Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Early Vote for Women Inversely Linked to Distance from the Vatican

I noticed that New Zealand and Australia were early leaders in changing laws to include women as voters.

So, I plotted the years women won the right to vote in their nations against the distance (km) their nations are from the Vatican based on Google maps.

I should point out that the data vary depending on the source. For example, only some UK women won the right to vote in 1918. Also, the Russian revolution was linked to a few other countries in 1917 (e.g., Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine). And I did not list all the central European countries for 1918 (e.g., Austria, Germany, Poland etc.) vote in 1918.

You will also find that some localities included women in various nations during the 1800s. The bottom line is that the trend will vary depending what you include.

The correlation for these results is -.86 suggesting in the early years, the further nations were from the Vatican, the traditional center of Christianity for centuries, the more likely they were to support equality for women when it comes to voting rights.

Here's the data if you wish to work out a more complex chart with more nations or parts of nations.

Nation Year women vote Distance from Vatican Capital City
NEW ZEALAND 1893 18366 Wellington
AUSTRALIA 1902 16210 Canberra
FINLAND 1906 2875 Helsinki
NORWAY 1913 2496 Oslo
DENMARK 1915 1905 Copenhagen
CANADA 1917 6722 Ottawa
Russia+ 1917 3068 Moscow
AUSTRIA + 1918 1126 Vienna
UK 1918 1878 London
Pearson r =  -0.86

The interpretation is open to different perspectives. And of course you could argue that it's just spurious.