To embed this, cut and paste the following html into your web page:
Women's suffrage,' also known as Woman suffrage, is the right of women to vote and to stand for electoral office. Limited voting rights were gained by women in Sweden, Finland and some western U.S. states in the late 19th century. National and international organizations formed to coordinate efforts to gain voting rights, especially the International Woman Suffrage Alliance (1904), and also worked for equal civil rights for women.
In 1893, New Zealand, then a self-governing British colony, granted adult women the right to vote and the self-governing British colony of South Australia did the same in 1895, the latter also permitting women to stand for office. Australia federated in 1901, and women acquired the right to vote and stand in federal elections from 1902, but discriminatory restrictions against Aboriginal women voting in national elections were not completely removed until 1962.
The first European country to introduce women's suffrage was the Grand Duchy of Finland, then part of the Russian Empire, which elected the world's first female members of parliament in the 1907 parliamentary elections. Norway followed, granting full women's suffrage in 1913. Most European, Asian and African countries did not pass women's suffrage until after World War I. Late adopters were France in 1944, Italy in 1946, Greece in 1952, Switzerland in 1971, and Liechtenstein in 1984. In the Americas, by contrast, the nations of North America and most nations in Central and South America passed women's suffrage before the war.(see Table below)
Extended political campaigns by women and their supporters have generally been necessary to gain legislation or constitutional amendments for women's suffrage. In many countries, limited suffrage for women was granted before universal suffrage for men; for instance, literate women were granted suffrage before all men received it. The United Nations encouraged women's suffrage in the years following World War II, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (1979) identifies it as a basic right.