Women’s suffrage marks 100 years on election day in Slovakia

The Czechoslovak Constitution was adopted on February 29, 1920, precisely a hundred years before Slovakia's 2020 elections.

Czechoslovakia's 1920 Constitution was a forward-looking legal document, which granted the right to vote to all women and men in the country. It was signed a centenary ago, on February 29. Czechoslovakia's 1920 Constitution was a forward-looking legal document, which granted the right to vote to all women and men in the country. It was signed a centenary ago, on February 29. (Source: TASR)

Many people see February 29 as a leap day, but it plays a much more important role in the history of the Slovaks and the Czechs. Their first democratic Constitution was adopted exactly 100 years ago.

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The 1920 Constitution was the first legally binding document that incorporated the democratic principles established by Czechoslovakia. The document granted, for instance, the right to vote to all women and to all men.

“The right to vote, also including women, was forward-thinking at that time,” Tomáš Jahelka from Trnava University said in the Sme daily’s History podcast.

The Constitution became effective on March 6, 1920, more than a year since the establishment of the Czechoslovak Republic. Nonetheless, it was the Washington Declaration from October 1918 that had already talked about the independence of the Czechoslovak Nation and set out the democratic principles of the Czechoslovak Republic.

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