The furtherance of women's rights is a first stage in the demand for political equality. It generally comes prior to women running and being elected to national political office and holding major appointed posts. The right to vote is a major precursor of women's rights and came surprisingly late to many nations around the world, even in the West.

Individual women demanded the right to vote for themselves as early as the 1600s. The modern movement for women's suffrage originated in France in the 1780s and 1790s, where Antoine Condorcet and Olympe de Gouges advocated women's right to vote in national elections. Women's voting rights became an issue in the 19th century, especially in Britain and the United States. Women's organizations made the fight for the ...

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