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Suffragettes were members of women's organisations in the late-19th and early-20th centuries which advocated the extension of the "franchise", or the right to vote in public elections, to women. It particularly refers to militants in the United Kingdom such as members of the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU). Suffragist is a more general term for members of the suffrage movement.

The term "suffrage" might be particularly associated with activists in the British WSPU, led by Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst, who were influenced by Russian methods of protest such as hunger strikes. Although the Isle of Man had enfranchised women who owned property to vote in parliamentary (Tynwald) elections in 1881, New Zealand was the first self-governing country to grant all women the right to vote in 1893 when women over the age of 21 were permitted to vote in parliamentary elections. Women in South Australia achieved the same right and became the first to obtain the right to stand for parliament in 1895. In the United States, white women over the age of 21 were allowed to vote in the western territories of Wyoming from 1869 and in Utah from 1870, and in most states outside the South by 1919. With the ratification in 1920 of the Nineteenth Amendment, suffrage was extended to women across the United States in time for the 1920 presidential election. Women over 21 were allowed to vote in Canada (except Quebec) from 1919.

Women in Britain over the age of 30, meeting certain property qualifications, were given the right to vote in 1918, and in 1928 suffrage was extended to all women over the age of 21.

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