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Finland
Women's Suffrage

Which country was the first to give women the right to vote?

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March 12, 2018 1:38AM

At a national level, Grant Duchy of Finland(1883) was first to declare universal suffrage and allow anyone to participate in politic, women included, although it was a autonymous part of Russian Empire at that stage. The first independent country to give women the right to vote in national elections (not local or provincial) was New Zealand in 1893. Previous bills or amendments only narrowly failed in New Zealands parliament as early as 1878.

Places with similar status which granted women the vote include Wyoming Territory (1869). Other possible contenders for first "country" to grant female suffrage include the Corsican Republic(1769), the Isle of Man (1881), the Pitcairn Islands(1838), Franceville(1889), but some of these had brief existences as independent states and others were not clearly independent. Sweden was first one to allow women to participate in elections in 1718, but only to guild members and only on local elections.
Of currently existing independent countries, New Zealand was the first to give women the right to vote in 1893 when it was a self-governing British colony. Similarly, the colony of South Australia enacted legislation giving women the vote in 1894. Places with similar status which granted women the vote include Wyoming Territory (1869). Other possible contenders for first "country" to grant female suffrage include the Corsican Republic, the Isle of Man (1881), the Pitcairn Islands, and Franceville, but some of these had brief existences as independent states and others were not clearly independent.