Monday, August 27, 2012

Women, Race, and The Vote

"Societies believed that although a woman's place was in the home, she should be able to influence laws which impacted upon that home... others saw women's right to vote as a way of cancelling out the votes of lower class or non-white men."

You’ll have to excuse my ignorance on this matter. Going to an all boys’ school, I do not ever recall having studied women’s suffrage, though I did Ancient History in later years and they probably covered it in Modern History. As such, I was totally blindsided by how utterly recent it was in human history that women got equal voting and election rights as men… and even more so than that, the racial inequalities that existed until even more recently... and EVEN MORE SO THAN THAT, the fact that THERE ARE STILL PLACES IN THE WORLD TO THIS DAY WHERE WOMEN CAN’T VOTE OR RUN FOR OFFICE.

(A few of these dates gave conflicting messages about whether women were just allowed to vote, or won full suffrage rights of voting and being able to run for office, so I’ve played it safe and only differentiated ‘running for office’ when clearly stated.)

[[[… oh god dammit. You are kidding me. I just spent hours compiling this together into a timeline format, only to find that this had all already been put into timeline format at the next link. I HATE MY LIFE.]]]


Early years – Married women are considered property of their husband and not permitted to be involved in any local or government elections.

1776 - Unmarried women who own property are allowed to vote in New Jersey, USA. Yay gay rights! :D

1792 - Heads of household in Sierra Leone are allowed to vote, a third of which are women. Don't you mean a third of witch are women? TO THE STAKE, MATRONS!

1869 - Britain grants unmarried women who are householders the right to vote in local elections. EVERYTHING’S COMING UP SPINSTERS!

1881 - Isle Of Man territory enfranchises women to vote. OH, THE IRONY!

1893 - New Zealand becomes first nation to allow women a vote. The rest of the continents follow like sheep.

1894 - South Australia allows women to vote, and also run for office. (Following 1901 Australian Federation, White women are allowed to vote and run for parliament from 1902.)

1906 - Finland becomes first European nation to allow women to vote.

1913 - Norway allows women to vote.

1915 - Denmark allows women to vote.

1917 - Armenia (20+), Canada (21+), Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia (21+) and Uruguay allow women to vote.

1918 - Azerbaijan, Georgia, Germany, Hungary and Kyrgyzstan allow women to vote. Britain & Ireland allows women 30+ to vote. YAY COUGAR GERRYMANDERING!

1919 - Austria (20+), Belarus, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Ukraine and Zimbabwe (21+) allow women to vote. New Zealand women can now run for office .Apparently having the vast majority of your male population depleted from a huge war, like, affects your employment levels or some shit. FINE, OUT OF THE KITCHEN IF YOU MUST.

1920 - Albania, Czechoslovakia and USA allow women to vote.

1921 - Sweden allows women to vote.

1922 - Burma allows women to vote.

1924 - Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan allow women to vote. Politician pube sell for the high price, you see! Much quality, thick for many carpet! You will buy in the numerous, yes?

1926 - Turkey allows women to vote.

1928 - Britain allows women over 21 to vote, on par with men.

1929 - Ecuador and Puerto Rico allow women to vote. Canada recognised women as ‘persons’, allowing them to run for office. PROGRESS!

1930 - Greece (30+) allows literate women to vote (lol jokes no woman over thirty would have been allowed an education!), South Africa (21+) allows White women to vote. Turkey allows women to vote in local elections, and later, national elections in 1934.

1931 - Portugal, Spain and Sri Lanka allow women to vote.

1932 - Brazil, Maldives and Thailand allow women to vote.

1934 - Chile (25+) allows literate women to vote, Cuba allows 16 year olds to vote. THE HELL MAN, DO YOU GET A CIGAR FOR YOUR 12TH BIRTHDAY OVER THERE?!

1937 – Indonesia (17+ or any age if married) allows White women to vote, Philippines allows women to vote.

1938 – Bolivia, Bulgaria, Romania and Uzbekistan allow women to vote. It is a golden era for Europe and nothing bad ever happens thereafter.

1939 – El Salvador allows women to vote.

1940 – Moldova allows women to vote.

1941 – A man, a plan, a vaginal canal, ana clan I gav anal, Panama allows women to vote.

1942 – Dominican Republic allows women to vote.

1944 – France, Jamaica and Bermuda allow women to vote… but only in a tricameral party arrangement. Ahahahaha. It’s a Bermuda Triangle joke.

1945 – Senegal, Togo and Yugoslavia allow women to vote. I’ve never Senegal go voting before, but if they have Togo, I guess Yugoslavia way through the housework every day and earned it.

1946 – Cameroon (20+), Djibouti, Guatemala, Italy, North Korea (17+), Liberia, Trinidad & Tobago, Venezuala and Vietnam allow women to vote. War, man. You know? Like… war.

1947 - Argentina, China, India, Japan (20+), Malta, Mexico, Pakistan, Singapore (21+) and Taiwan (20+) allow women to vote. Oh great, and the bandwagon jumping begins…

1948 – Israel, South Korea (19+), Niger, Seychelles and Suriname allow women to vote. The UN adopts the international law of the United Nations' Human Rights Commission, headed by elected chair Eleanor Roosevelt, campaigning universal voting.

1949 – Costa Rica, Hong Kong and Syria allow women to vote.

1950 – Barbados and Haiti allow women to vote.

