Countries Where Women Cannot Vote 2022

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Historically speaking, women's suffrage—the right of women to vote in elections—is a remarkably recent development in the modern world. Although the state of New Jersey experimented with women's suffrage from 1776 to 1807, the earliest permanent establishment of women's suffrage in a full province (Pitcairn Islands) did not appear until 1838—and most sources agree that no fully sovereign nation would follow suit until Norway in 1913 (Finland in 1906 and New Zealand in 1896 were both earlier, but were technically territories of other countries at the time), barely a century ago.

Today, the situation has changed. Women now have the right to vote in every country and territory in the world except for Vatican City, in which only Catholic Church cardinals, who must be male, vote to elect the pope. That said, having the legal right to vote does not always guarantee a realistic opportunity to vote. In some regions, women have the right to vote, but are prevented from doing so by societal norms, harassment and violence at the polls, or pressure from their husbands.

Countries in which women can't vote

Country Legal? Impediments
Egypt yes Women could be banned for wearing "revealing" attire in 2015. Muslim women must remove their niqab (a mask-like veil) to vote, but many women are afraid to do so as it is a cultural taboo.
Kenya yes Kenyan women are not allowed to take long walks (such as to the polls) and pregnant women are forbidden from leaving the house. High rates of disease and a history of election-related violence also keep women at home.
Nigeria yes Many women feel their vote doesn't count, so they don't vote. Approximately 8% of the National Assembly is female.
Oman yes Women must vote as their husbands do or risk divorce, which is a death sentence socially and economically for many women. Since women began voting in 2003, they have won two of the 83 seats on the Oman Consultative Council.
Pakistan yes Husbands can prevent wives from voting, and violence at the polls is prevalent.
Papua New Guinea yes Women are often too afraid to vote. Approximately seven women have held office since 1975.
Qatar yes Social restrictions are harsher than the laws in Qatar. Elections are frequently suspended under Sharia Law, which is oppressive to women, who won one of 29 seats in one of the most recent elections.
Saudi Arabia yes Baseless arrests and torture are common. Elections are extremely rare and King Abdullah has the power to overturn any result.
Tanzania (Zanzibar) yes Women in Zanzibar, an autonomous region in Tanzania, fear forced divorce if they vote when their husband tells them not to. Violence at the polls is also a concern.
Uganda yes Women are oppressed from voting in a number of ways. Violence is one, being ordered to stay home and do chores is another.

One indicator of whether a country is effectively empowering women to vote is the number of women running for or serving in public office. In places where few women hold public office, the rights for women to vote—and their experience at the polls—may merit additional scrutiny.

Equal opportunity oppression

A handful of countries limit the voting rights of both men and women equally. For example, the absolute monarchy Brunei has not held a national public election since 1962, and a recent election in United Arab Emirates granted suffrage to only 12% of all men and women, who were selected using undisclosed criteria.

The table below outlines the dates upon which women's suffrage was attained in the majority of the world's countries and territories. These range from the countries listed above, in which voting is still difficult for women, to those in which women's suffrage is fully accepted and supported by society as a whole.

