New articles online : « Women’s right to vote » and « Same-sex marriage »
Women’s right to vote : The transition from the Ancien Régime to the modern period is characterized by the gradual affirmation of a society of citizens, which supplanted the society of orders and divine right monarchies. In the representative governments that gradually emerged in Europe during the nineteenth century, the general will was expressed through the voting of the electoral body. However, for a long time women were excluded from citizenship by means of arguments which reveal a hierarchical vision of gender relations. Women wanted to participate in matters of state, notably in creating the laws to which they had previously only been subject. Some of them created associations and, soon thereafter, women’s suffrage movements on both the national and international level. Decades of struggle and lobbying led, in the twentieth century, to women’s right to vote in different European states, at a pace that varied depending on the national political context.
Same-sex marriage : Same-sex marriage is a recent occurence that is still evolving. The first propositions in Europe for recognizing these types of union date back to the late nineteenth century, although legislation concerning them only appeared in the 1980s, initially in the form of a “registered partnership” (Denmark, 1989) and later as marriage in the Netherlands in 2001. While no European legislation requires a state to recognize same-sex marriage, a 2003 European Parliament resolution asked member states “to abolish all forms of discrimination to which homosexuals are victim, notably regarding marriage and the adoption of children.” As of 2016, 21 states of the European Union offered a legal framework for same-sex couples.