The dates provided here supply only a beginning to the complicated evolution of enfranchisement around the world.

Exact details sometimes remain to be recovered. For a long time, for example, municipal, library and park board, and other local suffrages and rights to seek election were not recognized as important and, as a result, largely forgotten. Today we understand, much like earlier campaigners, that the ‘local’ offers a step toward the ‘global’ and we seek signs of such initiatives. Thus, our treatment of Canada includes local, provincial/territorial, and national franchises. That endeavour for other nations is, however, more than we can immediately contemplate. We also believe that there is merit in seeing the ‘big picture’ of international enfranchisement and decided to focus on the vote and the right to seek political office at the most senior level of government in other countries.

Readers should also remember that franchises may claim to be universal, as did many that have been in fact restricted to men. Similarly so ‘women’ or ‘woman’ suffrage has been hailed when it fact only a partial group is included. For example the 1918 Canadian federal franchise excluded the vast majority of Indigenous women, much like Indigenous men. Poverty and transiency have kept others off voters’ lists in an example of persisting discrimination against the poor. A posting on this site also describes how many Americans have lost the vote after they were jailed. Citizenship has also mattered. Until 1975, as a relic of empire, British subjects could vote in Canadian elections. Such ‘exceptions’ need to be remembered when any individual date is considered.

We have also offered links to organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which unlike the Canadian Civil Liberties Association/Association Canadienne des libertés civiles, offers a useful franchise chronology, the ‘ACLU Voting Rights Act Timeline’.  Below, you will find our contribution: a simplified timeline compiling the dates when women attained the right to vote and the right to sand for election in all nations with available data. Our source for this information is J. Martin and Mart Martin, The Almanac of Women and Minorities in World Politics (Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 2000) and all page references are to that volume.

The Women Suffrage Timeline

Right to Vote
Right to Stand for Election
Afghanistan
1965* 1965*
Afghanistan Notes
*Revoked during Taliban rule from 1996 to 2001. *Revoked during Taliban rule from 1996 to 2001.
Albania
1920 1920
Algeria
July 5th, 1962 July 5th, 1962
Andora
April 14th, 1970 September 5th, 1973
Angola
November 11th, 1975 November 11th, 1975
Antigua & Barbuda
December 1st, 1951 December 1st, 1951
Argentina
September 29th, 1947 September 29th, 1947
Armenia
February 2nd, 1921 February 2nd, 1921
Australia
June 12th, 1902 June 12th, 1902
Australia (Aboriginal)
June 18th, 1962 June 18th, 1962
Austria
December 19th, 1918 December 19th, 1918
Azerbaijan
May 19th, 1921 May 19th, 1921
The Bahamas
February 18th, 1961 February 18th, 1961
Bahrain
October 24th, 2002 October 24th, 2002
Bangladesh
November 4th, 1972 November 4th, 1972
Barbados
October 23rd, 1950 October 23rd, 1950
Belarus
February 4th, 1919 February 4th, 1919
Belgium
May 9th, 1919*/March 27th, 1948** February 7th, 1921*/March 27th, 1948**
Belgium Notes
*”Right to vote in national elections to the widows and mothers of servicemen killed in World War I, to the widows and mothers of citizens shot or killed by the enemy, and to female political prisoners who had been held by the enemy” (p. 34). **Right to vote extended to “all women… with the same conditions applied to men” (p. 34).
Belize
March 25th, 1954 March 25th, 1954
Benin
1956 1956
Bhutan
1953 1953
Bolivia
1938*/
July 21, 1952
July 21, 1952
Bolivia Notes
*Right to vote extended to “literate women and those with a certain level of income” (p. 41).
Bosnia and Herzegovina
January 31st, 1949 January 31st, 1949
Botswana
March 1st, 1965 March 1st, 1965
Brazil
July 16th, 1934 July 16th, 1934
Brunei
Men/women not allowed to vote since 1962. Men/women not allowed to stand for election since 1962.
Bulgaria
October 16th, 1944 October 16th, 1944
Burkina Faso
September 28th, 1958 September 28th, 1958
Burundi
August 17th, 1961 August 17th, 1961
Cambodia
September 25th, 1955 September 25th, 1955
Camerooon
October 1946 October 1946
Benin
1956 1956
Canada
September 1917*/
May 1918**
July 1920
Canada Notes
*”Women who had close male relatives serving in the military were granted the right to vote at the federal level” (p. 61). **Most women won the federal vote, but most Aboriginal women excluded.
