Around the turn of the last century, people started to catch on to the idea that maybe every citizen of a country, regardless of their gender, is entitled to a fair vote. The suffrage movement is still far from over, as many countries only recently lifted their ban on female voters.
New Zealand: 1893
The global push for universal voting rights began in New Zealand around 1893 when then Governor Lord Glasgow signed the new Electoral Act into law. Led by renowned equal rights advocate and president of the National Council of Women Kate Sheppard, women's suffrage was seen as a radical change in the political structure among other self-governing democracies, who were still decades away from their own equal voting laws.
Great Britain: 1918
Following World War I, Great Britain was entering the 20th century with a new outlook and political attitude. Suffrage was a political movement that lost some of its steam when the war broke out, but was reestablished as a political priority shortly after the war ended.
Although voting rights for women were far from universal, it was the first suffrage movement to take hold in a major world power. All women over 21 would later be granted voting rights by the Representation of the People Act in the year 1928.
Before the 1920s, women in Japan were excluded from all aspects of political life, including joining political parties or even expressing their political opinions. The Tokyo Federation of Women's Organizations was formed in 1923 and consisted of 43 organizations that fought for the rights of women.
Following the U.S. occupation of Japan in 1945, women were no longer excluded from political participation and women over the age of 20 were granted the right to vote.
Following World War II, the feminist movement in Egypt was diversified.
What was once a cause fought by the country's elite became an everyday struggle for common citizens. Led by Doria Shafik, the movement held mass protests including the storming of parliament in 1951, demanding equal pay for equal work.
Saudi Arabia: 2005
The latest country to join the suffrage party was Saudi Arabia. The Middle East superpower is notorious for its ongoing mistreatment of women, and the campaign to register female voters in 2011 failed.
That same year, however, King Abdullah announced that women would be allowed to participate in the 2015 election by both voting and running for office.