A TIMELINE OF WOMEN IN THE 20TH CENTURY
By Tim Lambert
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 The Women's Royal Naval Service is 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
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 Sirima 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.
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