Canada (Aboriginal)
1950* 1950
Canada (Aboriginal) Notes
Right to vote extended “only if they waived their tax exemption under the Indian Act. In August 1960, the unqualified extension of federal voting rights…” (p. 69). “Quebec in 1969, became the last province to extend franchise rights to all native Indians at the provincial level” (p. 69).
Cape Verde
July 5th, 1975 July 5th, 1975
Central African Republic
1986 1986
Chad
1958
Chile
May 30th, 1931*/
May 15th, 1949**
May 30th, 1931*/
May 15th, 1949**
Chile Notes
*Right to vote/stand for election in “municipal elections” (p. 77). **Right to vote/stand for election in “legislative and provincial elections” (p. 77).
China (People’s Republic)
October 1st, 1949
(also granted in 1911 after revolution)
October 1st, 1949
China (Republic of)/Taiwan
1947
Colombia
August 25th, 1954 August 25th, 1954
Comoros
1956 1956
Democratic Republic of the Congo (Kinshasa)
May 3rd, 1967 April 17th, 1970
Congo Republic (Brazzaville)
December 8th, 1963 December 8th, 1963
Costa Rica
November 17th, 1949 November 17th, 1949
Cote d’Ivoire
1952 1952
Croatia
August 11th, 1945 August 11th, 1945
Cuba
January 2nd, 1934 January 2nd, 1934
Cyprus
August 16th, 1960 August 16th, 1960
Czech Republic
1920 1920
Denmark
1908 (local authorities)/
June 5th, 1915
1908 (local authorities)/
June 5th, 1915
Djibouti
1946 1986
Dominica
July 1951 July 1951
Dominican Republic
1942 1942
Ecuador*
March 3rd, 1929** March 3rd, 1929
Ecuador Notes
*First country in South American to grant woman suffrage. **”Between 1929 and 1967, voting was compulsory for men and optional for women; in 1967 it became compulsory for bothe sexes” (p. 115).
Egypt
June 23rd, 1956 June 23rd, 1956
El Salvador
1939 1961
Equatorial Guinea
December 15th, 1963 December 15th, 1963
Eritrea
November 4th, 1955 November 4th, 1955
Estonia
November 24th, 1918 November 24th, 1918
Ethiopia
November 4th, 1955 November 4th, 1955
Fiji
April 17th, 1963 May 5th, 1963
Finland
July 20th, 1906 July 20th, 1906
France
April 21st, 1944 April 21st, 1944
Gabon
May 23rd, 1956 May 23rd, 1956
Gambia
1960 1960
Georgia
November 22nd, 1918 November 22nd, 1918
Germany
November 12th, 1918 November 12th, 1918
Ghana
1954 1954
Greece
January 1st, 1952 January 1st, 1952
Grenada
August 1951 August 1951
Guatemala
1946 1946
Guinea
October 2nd, 1958 October 2nd, 1958
Guinea-Bissau
1977 1977
Guyana
1953 1945*
Guyana Notes
*”Eligible to sit on the British Guiana Legislation Council” (p. 163).
Haiti
November 25th, 1950 November 25th, 1950
Honduras
January 25th, 1955 January 25th, 1955
Hungary
1918 1918
Iceland
June 19th, 1915 June 19th, 1915
India
January 26th, 1950 January 26th, 1950
Indonesia
August 17th, 1945 August 17th, 1945
Iran
September 1963 September 1963
Iraq
1958*/
February 1980
1958/
February 1980
Iraq Notes
*Government “overthrown during the summer of 1958, before any elections with female participation” (p. 188).
Ireland
June 2nd, 1918 (Women over 30 years of age)/
July 2nd 1928
June 2nd, 1918 (Women over 30 years of age)/
July 2nd 1928
Israel
May 15th, 1948 May 15th, 1948
Italy
February 1st, 1945 February 1st, 1945
Jamaica
November 20th, 1944 November 20th, 1944
Japan
December 12th, 1945*/February 24th, 1947** December 12th, 1945*/February 24th, 1947**
Japan Notes
*”For the House of Representatives” (p. 202). **”For the House of Councillors” (p. 202).
