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Dates That Matter

September 19, 1893

New Zealand grants women the right to vote, the first country in the world to do so.

 Why does it matter?

The women's suffrage movement began during the mid-1800s in the United States, Europe and Great Britain and its territories. In New Zealand, women who owned property (mostly widows who had been willed their husband's property) were permitted to vote in some local elections as early as 1867. Ironically, the US-based Women's Christian Temperance Union was influential in promoting women's suffrage in New Zealand, despite the fact that US women wouldn't gain the vote for another 27 years.

For more information...

History of the Vote: Votes for Women
An account of the women's suffrage movement in New Zealand. There are photos, cartoons from the time period and audio interviews with influential women.

Women's Suffrage Home
From Scholastic, a nicely interactive site with information about the women's suffrage movement. Clicking on "When Did Women Vote?" brings up a clickable world map outlining the progress of women's right to vote across the world. There are lesson plans and other teacher resources.