1951 -  … a collection of British Islands allow women to vote.  Also, Nepal.

1952 - Côte d'Ivoire (19+) and Lebanon (21+) allow women to vote.

1953 – Bhutan and Guyana allow women to vote. (Apparently, China officially had a law for this year, too, though Wikipedia didn’t seem to think the most populous nation on the planet was worth a clarification.)

1954 – Belize, Colombia and Ghana allow women to vote. The UN adopts the Convention on the Political Rights of Women for equal voting, ability to run for office and access public services.

1955 – Cambodia, Ethiopia, Honduras, Nicaragua (16+) and Peru allow women to vote. HOW MANY COUNTRIES ARE THERE IN THE WORLD? STICK AROUND TO FIND OUT! WE STILL HAVEN’T HAD DARKIES VOTING YET!

1956 – Benin, Comoros, Egypt, Gabon (21+), Mali, Mauritius and Somalia allow women to vote.

1957 – A slow year, Malaysia (21+) decides to break the ice to keep things moving.

1958 – Burkina Faso, Chad, Guinea, Laos and Nigeria allow women to vote.

1959 – Brunei allows village elections for women, Madagascar, San Marino, Tanzania and Tunisia allow women to vote.

1960 – Bahamas, Cyprus, Gambia and Tonga (21+) allow women to vote. Canadian women (including Natives) can run for office.

1961 – Burundi, Malawi, Mauritania, Paraguay, Rwanda and Sierra Leone allow women to vote OH COME ON GUYS THE FIRST AUSTRALIAN WOMAN GOT VOTED INTO PARLIAMENT 40 YEARS AGO WHAT THE HELL IS TAKING SO LONG WITH Y’ALL.


1963 – Afghanistan, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Fiji (21+), Iran (15+ because fuck you that’s why), Kenya and Morocco allow women to vote. Man, some tough cookies in that mix.

1964 -  Libya, PNG and Sudan (17+) allow women to vote. It was a golden era for Libyan politics and a great window of political opportunity for women prior to Gaddafi’s political overthrow in 1969.

1965 – Botswana and Lesotho allow women to vote. I don’t know if you’ve read up on some of their laws, but… yeah. (Also the USA passes the Voting Rights Act enforcing racial equality for voting across all states. Have you read up on some of THEIR laws?) The 60s was fucking crazy progressive, yo…

1967 – Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kiribati, Tuvalu and Yemen allows women to vote. I know you’ve never heard of most of those, but I’m sure it was significant to their ladies at the time.

1968 – Nauru (20 years) and Swaziland allow women to vote. Coloured voting systems run in South Africa for Whites, Coloreds and Indians in three separate councils until 1981.

1970 – Andorra allows women to vote. Boy, we’ve covered pretty much every third world nation and obscure island territory, haven’t we? Surely there are only totally obscure countries remaining by now that still haven’t given women the vote, right?

1971 – Switzerland allows wome- Wait a minute, SWITZERLAND? Motherfucking SWITZERLAND? You seriously had your women unable to vote at a federal level until seven years after the most misogynistic patriarchal Middle Eastern and African third world areas of the planet? … you’re SWITZERLAND!!!

1972 – Bangladesh allows women to vote.

1973 – Neil Patrick Harris born. The world forgets about women entirely.

1974 – Jordan and Solomon Islands (21+) allow women to vote. Isabel Martínez de Perón becomes President of Argentina.

1975 – Angola, Cape Verde, Mozambique, São Tomé and Príncipe and Vanuatu allow women to vote.

1976 – East Timor (17+) allows women to vote.

1977 – Guinea-Bissau allows women to vote.

1979 – Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Palau allow women to vote. (I think the telegram from Oceania just arrived with the memo.)

1980 – Iraq allows women to vote. Pretty much any country listed after this is a place you will never want to travel to ever. Also, Vigdís Finnbogadóttir becomes President of Iceland. I DON’T REMEMBER ICELAND’S VOTING HISTORY BEING LISTED HERE, SUFFRAGE IS CONFUSING.

1984 – Liechtenstein allows women to vote on referendum. This decision had previously been voted against in 1968, 1971 and 1973… wait for it… because only men were voting!  South African Coloreds and Indians are also now allowed to vote in Tricameral Parliament.

1986 – Central African Republic (21+) allows women to vote. Too bad that’s also average life expectancy…

1989 – Namibia allows women to vote.

1990 – Samoa (21+) allows women to vote.

1994 - South African Tricameral Parliament abolished for equal universal to vote. That’s Black women finally getting an equal vote. In 1994.

1997 – Qatar allows women to vote. Our Year 2 teacher always said girls were equal to boys; MY CHILDHOOD WAS A LIE!

2002 – Bahrain allows women to vote. Wow. Really. I was not aware that there were parts of the world where women still couldn’t vote whilst I was in high school.

2003 – Oman (21+) allows women to vote. OH, THE LACK OF IRONY!

2005 – Kuwait (21+) allows women to vote. WOW. I AM AN UNEDUCATED AND IGNORANT HUMAN BEING.

2006 – United Arab Emirates allows women to vote.

2012 - Catholicism, Islam and Judaism: women still not allowed to vote for Pope or run for official positions within a church, mosque or synagogue.

2015 – Saudi Arabia (21+) is expected to allow women to vote, as announced in 2011. *SLOW CLAP*

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