Jordan
1974* 1974*
Jordan Notes
“Women actually exercised the right to vote and stand for election for the first time in 1989” (p. 206).
Kazakhstan
January 31st, 1924 January 31st, 1924
Kenya
December 12th, 1963* December 12th, 1963*
Kenya Notes
“The right to vote and stand for office had been given to European women in Kenya in 1919; in 1956, those rights were extended to African men and women under certain conditions related to educational level and property ownership.” “In 1963, all Kenyans, regardless of color and other previously restricting factors, were given the right to vote and stand for election” (p. 209).
Kiribati
November 15th, 1967 November 15th, 1967
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
July 30th, 1946 July 30th, 1946
Republic of Korea
July 17th, 1948 July 17th, 1948
Kuwait
Kyrgyzstan
June 1918 June 1918
Laos
1958 1958
Latvia
November 18th, 1918 December 18th, 1918
Lebanon
1952 1952
Lesotho
April 30th, 1965 April 30th, 1965
Liberia
May 7th, 1946 May 7th, 1946
Libya
1963 1963
Liechtenstein*
July 1st, 1984 July 1st, 1984
Liechtenstein Notes
Last country in Europe to grant women suffrage.
Lithuania
October 5th, 1921 October 5th, 1921
Luxembourg
May 15th, 1919 May 15ht, 1919
Macedonia
December 31st, 1946 December 31st, 1946
Madagascar
April 29th, 1959 April 29th, 1959
Malawi
1961 1961
Malaysia
August 31st, 1957 August 31st, 1957
Maldives
1932 1932
Mali
1956 1956
Malta
September 5th, 1947 September 5th, 1947
Marshall Islands
May 1st, 1979 May 1st, 1979
Mauritania
May 20th, 1961 May 20th, 1961
Mauritius
1956 1956
Mexico
February 15th, 1947* October 17th, 1953
Mexico Notes
“Women were permitted to vote in some local and state elections at an earlier date”. “Yucatan and San Luis Potosi were the first states to extend the franchise, in 1922 and 1923, respectively” (p. 255).
Federated States of Micronesia
November 3rd, 1979 November 3rd, 1979
Moldova
April 4th, 1978 April 4th, 1978
Monaco
December 17th, 1962 December 17th, 1962
Mongolia
November 1st, 1924 November 1st, 1924
Morocco
May 1963 May 1963
Mozambique
June 25th, 1975 June 25th, 1975
Myanmar
1935 March 19th, 1946
Namibia
November 7th, 1989 November 7th, 1989
Nauru
January 3rd, 1968 January 3rd, 1968
Nepal
1951 1951
Netherlands
August 9th, 1919 November 29, 1917
New Zealand
September 19th, 1893 October 29th, 1919
Nicaragua
April 21st, 1955 April 21st, 1955
Niger
1948 1948
Nigeria
1958* 1958*
Nigeria Notes
*“Women in Nigeria’s southern region were enfranchised in stages, beginning in 1950, whereas women in the northern region (predominantly Muslim) were not. Southern women voted and contested offices in the 1959 federal elections, but no northern women were allowed to do so. Northern women finally received their full electoral franchise (to vote and contest office) in 1976” (p. 286).
Norway
1907* 1907*/1913
Norway Notes
*“Special conditions related to private mans, property, and income. Those restrictions were removed in 1913” (p. 289).
Oman
1997 1997
Pakistan
1947 1947
Palau
April 2nd, 1979 April 2nd, 1979
Panama
July 5, 1941* July 5, 1941/
March 1st, 1946
Panama Notes
*“A 1941 electoral law granted a limited franchise to women (to vote for and be elected to provincial bodies) if they held a university degree or had completed vocational raining, a teacher’s college, or secondary schooling. Full political rights were granted to women in 1946.” (p. 298)
Papua New Guinea
February 15th, 1964 February 27th, 1963
Paraguay
July 5th, 1961 July 5th, 1961
Peru
September 7th, 1955 September 7th, 1955
Philippines
April 30th, 1937 April 30th, 1937
Poland
November 28th, 1918 November 28th, 1918
Portugal
May 5th, 1931* May 5th, 1931/
November 16th, 1934/
June 2nd, 1976
Portugal Notes
*“In 1931, women were given the right to vote and stand for election, with the restriction that they had to have completed secondary or higher education (men only had to know how to read and write). All citizens who were literate were granted the right to vote and stand for election in 1934. Some restrictions on women, however, remained for election to certain local administrative bodes under a l968 law. Full equality of the sexes with regard to the franchise and right of election to all bodies was achieved in 1976″ (p. 312).
