In 1892, and in the decades, centuries, and millennia before it, women everywhere were unable to vote. Generally regarded as the weaker gender, women were considered inferior to men.
However, the Victorian era was a period of social reform. Women's suffragists began to protest more loudly. Petitions were signed and peacefully assembling became more common. A wave of feminism occurred.
In New Zealand, women's rights were soon to be granted. In 1893, after decades of campaigning, an electoral bill granted women rights. In November of that year, history was made as women over the age of 21 voted for the first time ever. Statues were made as tributes to some of the suffragists.
" Suffrage is the pivotal right. - Susan B. Anthony
However, for all the social reform that was occurring in New Zealand, it would be a long time until it spread to the rest of the world. It was not until 1902 that neighboring Australia granted rights to women, and even then Aboriginal people were excluded.
New Zealand's National Council of Women, April 1896. Credit: Archives New Zealand
In 1906, Finland joined them, and then Norway in 1913. Denmark and Canada followed in rapid succession, and then, in 1918, Austria, Germany, Poland, and Russia granted women rights. For much of the 20th century, a few years would occur, and then another country would grant rights to women. This pattern has gone on to Saudi Arabia, who in 2011 became the most recent country to grant rights to women.
Vatican City remains the only country that does not give voting rights to women. If the pattern continues to occur, perhaps they will be granted by 2020?