Women’s Suffrage and War: World War I and Political Reform in a Comparative Perspective

TitleWomen’s Suffrage and War: World War I and Political Reform in a Comparative Perspective
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsBader-Zaar, Birgitta
EditorSulkunen, Irma, Seija-Leena Nevala-Nurmi, and Pirjo Markkola
Book TitleSuffrage, Gender and Citizenship: International Perspectives on Parliamentary Reforms
PublisherCambridge Scholars Publishing
CityNewcastle upon Tyne, UK

In 2006 Finland celebrated the centenary of universal and equal suffrage. The reform in 1906 was radical: women gained the right to vote and to stand as candidates in parliamentary elections. The new rights were immediately used and 19 women were elected to the Parliament. Finland was the third country, after New Zealand and Australia, in which women were admitted to full political citizenship. Norwegian women were also granted political rights before WWI. This publication studies suffrage, citizenship and parliamentary reforms in various socio-political contexts. It brings together new research from a wide range of scholars and disciplines. In addition to pioneers, attention is given to Austria, Britain, Canada, Hungary, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Poland, Romania, Russia and Slovenia, among others. By highlighting national differences, the collection strives to disperse the universalising trend of research. The chapters suggest that the age of suffrage narratives based on a view of universal emancipation is over; more significant are deconstructive approaches and analyses embedded in local factors. From an international perspective, the realisation of female suffrage was a long and multi-faceted process taking different forms. The issue of women's civil rights is certainly not a matter of the past. Internationally, suffrage, gender and citizenship are highly topical issues, as indicated in this collection.

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