One Big Thing: Women's History Month and 100 Years of Suffrage
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I would fight for my liberty so long as my strength lasted, and if the time came for me to go, the Lord would let them take me.
What is it?
- Each year, March is celebrated as National Women’s History Month – where we celebrate the contributions and accomplishments of women throughout history.
- One of the most important rights which many American women fought tirelessly for is the right to vote. This year marks the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment -granting women the right to vote.
- There were thousands of American women who led the suffrage movement in the 1800s and early 1900s. Susan B Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Harriet Tubman are three women who characterized the suffrage movement’s fighting spirit. As leaders of this movement, each of these women played a prominent role passing the 19th amendment.
Why is it important?
- Without strong female leadership, the suffrage movement would not have been successful. Anthony and Stanton’s work to establish the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) and thus formalize the suffrage movement within politics and society could not have been done without the prior work of previous feminist icons like Tubman during the civil war.
- Woman’s suffrage is hugely important to the proper function of a modern democracy. While women constitute half of society, preventing half of society from voting based on gender automatically weakens representative democracy.
- Today, more women serve in Congress than ever before and a record number ran in the 2020 presidential primary election. Despite these gains, women continue to face significant challenges based solely on their gender. Here in the U.S., women still make 80 cents for each dollar a man earns – a disparity that grows even more for African American and Latina women. In many places around the world, women are still not allowed to vote, drive or appear in public without their husband, father or male relative.
What can you do?
- Visit The National Archives website to find wide-ranging information on the suffrage movement.
- Check out the National Museum of African American History and Culture to learn more info on women who were leaders in suffrage movement but did not get the same recognition as others.
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