A TIMELINE OF WOMEN IN THE 20TH CENTURY

By Tim Lambert

The Early 20th Century

1902

Women in Australia are allowed to vote in federal elections

1903

Marie Curie is the first woman to win a Nobel prize

1905

In the USA Nora Stanton Blatch Barney is the first women to gain a degree in engineering

1907

Women in Finland are the first in the world to become MPs

1908

Aldeburgh becomes the first town in Britain to have a female mayor

1910

The first policewoman begins duty in Los Angeles

1913

Mary Phelps Jacob invents the bra

1914

Britain gets its first policewomen

1915

Denmark gives women the right to vote

1916

Jeanette Rankin becomes the woman elected to the US Congress

1917

In Britain the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps is formed. The Women's Royal Naval Service is also formed

1918

In Britain women over 30 are allowed to vote if they meet a property qualification. Germany and Austria give women the right to vote. In Canada women are given the right to vote in federal elections.

1919

In Britain the Sex Disqualification Act allows women to become lawyers, vets and civil servants. The Women's Engineering Society is formed. Britain also gets its first female MP. The Netherlands gives women the right to vote.

1920

In the USA all women get the right to vote

1921

Sweden gives women the right to vote. Agnes Macphail becomes the first Canadian woman MP.

1922

Rebecca Latimer Felton became the first woman US senator

1925

Nellie Tayloe Ross becomes the first woman governor of a US state (Wyoming)

1926

Gertrude Ederle is the first woman to swim across the English channel

1928

In Britain all women over 21 are allowed to vote the same as men

1929

Margaret Bondfield becomes the first woman cabinet minister in Britain

The Mid 20th Century

1930

Amy Johnson flies from Britain to Australia. Ellen Church becomes the first air hostess

1931

Spain gives women the right to vote

1933

In the USA Frances Perkins becomes the first woman appointed to a presidential cabinet. Elizabeth McCombs is elected the first woman MP in New Zealand in 1933.

1934

Women in Turkey gain full voting rights

1935

Caroline Mikkelsen becomes the first woman to set foot on Antarctica

1943

Women are elected to the Australian parliament for the first time

1944

France gives women the right to vote

1945

Italy gives women the right to vote

1946

Lilian Lindsay becomes the first woman president of the British Dental Association

1951

Bette Nesmith Graham invents liquid paper

1952

Greece gives women the right to vote

1953

Jacqueline Cochran is the first woman pilot to break the sound barrier

1955

Barbara Mandell becomes the first woman newsreader on British TV

1956

Rose Heilbron becomes the first woman judge in Britain

1958

Hilda Harding becomes the first woman bank manager in Britain

1960

Sirimavo Bandaranaike becomes the first prime minister of a country (Sri Lanka)

1963

Valentina Tereshkova becomes the first woman in space. In the USA the Equal Pay Act is passed.

1964

Geraldine Mock is the first woman to fly solo around the world

1967

Sharon Sites Adams becomes the first woman to sail across the Pacific Ocean solo. Muriel Siebert becomes the first woman to own a seat on the New York stock exchange.

The Late 20th Century

1971

Switzerland gives women the right to vote

1972

Rose Heilbron becomes the first woman judge at the Old Bailey (The Central Criminal Court of England and Wales)

1973

In Britain women are allowed to join the stock exchange for the first time. Isabel Peron become Vice president of Argentina.

1974

Isabel Peron becomes president of Argentina (she was vice president but the president was dying). She is the first woman president in the world.

1975

A new law makes it illegal to discriminate against women in employment, education and training. Junko Tabei becomes the first woman to climb Mount Everest.

1976

Mary Langdon becomes the first female fire fighter in Britain

1977

Nancy Goorey becomes the first woman president of the American Dental Association

1978

Naomi James becomes the first woman to sail solo around the world

1979

Margaret Thatcher becomes the first woman prime minister of Britain

1980

Vigdis Finnbogadottir become the president of Iceland. She is the first elected woman president in the world.

1981

Gro Harlem Brundtland becomes the first woman prime minister of Norway. Sandra Day O'Connor became the first woman judge on the US Supreme Court.

1983

Sally Ride becomes the first American woman in space. Mary Donaldson becomes the first woman Lord Mayor of London.

1990

Mary Robinson becomes the first woman president of Ireland. Antonia Novello becomes the first woman surgeon general of the USA.

1995

Pauline Clare becomes the first female chief constable in Britain

1999

Mireya Moscoso became the first woman president of Panama

A History of Women's Clothes

A History of Women's Underwear

A History of Women's Jobs

A History of Women's Rights

Famous Women Rulers

A Timeline of Women in the 19th Century

My Youtube video about women in the 20th Century

Home