Countries Where Women Cannot Vote 2022

Note: For countries in which suffrage was granted in stages, starting with a subset of women or elections and later expanded to include all women in all elections, the date upon which full voting rights were extended for all women is used. Earlier dates will be given in the notes field.
Country Date Full Suffrage Gained Notes
Afghanistan1964
Albania1945
Algeria1962
Andorra1970
Angola1975
Anguilla1951As British Leeward Islands
Antigua And Barbuda1951As British Leeward Islands
Argentina1947
Armenia1919
Aruba1949As Netherlands Antilles
Australia19621894 for some colonies, 1902 for full territory (non-indigenous voters), 1962 for indigenous/aborigine voters
Austria1918
Azerbaijan1918
Bahamas1960
Bahrain2002No elections from 1973 to 2002
Bangladesh1971
Barbados1950
Belarus1919
Belgium19481919 for communal voting, 1948 for provincial councils and the national parliament
Belize1954As British Honduras
Benin1956As Dahomey
Bermuda1944
Bhutan1953
Bolivia1952In 1938 for literate/high income women, 1952 for all
Bosnia And Herzegovina1990As Yugoslavia. 1945 in theory, 1990 in actual practice
Botswana1965
Brazil1932
British Virgin Islands1951As British Leeward Islands
Brunei1959No national elections since 1962. Men and women can vote in local elections
Bulgaria19441937 for wives and widows in local elections, 1944 for all in all elections
Burkina Faso1958As Upper Volta
Burundi1961
Cambodia1955
Cameroon1946As British Cameroons
Canada19601916-1940 for various provinces, 1960 for aboriginal women
Cape Verde1975
Cayman Islands1957
Central African Republic1986
Chad1958
Chile19491934 for literate women and local elections
China1949
Colombia1954
Comoros1956
Cook Islands1893
Costa Rica1949
Croatia1990As Yugoslavia. 1945 in theory, 1990 in actual practice
Cuba1934
Curacao1949As Netherlands Antilles
Cyprus1960
Czech Republic1920As Czechoslovakia
Denmark19151908 for local elections, 1915 for national
Djibouti1946
Dominica1951As British Windward Islands
Dominican Republic1942
DR Congo1967As Zaire
Ecuador1967Limited suffrage for women 1929, equal for both genders in 1967
Egypt1956Women are often deterred from voting though social pressure and intimidation
El Salvador19501939 for literate older women, 1950 for all
Equatorial Guinea1963Country has been a one-party state without free or fair elections since 1987
EritreaCountry was established in 1993 and has never held a national election. Local elections are considered free and fair
Estonia1917As a governate of Russia
Eswatini1968As Swaziland. Country is an absolute monarchy with a questionable voting process and low voter turnout
Ethiopia1955
Faroe Islands1915As Denmark. 1908 for local elections, 1915 for national
Fiji1963
Finland1906Country was technically part of Russia at the time, became independent in 1917.
France1944
Gabon1956
Gambia1960
Georgia1918
Germany1918
Ghana1954
Greece19521930 for literate women in local elections, 1952 for all
Greenland1948
Grenada1951As British Windward Islands
Guatemala19651945 if literate. 1965 for all
Guinea1958
Guinea Bissau1977
Guyana1953
Haiti1950
Honduras1955
Hong Kong1949
Hungary19451919 for women 30 and up who met educational and economical criteria. 1945 for all
Iceland1920As Denmark. 1908 for local elections, 1915 for national for women 40+, 1920 for all
India19471935 for married or literate women, 1947 for all
Indonesia19451937 for Europeans, 1945 for all
Iran1963Women in Iranian Azerbaijan previously enjoyed suffrage for one year as unrecognized Soviet puppet state from 1945-1946
Iraq1948free elections were held for first time in 2005
Ireland19221918 for women aged 30+ who met qualifications, 1922 for all
Isle of Man1881
Israel19481920 for Jewish settlement in Palestine, 1948 for all
Italy19451925 for local elections. 1945 for all
Ivory Coast1952
Jamaica1944
Japan1946
Jordan1974
Kazakhstan1924
Kenya1963Disease, restictions on women's freedom of movement, and fear of violence unofficially restrict voting access
Kiribati1967
Kuwait2005Requires 20 years Kuwaiti citizenship
Kyrgyzstan1918
Laos1958
Latvia1917
Lebanon19521952 for women with elementary school education, 1957 for all
Lesotho1965
Liberia1946
Libya19631951 for local, 1963 for all
Liechtenstein1984
Lithuania1918
Luxembourg1919
Madagascar1959
Malawi1961
Malaysia1955As Federation of Malaya
Maldives1932
Mali1956
Malta1947
Marshall Islands1979
Mauritania1961
Mauritius1956
Mexico1953
Micronesia1979
Moldova19401929 for qualifying women & local elections, 1940 (establishment of new country) for all
