A great review of this subject comes from a really interesting article at Swissinfo, produced by the Swiss public broadcasting association. Take a look at this excerpt:
In many countries across the globe, revolutions, international cooperation and participatory political rights all spurred the introduction of women’s suffrage. In Switzerland however men put up strong resistance until 50 years ago. The international reputation of the country was then on the verge of collapse.
The breakthrough happened on the other side of the world. On 18 May 1893, 24-year-old Meri Mangakahia addressed the Kotahitanga, New Zealand’s first Māori Parliament that was established a year earlier: “Today I propose a law that allows women to both participate in the selection of parliamentary members and sit in Parliament.”