Development of women’s rights in Lithuania: recognition of women’s political rights.
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The article discusses the problems of development of women’s political rights in Lithuania in the legal historical aspect starting from the 16th century, when some property and individual rights were enshrined in the first codifications of the laws of the Great Duchy of Lithuania. The aim of the article is to show that women’s struggle for political equality and suffrage at the end of the 19th and at the turn of the 20th century correlates with the movement for re-establishment of the independent State of Lithuania. As a result in Lithuania equal suffrage and political rights were ensured from the very beginning of independence. In 1905 the Great Seimas of Vilnius recognized the principles of equality of women and men and declared the principles of equal general election to the Seimas (parliament); women’s suffrage, as one of the elements of legal equality, became constitutionally entrenched already in the first temporary Constitution of the State of Lithuania in 1918. At the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century women’s rights have been further developed, moreover, the first woman was elected as President of the Republic in the national elections in May 2009.
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