but some of these had brief existences as independent states and others were not clearly independent. Australia extended this right in 1901 to some women, and then in 1902 to all non-Aboriginal women. Sweden is also a contestant for being the first independent nation to grant women the right to vote. Conditional female suffrage was granted in Sweden during the age of liberty (1718–1771), but this right was restricted and did not apply to women in general.[8]

In the years before World War I, Norway (1913) and Denmark (1915) also gave women the right to vote, and it was extended throughout the remaining Australian states. Near the end of the war, various states gave women the right to vote, including Canada, Soviet Russia, Germany and Poland. British women over 30 had the vote in 1918, Dutch women in 1919, and American women in states that had previously denied them suffrage were allowed the vote in 1920. Women in Turkey were granted voting rights in 1926. In 1928, suffrage was extended to all British women on the same terms as men, that is, for persons 21 years old and older. One of the most recent jurisdictions to grant women full equal voting rights was Bhutan in 2008.
Voting rights for women were 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, directly or through freely chosen representatives. (3) 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." selling her home, English activist Emmeline Pankhurst travelled constantly, giving speeches throughout Britain and the United States. One of her most famous speeches, Freedom or death, was delivered in Connecticut in 1913.
The suffrage movement was a very broad one which encompassed women and men with a very broad range of views. One major division, especially in Britain, was between suffragists, who sought to create change constitutionally, and suffragettes, led by iconic English political activist Emmeline Pankhurst, who in 1903 formed the more militant Women's Social and Political Union.[9] There was also a diversity of views on a 'woman's place'. Some who campaigned for women's suffrage felt that women were naturally kinder, gentler, and more concerned about weaker members of society, especially children. It was often assumed that women voters would have a civilising effect on politics and would tend to support controls on alcohol, for example. They believed that although a woman's place was in the home, she should be able to influence laws which impacted upon that home. Other campaigners felt that men and women should be equal in every way and that there was no such thing as a woman's 'natural role'. There were also differences in opinion about other voters. Some campaigners felt that all adults were entitled to a vote, whether rich or poor, male or female, and regardless of race.

1 comment:

randy lynch said...

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