Thought of the Day

I don't believe in morality, but I believe in ethical conduct as set out by His Holiness the Dalai Lama: "Ethical conduct = a way of behaving that respects others’ right to be happy".

Friday, 9 March 2007

suffrage or not suffrage

i was reflecting why women's day is little known in UK or USA, nowadays. none of my international friends, except my italian girlfriends, dad and boy-cousinm wished me happy *women's day*. the only reason i could think of, apart from rudeness, is that the suffragettes did a very good job at the beginning of the 20th century to secure the right to vote to women of all ages and backgrounds: in 1920 for america and 1928 for UK, reducing the need for modern women to claim one day (out of 365) to be recognised and worshipped.

in italy women day is also remembered for the 'triangle fire' in new york city which took the lives of more than 140 working women, most of them italian and jewish immigrants, although i doubt that my mum yesterday night, while dining with other 20 sessi gentili and with a potential male stripteaser gravitating around them, were thinking of this sad event.

FYI, below is the timeline of women's suffrage per country, which i extracted from wikipedia:

1893- New Zealand (to vote)
1902- Commonwealth of Australia¹ (to vote and stand for election)
1906- Finland
1907- Norway (to stand for election) ¹
1913- Norway²
1915- Denmark, Iceland¹
1917- Canada* (to vote) ¹, Netherlands (to stand for election)
1918- Austria, Canada* (to vote) ¹, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Ireland¹, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russian Federation, United Kingdom¹
1919- Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium (to vote for municipal elections) ¹, Georgia, Luxembourg, Netherlands (to vote), New Zealand (to stand for election), Sweden¹, Ukraine
1920- Albania, Canada* (to stand for election) ¹, Czech Republic, Iceland², Slovakia, United States of America* (to vote)
1921- Belgium (to stand for election) ¹, Sweden²
1922- Irish Free State
1924- Kazakhstan*, Mongolia, Saint Lucia, Tajikistan
1927- Turkey
1928- United Kingdom²
1929- Ecuador¹, Romania¹
1930- South Africa* (Whites), Turkey (to vote), Greece (to vote for municipal elections)¹
1931- Chile¹, Portugal¹, Spain, Sri Lanka
1932- Thailand (with first constitutional monarchy), Brazil, Maldives, Uruguay
1934- Cuba, Portugal¹, Turkey (to stand for election)
1935- Myanmar (to vote)
1937- Philippines
1938- Bolivia¹, Uzbekistan
1939- El Salvador (to vote)
1941- Panama¹
1942- Dominican Republic
1944- Bulgaria, France, Jamaica
1945- Croatia, Guyana (to stand for election), Indonesia, Italy, Japan*, New Jersey, Slovenia, Togo
1946- Cameroon, D.P.R. of Korea, Djibouti (to vote), Guatemala, Liberia, Myanmar (to stand for election), Panama², Romania², The F.Y.R. of Macedonia, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Serbia, Montenegro
1947- Argentina, Japan*, Malta, Mexico (to vote), Pakistan, Singapore
1948- Belgium², Israel (same year of independence), Niger, Republic of Korea, Seychelles, Suriname
1949- Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chile², China, Costa Rica, Syria (to vote) ¹
1950- Barbados, Canada* (to vote) ², Haiti, India
1951- Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Nepal, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
1952- Bolivia², Côte d'Ivoire, Greece¹, Lebanon
1953- Bhutan, Guyana (to vote), Mexico (to stand for election), Syria²
1954- Colombia, Belize, Ghana
1955- Cambodia, Ethiopia (and Eritrea*, as then part of Ethiopia), Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru, Greece²
1956- Benin, Comoros, Egypt, Gabon, Mali, Mauritius, Somalia
1957- Malaysia, Zimbabwe (to vote) ²
1958- Burkina Faso, Chad, Guinea, Lao P.D.R., Nigeria* (South)
1959- Madagascar, San Marino (to vote), Tunisia, United Republic of Tanzania
1960- Canada* (Indian Canadians - to stand for election) ², Cyprus, Gambia, Tonga
1961- Bahamas¹, Burundi, El Salvador (to stand for election), Malawi, Mauritania, Paraguay, Rwanda, Sierra Leone
1962- Algeria, Australia² (aboriginals), Monaco, Uganda, Zambia
1963- Afghanistan, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Fiji, Iran, Kenya, Morocco, Papua New Guinea (to stand for election)
1964- Bahamas², Libya, Papua New Guinea (to vote), Sudan
1965- Botswana, Lesotho
1967- Democratic Republic of the Congo (to vote), Ecuador², Kiribati, Tuvalu, Yemen* (D.P.R.)
1968- Nauru, Swaziland
1970- Andorra (to vote), Democratic Republic of the Congo (to stand for election), Yemen* (Arab Republic)
1971- Switzerland*
1972- Bangladesh
1973- Andorra (to stand for election), San Marino (to stand for election)
1974- Jordan, Solomon Islands
1975- Angola, Cape Verde, Mozambique, Sao Tome and Principe, Vanuatu*
1976- Portugal²
1977- Guinea Bissau
1978- Nigeria* (North), Republic of Moldova*, Zimbabwe (to stand for election)
1979- Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Fed. States), Palau
1980- Iraq, Vanuatu*
1984- Liechtenstein, South Africa* (Coloureds + Indians)
1986- Central African Republic, Djibouti (to stand for election)
1989- Namibia
1990- Samoa, Switzerland*
1993- Kazakhstan*, Republic of Moldova*
1994- South Africa* (Blacks)
1997- Qatar¹, Eritrea* (stipulated by sovereign constitution)
2002- Bahrain
2003- Oman
2005- Kuwait
2006- United Arab Emirites¹
2007- Qatar*

italy comes at a shocking 70th position (in 1945)! but the most astonishing fact is that there are still places where the gentil sesso cannot still enjoy this right:

"Women's suffrage denied or conditioned:

Bhutan -- One vote per house. Although this applies to both men and women, in practice it currently prevents many more women from voting than men. If the new proposed constitution is voted & ratified, then no restrictions will apply by 2008. [1]
Lebanon -- Partial suffrage. Proof of elementary education required for women, not required for men. Voting compulsory for men, optional for women. [2]
Brunei -- No suffrage for women. This country is ruled by a monarchy. Neither men nor women have the right to vote or to stand for election (had it until 1962 when it was taken away).
Saudi Arabia -- No suffrage for women. The first local elections ever held in the country occurred in 2005. Women were not given the right to vote or to stand for election.
United Arab Emirates -- limited, but will be fully expanded by 2010 [3]
Vatican City -- No suffrage for women. The only elections ever held there are Papal conclaves, which involve only (male) Cardinals."

(c) wikipedia

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