Histories of American Women's Struggle for Equality and the Vote

French women, nonetheless, fared better than the Swiss. It took efforts of the Swiss Federation for Women’s Suffrage from 1909 to 1971 before women in Switzerland were allowed to vote in national elections, and not until 1989 could women in the Appenzell Interiour Rhodes canton vote in their local elections.

The suffrage movement began as a struggle to achieve equal rights for women in 1872.
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The vast majority of parliament was in agreement with this limitation on women’s suffrage, and male farm-labourers, who had not had the vote, were now lumped together with women. A number of members spoke in favour of women’s age limit, and the arguments were all similar in nature. In the first place, parliamentarians suddenly seemed to lose their nerve at the prospect of extending the franchise too much, all at once. The members of parliament made no specific reference to male land-labourers, who were only a quarter of the proposed new voters. It is therefore quite obvious that parliament was primarily afraid of women ― afraid that an extension of the franchise would lead to a radical re-shaping of the structures of power.


The Struggle for Women's Suffrage in America

This violation of Women’s rights is apparent in the fight for suffrage in the late 1800’s-early 1900’s .
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The Fifteenth Amendment passed in 1870, without reference to sex as a protected category. Exhausted and embittered from the debate, members of the American Equal Rights Association split into two separate factions, the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA) and the American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA). The vast majority of American women, Black and White, did not belong to either organization. They seemed to accept society’s claim that they truly were apolitical beings and belonged not in the voting booth, but at home, taking care of their families. Some housewives even denounced female suffrage, claiming that if women were to vote differently from their husbands, domestic unrest would surely follow.


Women's Suffrage Movement | HistoryNet

The strength of the 19th/early 20th century struggle for women’s suffrage was its transnational nature. Cooperation between women of various nations gave each the resources they needed to overcome their marginalisation in the politics of their own nations. In the later decades of the 19th century, the expansion of the telegraph and growth of women’s press allowed the discussion about women's status and roles to be communicated from country to country. Improvements in transportation facilitated like-minded women and men to attend international gathering where they met and organized. The momentum of women’s suffrage was bolstered by such international movements as:

Kvennasögusafn Íslands - Women's suffrage in Iceland

In spite of this recognition of the fundamental importance of women achieving the vote, attention paid to the history of its long struggle has been marginalized. And, the reasons for the depth of its opposition ignored. Why, for example, did it take until May, 2005, for women in Kuwait to finally achieve their full voting rights in their national elections?

National American Woman Suffrage Association

The International Woman Suffrage Association: The International Woman Suffrage Association, established between 1899 and 1902, held its first meeting in Berlin in 1904. A series of Congresses followed, each with the aim of improving women’s rights, and each providing a stimulus for similar transforming movements throughout the world. At the Alliances’ seventh meeting in Budapest in 1913, euphoria about success was in the air, causing American Carrie Chapman Catt to claim: “Our movement has reached the last stage....Parliaments have stopped laughing at woman suffrage, and politicians have begun to dodge!”