10 Surprising Statistics About the History Of the Women's Rights Movement Worldwide


A new interactive tool allows you to scroll over different parts of the world to view women’s political rights in those regions across time, such as "right to vote," "right to stand for election," and "first women elected." Scroll horizontally across the timeline, which begins at 1892, to see how women’s political rights have changed across the world over time. Clicking on a statistic expands it to show more details.

Here are some surprising takeaways from this clever infographic:

First Woman Elected:

1. The first woman was elected in Finland in 1907, followed by Norway in 1911 and the United States in 1917.

2. The last woman to be elected was in the Russian Federation in 1993. However, in 2008 a female was elected president of Kosovo, which is still considered by some a breakaway province of Serbia.

3. A woman has never been elected in Latvia, Serbia, Montenegro, Afghanistan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria, United Republic of Tanzania, Somalia or North Korea.

Right to Stand for Election:

1. Women could stand for election in the United States in 1788, but the first woman wasn’t elected until 1917. Today, 17% of members of Congress are female.

2. Today, all women can stand for election in all nation except in Serbia, Montenegro, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

Right to Vote:

1. Australia was the first place where women received the right to vote in 1902 (and again in 1962).

2. Finland became the second country to grant women the vote in 1906.

3. Zimbabwe, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, the Russian Federation, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Ireland, Iceland, Latvia, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Austria, Hungary, Georgia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Estonia, and Belarus all gave women the right to vote before the United States.

4. Women in the United States were able to vote in 1920 — the same year women in Albania, Slovakia and the Czech Republic were allowed to vote.

5. Women still can’t vote in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.