The map above shows when women got the right to vote in each country around the world.
2018 marks the centenary of Women’s suffrage in the UK and even then only with several restrictions (had to be over the age of 30 and meet property qualifications).
Women in the UK would not get get to vote on equal terms as men until the passage of the Representation of the People (Equal Franchise) Act 1928.
Somewhat ironically, the Isle of Man gave women who owned property the right to vote in 1881 making it one of the first jurisdictions in the world to do so.
The US territory of Wyoming gave women the right to vote even earlier in 1869, although it’s population at time was less than 10,000. And several other US States granted women the right to vote prior to Nationwide Suffrage in 1920. (See: 1919 Women’s Suffrage Victory Map, Published The Year Before The Passage Of The 19th Amendment and A 1917 Map of Women’s Suffrage in North America)
New Zealand (at the time still a British colony) is often regarded as the first country to grant women the right to vote in 1893.
Other countries who’ve were early adopters of women’s suffrage include: Australia (1902), Finland (1906) Norway (1907), Denmark (1915), Iceland (1915), Canada (1917), Russia (1917), Armenia (1917) and Estonia (1917).
At the other extreme Saudi Arabia only gave women the right to vote in 2011! Other notable laggards include the UAE (2006), Bahrain (2002), Oman (1997), Qatar (1997) and Samoa (1990).
Women don’t have the right to vote in the Vatican, but then again neither can men. The Pope is elected by the by the College of Cardinals, which part of the Holy See (technically separate from the Vatican City State). However, since Cardinals can only men, that means that the Vatican City is the only country remaining with no voting or electoral rights for women.
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Many countries have asterisks, but there doesn’t seem to be any explanation of what they indicate. Clarification please?
The asterisks mean that states in that country – like the US – gave women the right to vote locally earlier than the date indicated, but it wasn’t enshrined in national law.
So Switzerland should have an asterisk, too.
Hi, but the colors in the map does not reflect reality.
I am from Israel.
Israel declared it’s independent in 1948 and women had voting rights.
So giving Israel a more dark color does not reflect how long since getting independence women got their voting rights.
Before Israel independence, women already took part in concils and resolution and had voting rights.
If you take USA for example that got it’s independence in 1776, it took about 150(!) years till women had right to vote!
I think the map should reflect this as well
please add this Azerbaijan Democratic Republic 1918
I am writing on behalf of Italian CISP NGO to kindly ask you for the permission to reproduce the image attached to this email.
The image would be included in a World History textbook, that is the core of the no-profit Get Up and Goals project, financed by the EU in the Development Education and Awareness Raising (DEAR) program, and targeting 12-18 years old students.
The World History textbook (3 volumes) will be published online by 12 EU countries and freely downloadable by teachers and students.
Can we publish the map?
Brilliant Maps says
Unfortunately, we can’t give permission to use the map or not as we are not the authors.
Glenys Rowe says
It is not a matter that New Zealand is often being “regarded” as the first Country to grant Women the vote- IT WAS , In Fact, THE FIRST! And by a long period.
Was NZ an independent country in 1893? No. It was a British colony. I’d suggest that Australia, an independent country when it introduced female suffrage in 1902, has more claim to the ‘first county’ title.
Most of the dates given are those countries independence from colonial masters where they (Europeans) did not give people the vote or basic human rights, both men and women, as soon as they got independence that European inequality was corrected.
JUERGEN MR KLECKER says
In the case of the UK, the asterisk probably means that only wealthy women gained suffrage in 1918, while universal female suffrage took another 10 years. I had this conversation with some British people who insisted that they were oh so progressive, compared to Germany, where I live. Over here, all women had the right to vote in 1918.
So, in some cases (like US states), your asterisk indicates some women voted earlier than the the year shown, in other cases, the asterisk means most women voted later than shown in the map. Not really consistent, is it?
1902 saw some states of Australia give the vote to White women only. It was 1967 before Aborigines, both men and women, were given the vote.
The map is wrong. In Australia Women were able to vote from different years dependinguponwhat State they lived in. South Australia was 1894 not 1902.
Claudio Salvo says
In Uruguay women used the right to vote in 1927 not in 1932, it was the first country in Latin America to allow women to vote
In the USA, black women got the right to vote in 1965…
Absolutely ridiculous map. Eastern philosophy has never considered women unequal. The UK forcefully ruled India (and other countries) for so long, and only considered white males as first class citizens.
When India became a republic in 1950, we gave the right to vote to everyone above 18. Universal adult franchise – ever heard of it?
The mal should be coloured considering (Year right to vote given to women) – (Year country became independent)
and this is just since modern democracy, In India there has been many matriarchal societies and old vedanta philosophy there was womens rights in divorce and inheritance. Its was only since the brahmins monopolised religion this practice was lost
Wilhelm Deussen says
This map is very misleading. e.g. Algerian women “got the vote” in 1962, but so did the men. India the same. And lots of other colonies too.
More interesting maps would be ones that show the time between when men got the vote and when women got the vote, or between when white people and non-white people got the vote.
Also note that almost all Maori women in NZ could only vote for their “own” parliament, not for the national parliament that did rule over them.
No one has the right to vote in PR China today, so the 1947 date is absolutely incorrect. It is a communist country, and therefore there is no freedom at all, let alone the right to vote.
Bosnian Women got their right to vote in 1910 elections for the Parliament. Bosnia was the 4th country worldwide to give same voting rights to women!
Source: National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies. “The Common Cause June 30 1910,” 1910. https://jstor.org/stable/community.29696076, p.188