Monaco1962
Mongolia1924
Montenegro1990As Yugoslavia. 1945 in theory, 1990 in actual practice
Montserrat1951As British Leeward Islands
Morocco1963
Mozambique1975
Myanmar1922
Namibia1989Upon establishing independence
Nauru1968
Nepal1951Upon becoming democracy
Netherlands1919
New Zealand1893
Nicaragua1955
Niger1948
Nigeria1958Many women feel disenfranchised and do not vote
North Korea1946
North Macedonia1990As Yugoslavia. 1945 in theory, 1990 in actual practice
Norway1913
Oman1994Country is an absolute monarchy; elections select only an assembly of consultants to the sultan. Women risk divorce if they defy husband's voting guidance
Pakistan1947Upon establishment of country. Husbands and village elders can prevent wives from voting, violence at polls is common
Palau1979
Palestine19961972 for local elections, 1996 for parliament. No elections since 2006
Panama19461941 for well-educated females, 1946 for all
Papua New Guinea1964Women fear repercussions of voting and often decline to take the risk
Paraguay1961
Peru1955
Philippines1937
Poland1918
Portugal19761911 with restrictions, rescinded, 1931 with restrictions, 1976 for all
Puerto Rico19351929 for literate, 1935 for all
Qatar1997General elections had been repeatedly delayed from 2013-2021. Voting still restricted for naturalized citizens and members of Al Murrah tribe, but is not gender-specific
Republic of the Congo1963
Romania19461929 for qualified females and local elections. 1938 with restrictions for national elections. 1946 for all
Russia1917
Rwanda1961
Saint Kitts And Nevis1951As British Leeward Islands
Saint Lucia1951As British Windward Islands
Saint Vincent And the Grenadines1951As British Windward Islands
Samoa1990
San Marino1959
Sao Tome And Principe1975
Saudi Arabia2015Granted 2011, not realized until 2015. Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy that rarely holds national elections and in which women's suffrage is still heavily debated
Senegal1945
Serbia1990As Yugoslavia. 1945 in theory, 1990 in actual practice
Seychelles1948
Sierra Leone1961Women could vote in the 1790s, when Sierra Leone was a British colony
Singapore1947
Sint Maarten1949As Netherlands Antilles
Slovakia1920As Czechoslovakia
Slovenia1990As Yugoslavia. 1945 in theory, 1990 in actual practice
Solomon Islands1974
Somalia1956
South Africa19941930 for Europeans and Asians, 1994 for all
South Korea1948
Spain1977Granted 1924-1926, but no elections were held. Re-granted in 1931, revoked 1939. Re-established 1977
Sri Lanka1931As Ceylon
Sudan1964
Suriname1948
Sweden1919
Switzerland19711959 for local elections in Vaud and Neuchâtel, 1989 for Appenzell Ausserrhoden, 1990 for Appenzell Innerrhoden. 1971 for national elections
Syria1949
Taiwan1947As part of mainland China
Tajikistan1924
Tanzania1959Women in the Zanzibar region often fear divorce and/or violence at the polls if they vote
Thailand1932
Timor Leste1976
Togo1945
Tonga1960
Trinidad And Tobago19451925 for men over 21 and women over 30, 1945 for all
Tunisia1957
Turkey19341930 for local elections, 1934 for all
Turkmenistan1924
Tuvalu1967
Uganda1962Women are often discouraged from voting, sometimes violently
Ukraine1917As the Ukrainian People's Republic
United Arab Emirates2006Country is authoritative constitutional monarchy; elections select only an assembly of consultants to the Federal Supreme Council
United Kingdom19281918 for qualified women aged 30+, 1928 for all
United States19651920 according to the Nineteenth Amendment (and earlier in some states), but some southern states withheld the vote from black voters of both genders until the Voting Rights Act of 1965
United States Virgin Islands1936Voting required men and women to have minimum $300 income, but was not gender-specific
Uruguay1917Universal suffrage granted 1917, no election held until 1927
Uzbekistan1938
Vanuatu1975
Vatican Cityn/aLacks female suffrage. Vatican City is a monarchy in which the only elections are to elect the Pope, and the only eligible voters are Catholic cardinals, who are required to be male. Women, in fact, comprise less than 6% of the Vatican City's population
Venezuela1946Elections in Venezuela are widely disputed, with both major parties claiming to be the legitimate government after the 2019 election
Vietnam1946As North Vietnam
Yemen1970As South Yemen (1967) and North Yemen (1970)
Zambia1962As Northern Rhodesia
Zimbabwe1978As Southern Rhodesia. 1919 for white women, 1978 for all

Countries Where Women Cannot Vote 2022

Sources