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Women’s Voting Rights

Updated: Jul 17, 2021

Today, Iceland celebrates the day, 19 Jun 1915, when women over the age of 40 were granted the right to vote in Iceland. At this time, men ages 25 and above were allowed to vote in official elections. In 1920, adult women of all ages were allowed to vote. This is the same year that women in the USA were granted voting rights. To learn more about the Women’s Suffrage in Iceland, see this LINK. The photo below is women in Iceland celebrating their right to vote in 1915.

Here is an article written about this topic by my friend and an amazing genealogist/historian, Hálfdan Helgason. It gives great information, so check it out.

The right for women to vote and to run for public office is known as Women’s suffrage. The first European country to grant voting rights to women was Finland with Norway following in 1913. Other countries of note are Denmark in 1915, Germany 1918, and Ireland in 1922. Women in France did not achieve voting rights until 1944 and most surprising of all is Switzerland —- women were allowed to vote and hold office until 1971.

The Federal Government of the USA did not give women the complete right to vote until the 19th Amendment to the Constitution in 1920. Many states and territories had allowed women the right to vote and hold office or at least gave them limited right. Women had voted on school issues in Dakota Territory since 1883. North Dakota gave women the right to vote on school issues, but the legislature of 1889 (when North Dakota became a state) and through the following years, refused to grant women voting rights until 1917. To learn more about Women’s Suffrage in the United States, see THIS SITE.

Manitoba women were the first in Canada given the right to vote in 1916. In 1908, Argyle, Manitoba had an Icelandic suffrage group called “Sigurvon,” or “Hope of Victory.” To learn more about the Manitoba history of Women’s Voting, see THIS SITE. The statue below is found in Ottawa, Canada.

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