Although a number of other territories enfranchised women before 1893, New Zealand can justly claim to be the first self-governing country to grant the vote to all adult women.
Female descendants of the Bounty mutineers were allowed to vote for their ruling councils on Pitcairn Island from 1838, and on Norfolk Island after they settled there in 1856. The Isle of Man, an internally self-governing dependent territory of the British Crown, enfranchised women property owners in 1881. Women in the Cook Islands, then a British protectorate, were allowed to participate in elections for island councils and a federal parliament from 1893. This law was enacted several days after New Zealand’s Electoral Act, but Cook Islands women got to the polls first, on 14 October.
A handful of United States territories and states had enfranchised (European) women by 1893: the Territory of Wyoming in 1869 (confirmed on admission to statehood in 1890), the Territory of Utah in 1870 (annulled by the United States Congress in 1887, reinstated on admission to statehood in 1896), the Territory of Washington in 1883 (declared unconstitutional by the local Supreme Court in 1887), the Territory of Montana in 1887, and the State of Colorado in December 1893.
Australia was quick to follow New Zealand: South Australia enfranchised women in 1894, Western Australia did so in 1899, and the Australian Commonwealth government followed suit in 1902 (except for Aboriginal women).
It is very difficult to ascertain when women in a particular country gained the right to vote. This is especially true for less-developed countries. This chronology, which can only be a tentative list, was compiled by consulting a number of sources, some of which offered conflicting information: the dates given may have been for the year that suffrage was granted or the first time that women actually voted; while suffrage may have been limited to a specific group of women, this was not always noted.
This list of dates is from C. Daley and M. Nolan (eds), Suffrage and beyond: international feminist perspectives, Auckland University Press, Auckland, 1994. See also International Women’s Suffrage Milestones.