Qatar
1999 1999
Romania
1929*/
1946**
1929*/
July 1946**
Romania Notes
*”Restricted electoral rights” (p. 316). **”Under the same conditions as men” (p. 316).
Russia
June 1918 June 1918
Rwanda
September 25th, 1961 September 25th, 1961*
Rwanda Notes
*”For all offices except that of president of the republic; that restriction was removed in 1978″ (p. 323).
Saint Kitts and Nevis
1951 1951
Saint Lucia
1924 1924
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
May 5th, 1951 May 5th, 1951
Samoa
October 1990 October 1990
San Marino
April 29th, 1959 September 10th, 1973
Sao Tome and Principe
July 12th, 1975 July 12th, 1975
Saudia Arabia
2015 Municipal Elections (expected) 2015 Municipal Elections (expected)
Senegal
February 19th, 1945 February 19th, 1945
Seychelles
August 6th, 1948 August 6th, 1948
Sierra Leone
April 27th, 1961 April 27th, 1961
Singapore
July 18th, 1947 July 18th, 1947
Slovakia
1920 1920
Slovenia
August 10th, 1945 August 10th, 1945
Solomon Islands
1978 1978
Somalia
1956 1956
South Africa
May 21, 1930 (“whites”)/
March 30th, 1984 (“coloreds and Indians”)/
January 14th, 1994 (“blacks”) [p. 351]
May 21, 1930 (“whites”)/
March 30th, 1984 (“coloreds and Indians”)/
January 14th, 1994 (“blacks”) [p. 351]
Spain
December 9th, 1931 May 8th, 1931
Sri Lanka
March 20th, 1931 March 20th, 1931
Sudan
November 1964 November 1964
Suriname
December 9th, 1948 December 9th, 1948
Swaziland
September 6th, 1968 September 6th, 1968
Sweden
1862/
1918 “local elections”/
May 1919 “granted”/
1921 “in effect”
1862/
1918 “local elections”/
May 1919 “granted”/
1921 “in effect”
Switzerland
February 7th, 1971 February 7th, 1971
Syria
September 10th, 1949* 1953
Syria Notes
“women who had reached a sixth-grade educational level; it was then extended to all literate women, and in 1953 all educational restrictions on voting were lifted for women” (p. 371).
Tajikistan
1924 1924
Tanzania
1959 1959
Thailand
December 10th, 1932 December 10th, 1932
Togo
August 22nd, 1945 August 22nd, 1945
Tonga
1960 1960
Trinidad and Tobago
1946 1946
Tunisia
1957 (“municipal elections”)/
June 1st, 1959
June 1st, 1959
Turkey
April 3rd, 1930 December 5th, 1934
Turkmenistan
1927 1927
Tuvalu
January 1st, 1947 January 1st, 1967
Uganda
1962 1962
Ukraine
March 10th, 1919 March 10th, 1919
United Arab Emirates
2006 2006
United Kingdom
February 2nd, 1918 (“over 30 years of age”)/
July 2nd, 1928
February 2nd, 1918 (“over 30 years of age”)/
July 2nd, 1928
United States of America
1920 1920
Uruguay
December 16th, 1932 December 16th, 1932
Uzbekistan
1938 1938
Vanutua
November 1975 November 1975
Vatican City
No parliament/no political parties. No parliament/no political parties.
Venezuela
March 28th, 1946 March 28th, 1946
Vietnam
January 6th, 1946 January 6th, 1946
Yemen
1967 (People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen)/
1970 (Arab Republic of Yemen)
1967 (People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen)/
1970 (Arab Republic of Yemen)
Yugoslavia
January 31st, 1946 January 31st, 1946
Zambia
October 30th, 1962 October 30th, 1962
Zimbabwe
Before 1957 (“Only men and European women”)/
After 1957 (“a qualified right to vote was gradually extended over the years to black women”) [p. 429]
March 1978