Netherlands grants women’s suffrage

The Roaring Twenties in the U.S. brought the first tastes of social freedom for women, by WW II they began enjoying economic ones as well, working alongside the men, climbing the same corporate ladders. The women’s movement remained divided as to the benefits of the new societal change: women’s time at work took away from time at the office; managing takes the place of childrearing. The angst between the boardroom or the home as the proper place for women was decided a lot easier in the Netherlands, where freedoms for women were granted a lot earlier.

On this day, September 19, in 1919, in one of the first laws of its kind, the Netherlands granted all women the right to vote. While other nations previously granted women limited political freedoms, only New Zealand had one giving women the same voting rights as men.

How much Dutch women care to exercise their equality remains an open question. At least one American author who spent time in the country noticed they are not as careerist as the women in the United States. They contend themselves with shorter hours, less responsibility, and consequently less pay — and, the author noted, they are all the happier for it.