Women's History Month: Women's Suffrage

Women's Suffrage in the United States of America

1848 – The first women’s rights convention is held in Seneca Falls, New York.  After two days of discussion and debate, 68 women and 32 men sign a Declaration of Sentiments, which outlines grievances and sets the agenda for the women’s rights movement. A set of 12 resolutions is adopted, calling for equal treatment of women and men under the law and voting rights for women.
1850 – The first National Women’s Rights Convention takes place in Worcester, Massachusetts, attracting more than 1,000 participants. National conventions are held yearly (expect 1857) through 1860.

1865 -   May: Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton form the National Woman Suffrage Association. The primary goal of the organization is to achieve voting rights for women by means of a congressional amendment to the constitution.

November: Lucy Stone, Henry Blackwell, and others form the American Woman Suffrage Association. This group focuses exclusively on gaining voting rights for women through amendments to individual state constitutions.

December 10: The territory of Wyoming passes the first women’s suffrage law. The following year, women begin serving on juries in the territory.

1890 – The National Woman Suffrage Association and the American Women Suffrage Association merge to form the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA). As the movement’s mainstream organization, NAWSA wages state by state campaigns to obtain voting rights for women.
1893 – Colorado is the first state to adopt the amendment granting women the right to vote. Utah and Idaho follow suit in 1896; Washington state is 1910, California in 1911, Oregon, Kansas, and Arizona in 1912; Alaska and Illinois in 1913, Montana and Nevada in 1914, New York in 1917; Michigan, South Dakota, and Oklahoma in 1918.

1913 – Alice Paul and Lucy Burns form the Congressional Union work toward the passage of a federal amendment to give women the vote. The group is later renamed the National Women’s Party. Members picket the White House and practice other forms of civil disobedience.

1919 – The Federal Woman Suffrage Amendment, originally written by Susan B. Anthony and introduced in Congress in 1878, is passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate. It is then sent to the states for ratification.

August 26, 1920 – The 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote, is signed into law  by Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby.

 Women's Suffrage Around the World
Azerbaijan - In 1918 Azerbaijan was the first ever Muslim country to enfranchise women.

Bahrain - Women were given the right to vote in 2002.

Brunei - The country of Brunei granted women the right to vote in 1959, but only in local elections. That stands today.

Lebanon - Women were granted the voting right in 1952. However, proof of an elementary education is required for women, but not for men. Voting for men in this country is compulsory where it is optional for women.
Sierra Leone - Sierra Leone became a country in 1961 and women were immediately granted the vote. In the 1790s, while it was still a colony, women voted in elections.

Kuwait - Women's suffrage was granted in 1985, but later removed. It was reinstated in 2005.

South Africa - Only white women were given the vote in 1930. Women of other colors had to wait until 1994 for their rights.
Israel - Suffrage was granted to women with Israel's declaration of independence in 1948.

Saudi Arabia - Saudi women still do not have the right to vote. Women were denied the right to vote or run for elections in 2005. Suffrage was slated to possibly be granted in 2009 and then was set for 2011. Suffrage was not granted either time. In late September 2011, King Abdul bin Abdulaziz al-Saud declared that women would be able to vote and run for office starting in 2015.


  1. Love this! I'm going to use it as a nonfiction reading passage with my students. :)

  2. Very interesting read!! Thanks for putting this together and sharing!

  3. Great read! I love history and so Im a sucker for some good historical facts!