Feminism Timeline

  • First woman to receive medical degree

    In 1849, Elizabeth Blackwell became the first woman in the United States to receive a medical degree. She graduated from Geneva College in New York. Blackwell had a huge impact in that she helped permit women to practice medicine legally. This opened up many more doors for women, expanding their opportunities with careers and showing the nation that one's skill and intelligence should not be judged by their gender.
  • Married women granted right to control own earnings

    Sometime in 1860, married women were given the right to control their own earnings in New York. This led to Maryland, Illinois, and Ohio granting married women with the same right in 1860. This right also led to the begining of independence among women and their right to make their own decisions financially.
  • National Woman Suffrage Association

    The main goal of this organization created by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton was to achieve voting rights for women by means of a Congressional amendment to the Constitution. It was created in response to the controversy of whether the woman's movement should support the ratification of the 15th amendment. This association led to suffrage victories in Wyoming, Colorado, Idaho, and Utah in the 1890s.
  • First state gives women right to vote

    Colorado became the first state to adopt an amendment granting women the right to vote. Because of this, Utah and Idaho followed in 1896; Washington in 1910 California in 1911; Kansas, Oregon, and Arizona in 1912; and the rest of the states eventually followed throughout the 20th century. This decision set up the idea that women do have equal rights, and such enforcements should be made to prove it.
  • Glasgow March

    On this day thousands of women marched in Glasgow in response to greedy rent increases faced by women whose husbands were at war. Because of this protest the Rent Restirction Act was passed. This new act completely changed the housing system and benefited poor people across the country. The march had a huge impact altogether.
  • First woman to fly over the Atlantic

    Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean nonstop in 1928. She took off with Bill Stultz and Luois Gordon from Newfoundland and landed in Wales 20 hrs and 40 min later. After this flight she was called "Lady Lindy" and set many speed and height records. Earhart showed everyone that women can have a career in what was thought as a male dominant field. She spoke and wrote about women's opportunities and influenced many women to break sterotypes and become a pilot.
  • First american woman receives Nobel Peace Prize

    Jane Addams became the first woman in America to ever win the Nobel Peace Przie, and the second woman in the world. Addams's efforts for peace included founding the Woman's International League for Peace and Freedom, working to help the poor and to stop the use of children as industrial laborers, and helping immigrants through Hull House. She was awarded the Prize at the end of her life due to these contributions and efforts for peace. She impacted thousands of lives because of her kindness.
  • Equal Pay Act

    The Equal Pay Amendment enacted by President Kennedy allows women to be paid the same as men for work of equal value. This altered the workforce and how women were viewed. Because of this act women today are paid 79cents for every dollar earned by men. It also helped strengthen laws against discrimination by making it illegal to discriminate on the basis of gender for pay benefits, as well as race, color, religion, national origin, age, or disability.
  • The Feminine Mystique is published

    Betty Friedan published her highly influential book, The Feminine Mystique, in 1963. It describes dissatisfaction felt by middle-class American housewives with the narrow role imposed on them by society. It immediately became a best seller. The book ignited the contemporary women's movement and as a result permanently transformed the social views of the US and many other countries. It's regarded as one of the most influential nonfiction books of the 20th century.
  • First battered women's shelter opens

    In the year 1972, the first abused and battered women's shelter was opened in Urbana, Illinois. It was founded by Cheryl Frank and Jacqueline Flenner. This was a huge step in helping physically and emotionally abused women. This led to the opening of other women's shelters in Tuscan, Arizona and St. Paul, Minnesota in 1973. There are now over 1,500 shelters in the US welcoming men, women, and children who have been victims of domestic violence.
  • Right to abortion secured

    In 1973, the Roe v. Wade case went to the supreme court and the right to abortion was secured. The Roe v. Wade debate continues today over the issues of to what extent abortion should be legal. Although this has divided the nation into pro-choice and pro-life groups, it still proved that women have rights over their own body and that they are independent human beings.
  • Pregnancy Discrimination Act

    The Pregnancy Discrimination Act amended the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and banned employment discrimination against pregnant women. The act states that a woman cannot be fired, denied a job, or denied a promotion because she is/ may become pregnant. This greatly impacted the workforce because it agreed that a woman's physical structure should not put her at a disadvantage and further strengthened womens rights among a male dominent workforce.
  • Sex Discrimination Act

    The Sex Discrimination Act passed in 1986 enabled women to retire at the same age as men. This set an idea in the workforce that that women should be treated equally. This act also lifts legal restrictions preventing women from working night shifts in factories.
  • First female speaker in House of Commons

    In 1992, Betty Boothroyd became the first woman to be a speaker in the House of Commons. This greatly impacted the political field for women and how equality among men and women began to show itself. This also influenced many other women to explore and persevere to break stereotypes and fight for high-powered jobs.
  • Take our daughters to work day

    In 1993, take our daughters to work day first debuted. This educational program was designed to build girls' self-esteem and open their eyes to a variety of careers. It was founded by Gloria Steinem and the Ms. Foundation for Women. This not only impacted younger girls by diminishing self-esteem issues, but because the program encouraged employees to invite children from shelters, it exposed young, underprivalledged girls to skilled professions that they wouldn't normally be exposed to.