We’re issuing a postage stamp for women to commemorate the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage

Nov 07, 2018

Lithuanian Post is issuing another postage stamp to commemorate a 100th anniversary. This time, it will commemorate the adoption of women’s suffrage in Lithuania. This victory was unique because it placed Lithuania among the pioneering countries that were the first to accept equal rights for men and women. France only granted women the right to vote after World War Two, and women in Switzerland had to wait until 1971. The first country to grant women the right to vote was New Zealand, which granted women suffrage in 1893. The postage stamp, which will enter into circulation on Friday, 26 October, is worth 0.55 EUR. 40,000 stamps will be printed.


“On 2 November, 1918, the fundamental values of the Temporary Constitution of the State of Lithuania provided and ratified women’s suffrage. This historical fact indicates that the democratic principle of equality between men and women was important to the restored Lithuanian state, and these principles remain relevant to this day. The commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the restoration of the Lithuanian state would lose a significant part of its importance without mentioning this important anniversary. It reveals the deeply democratic traditions of our state. Many Lithuanian women fought for their right to vote, so we considered that it would be wrong to emphasise any single one of those fighters for women’s rights by placing their portrait on the postage stamp. For this reason, the postage stamp features a symbol that everyone recognises and which reflects the concept of the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in Lithuania,” said Virginija Aleksejūnė, Head of the Center for Equality Advancement.

Although women have been able to contribute to the management of the state on an equal basis with men for a century, the path to this victory was not an easy one. The first organised movement of women fighting for equal rights and suffrage began in 1905. That’s when the Unification of Lithuanian Women to Defend Women’s Rights was created in Vilnius, to fight for women’s right to vote and to create an opportunity for them to participate in the restoration of an independent state. It was only 13 years later – on 2 November 1918 – that women received the right to vote, when it was enshrined in the temporary constitution.

The women who fought for women’s suffrage in Lithuania included many historically-notable women including: the writer, publicist and social and political activist Gabrielė Petkevičaitė-Bitė; the teacher and political and social activist Ona Mašiotienė; and the book smuggler, print worker and social activist Felicija Bortkevičienė – who was also the first woman Mason in Lithuania.

The artist Justinas Dadonas has created the stamp to commemorate this anniversary. The release of the postage stamp will be accompanied by the release of a first day cover, so that you will be able to mark it with the special first day stamp at the Vilnius’ central post office.

Lithuanian Post issues 25-27 postage stamps a year. Lithuanian Post also provides courier, logistical and financial intermediary services.