What is WOMEN'S SUFFRAGE? What does WOMEN'S SUFFRAGE mean? WOMEN'S SUFFRAGE meaning - WOMEN'S SUFFRAGE definition - WOMEN'S SUFFRAGE explanation. Source: Wikipedia.org article, adapted under https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ license. Women's suffrage (also known as woman suffrage or woman's right to vote) is the right of women to vote in elections. Limited voting rights were gained by women in Finland, Iceland, Sweden and some western U.S. states in the late 19th century. National and international organizations formed to coordinate efforts to gain voting rights, especially the International Woman Suffrage Alliance (1904), and also worked for equal civil rights for women. In 1881, the Isle of Man (a Crown dependency, not part of the UK) enacted the Manx Election Act, which gave women property owners the right to vote in the country's Parliament, Tynwald. In 1893, New Zealand, then a self-governing British colony, granted adult women the right to vote. The self-governing colony of South Australia, now an Australian state, did the same in 1894 and women were able to vote in the next election, which was held in 1895. South Australia also permitted women to stand for election alongside men. In 1901, the six British colonies of Australia federated to become the Commonwealth of Australia, and women acquired the right to vote and stand in federal elections from 1902, but discriminatory restrictions against Aboriginal women (and men) voting in national elections were not completely removed until 1962. The first European country to introduce women's suffrage was the Grand Duchy of Finland, then part of the Russian Empire, which elected the world's first female members of parliament in the 1907 parliamentary elections. Norway followed, granting full women's suffrage in 1913. Most European, Asian and African countries did not pass women's suffrage until after World War I. Late adopters in Europe were Spain in 1931, France in 1944, Italy in 1946, Greece in 1952, San Marino in 1959, Monaco in 1962, Andorra in 1970, Switzerland in 1971, and Liechtenstein in 1984. In addition, although women in Portugal obtained suffrage in 1931, this was with stronger restrictions than those of men; full gender equality in voting was only granted in 1976. Canada, the United States and a few Latin American nations passed women's suffrage before World War II while the vast majority of Latin American nations established women's suffrage in the 1940s (see table in Summary below). The last Latin American country to give women the right to vote was Paraguay in 1961. In December 2015, women were first allowed to vote in Saudi Arabia. Extended political campaigns by women and their supporters have generally been necessary to gain legislation or constitutional amendments for women's suffrage. In many countries, limited suffrage for women was granted before universal suffrage for men; for instance, literate women or property owners were granted suffrage before all men received it. The United Nations encouraged women's suffrage in the years following World War II, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (1979) identifies it as a basic right with 189 countries currently being parties to this Convention.