Women’s suffrage refers to a term of women’s right to vote in elections and run for the office. As we know the world has been ran by monarchs, kings, royal family members and presidents, who were to large extent men. In addition, some may find it staggering that the first countries to achieve political gender equality did it in late 19th century. However, we are still long way from reaching gender equality between all genders. Gender identity, even as a social construct, matters almost more than anything in the world of politics.
The first territory to grant voting rights to women was the British territory of Australian at the end of 19th century. However, the first modern countries to become politically equal were Nordic countries of Finland, Norway and Denmark, between 1906 and 1915. After World War I many countries joined movement of equaling the voting rights, including Russian states (1917), Germany (1918), USA (1920) and UK (1922). The first Latin American country to give women the right to vote was Puerto Rico in 1935,while in Africa, South African White and Asian women were granted the right in 1930, while full suffrage was given in 1994. The last European country to have the rights given was Lichtenstein in 1984, while the last country so far to do so was Saudi Arabia, where ladies will be able to vote for the first time in elections in 2015. Vatican is now the last country to allow women to vote, since women are not allowed in choosing of a new Pope.
Even though it seems women are given equal freedom in most of the world, it doesn’t mean that the actual equality is reached. It is still normal that women are marginalized, have higher chances to be fired and abused at work, home, street… The big controversy is caused after it was announced that in certain countries there are still cases of women losing their jobs because of maternity leave. In many Latin American countries, such as Ecuador, and some other territories abortion is illegal. Rape victims can be charged with crimes in many countries, such as Saudi Arabia and Morocco. In Yemen women can’t leave house without man’s permission and is taken as half witness at court.
Human kind made so much progress in science, technology and theorizing everything we think of, but we are yet far away from being able that we are just society. Until we start treating all gender identities for what they do and say and not what they look like or behave, all the other progress is going to be minimized. Where did we fail? Pretty much everywhere… I could point out first of all educational systems that don’t change as rapidly as we change theory. Secondly, we fail as parents, we teach children to be misogynist, racist and fascist and until we start from ourselves how can we call ‘progress’ progressive?