The Year Women Won the Right to Vote in 46 Countries

March 18, 2019 by Mike Sauter

The United States is approaching the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the constitution, passed in 1919 and ratified in 1920. Passed well over a century after the nation became a sovereign democracy, the amendment prohibits state and federal governments from denying the right to vote to U.S. citizens on the basis of sex.

The United States was not the first major nation to pass women’s voting right legislation, and it certainly was not the last. Throughout the 20th century, and even within the last few years, countries all over the globe have passed similar laws. In Saudi Arabia, for example, suffrage was finally won in 2011 for the following elections in 2015.

In many of the other countries on this list, women in religious and cultural minorities remained disenfranchised long after the dates listed.

The date the 19th Amendment passed is celebrated in the United States, marking an important milestone in women’s equality. Unfortunately, there are often small or large asterisks next to dates like these. At the time the amendment excluded Native American women, who were not considered U.S. citizens, for an additional four years.

Millions of African American women, while technically legally allowed to vote, were intentionally and systematically disenfranchised for decades after, facing widespread discrimination, violence, and unequal treatment, notably — but not exclusively — in the Jim Crow South, necessitating the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

This list of select major countries and the dates suffrage was granted to the general population, was compiled by the Nellie McClung Foundation, a women’s rights organization named for the Canadian suffragist.

Click here to see the year women won the right to vote in 46 countries.

Source: volvob12b / Flickr

New Zealand
> Suffrage granted: 1893

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Australia
> Suffrage granted: 1902

Source: Nasjonalbiblioteket / Wikimedia Commons

Finland
> Suffrage granted: 1906

Source: library_of_congress / Flickr

Norway
> Suffrage granted: 1913

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Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Denmark
> Suffrage granted: 1915

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Canada
> Suffrage granted: 1916

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Austria
> Suffrage granted: 1918

Source: Karl Maria Stadler / Wikimedia Commons

Germany
> Suffrage granted: 1918

Source: Nowości Ilustrowane / Wikimedia Commons

Poland
> Suffrage granted: 1918

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Source: Photo by Hulton Archive / Getty Images

Russia
> Suffrage granted: 1918

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Netherlands
> Suffrage granted: 1919

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Source: Paul Thompson / Getty Images

United States
> Suffrage granted: 1920

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Sweden
> Suffrage granted: 1921

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Republic of Ireland
> Suffrage granted: 1922

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Britain
> Suffrage granted: 1928

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Ecuador
> Suffrage granted: 1929

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Source: Indalecio Ojanguren / Wikimedia Commons

Spain
> Suffrage granted: 1931

Source: Kemalist Yurtsever / Wikimedia Commons

Turkey
> Suffrage granted: 1934

Source: Union française pour le suffrage des femmes / Wikimedia Commons

France
> Suffrage granted: 1944

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Source: Photo by Evans / Three Lions / Getty Images

Italy
> Suffrage granted: 1945

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Argentina
> Suffrage granted: 1947

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Source: Bain Collection / Library of Congress / Wikimedia Commons

Japan
> Suffrage granted: 1947

Source: Photo by Manuel Velasquez / Getty Images

Mexico
> Suffrage granted: 1947

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Pakistan
> Suffrage granted: 1947

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Source: Aukingluntom / Wikimedia Commons

China
> Suffrage granted: 1949

Source: Photo by Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images

India
> Suffrage granted: 1950

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Source: Photo by Three Lions / Getty Images

Colombia
> Suffrage granted: 1954

Source: Photo by Spencer Platt / Getty Images

Egypt
> Suffrage granted: 1956

Source: Nicky Loh / Getty Images

Malaysia
> Suffrage granted: 1957

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Source: Photo by Evans / Three Lions / Getty Images

Zimbabwe
> Suffrage granted: 1957

Source: Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images

Algeria
> Suffrage granted: 1962

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Iran
> Suffrage granted: 1963

Source: Photo by Chris Jackson / Getty Images

Morocco
> Suffrage granted: 1963

Source: Photo by Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images

Libya
> Suffrage granted: 1964

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Source: Photo by Keystone / Hulton Archive / Getty Images

Switzerland
> Suffrage granted: 1971

Source: Allison Joyce / Getty Images

Bangladesh
> Suffrage granted: 1972

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Jordan
> Suffrage granted: 1974

Source: Pablo Blazquez Dominguez / Getty Images

Portugal
> Suffrage granted: 1976

Source: poco_bw / Getty Images

Namibia
> Suffrage granted: 1988

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Source: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade / Flickr

Western Samoa
> Suffrage granted: 1990

Source: Uriel Sinai / Getty Images

Kazahkstan
> Suffrage granted: 1993

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Source: Ion Chibzii / Wikimedia Commons

Moldova
> Suffrage granted: 1993

Source: Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images

South Africa
> Suffrage granted: 1994

Source: SSgt. Derrick C. Goode / Wikimedia Commons

Kuwait
> Suffrage granted: 2005

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Source: Basil D Soufi / Wikimedia Commons

United Arab Emirates
> Suffrage granted: 2006

Source: Muhannad Fala'ah / Getty Images

Saudi Arabia
> Suffrage granted: 2011