A History of Suffrage

A History of SuffrageIn some European countries, such as Spain, France, Italy, Greece and Monaco, women’s right to vote and participate in democratic elections and exert their rights as active members of society to choose their representatives, was granted between the years 1930 and 1960. Surprisingly enough, Switzerland turned out to be the last Western republic to allow their female citizens to participate in public, democratic elections and vote. After being able to participate in federal elections, however, women would take a much greater significance in the field of politics and be able to act as citizens’ representatives.

In North and South America, many nations enacted suffrage for women before the end of World War II. For example Argentina, Canada and the United States. However, it would not be until the 40s that many Latin American countries would grant women full suffrage rights. However, in Paraguay, this did not take place until the year 1961. In 2015, a historical day for all women Saudi Arabia and in Muslim countries in the Middle East, women were, for the first time in the history of the country, granted the right to participate in municipal elections and thus affect the future (and present) of their communities by casting their public vote.

It is worth noting that extensive public campaigns, combined with public pressure and even all kinds of protests, many of which were rather self deprecating, like hunger strikes led by women and, of course, their many supporters (both male and female), probably played a major role in making new legislations, reforms and amendments for women’s rights possible. The United Nations, in efforts to support women’s right to vote after the end of World War II, created the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, in which they list suffrage as a basic human right.