Women rights

The History of Womens' Rights

  • Anne Hutchinson

    Anne Hutchinson
    Anne Hutchinson was one founder of the Rhode Island colony in the colonial period. She was a devout woman who would preach to other women, including her own opinions on the Scripture. This was seen as soley a man's job and Hutchinson was a pioneer of more equality for women.
  • Women During the Revolution

    Women During the Revolution
    Women were given a larger role in the American Revolution because they were in charge of the home. Women protested the British rule by only using American fabric and materials to make clothes or household items. Many also participated in the Daughters of Liberty, who helped to end the Stamp Act through protests.
  • Republican Motherhood

    Republican Motherhood
    Women began to recieve more education and respect because they were seen as the trainers of the next generation. It was important in early America to raise educated, hard-working children with solid morals. Women, who rule the home sphere, gained respect because they has the difficult task of raising productive children.
  • Separate Spheres for Women

    Separate Spheres for Women
    Women at this time were beginning to move closer to equality with men, at least socially. Women and men developed separate spheres which they each were in charge of. Women were even more respected since they controlled the household while men were working.
  • Margaret Fuller

    Margaret Fuller
    In 1845, Margaret Fuller wrote a feminist book entitled Women in the Nineteenth Century. This book was an interesting look into the role of women that went against the social norm, Fuller was also a close transcendental friend of Ralph Waldo Emerson and was well educated and respected for her intelligence.
  • Seneca Falls Convention

    Seneca Falls Convention
    Held by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, this was one of the earliest gatherings for women's rights. They wrote up a Declaration of Sentiments which explained the rights women felt they were lacking in American culture. This jumpstarted the women's rights movement and was a significant step for this time.
  • Woman's National Loyal League

    Woman's National Loyal League
    During the war, many women activist supported abolition with the hopes that this would help the suffrage movement,This league was created by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B, Anthony to help with abolition as well as trying to increase women's rights.
  • Woman's National Loyal League

    Woman's National Loyal League
    This league, started by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony worked to end slavery and promoted abolition. These women hoped that with the acceptance of African-Americans into society, women would gain more rights.
  • Vassar College Founded

    Vassar College Founded
    Vassar College was created to allow women to recieve a higher education that was prior not available to them.
  • Women in the National Labor Union

    Women in the National Labor Union
    The National Labor Union was started in 1866 and it recognized women as a part of the workforce.
  • Women in the Knights of Labor

    Women in the Knights of Labor
    The Knights of Labor, founded in 1869, also allowed women to join and fight for their rights. This showed that they respected women's place in the workforce.
  • Women's Christian Temperance Union

    Women's Christian Temperance Union
    The WCTU was developed to social reform that would often benefit women. This was a large organization created by Frances Willard.
  • Smith College Founded

    Smith College Founded
    Smith College was founded in 1875 to provide higher education to women who were unable to attend colleges only available to men.
  • Clara Barton Creates the American Red Cross

    Clara Barton Creates the American Red Cross
    Clara Barton, who was a women doctor in an almost completely male career, became very good at her profession and started the American Red Cross to provide relief to people in need all over the country.
  • Mary Lease

    Mary Lease
    Populist party orator, Mary Lease, was admitted into the bar in 1885 and toured the country advocating for womens' rights.
  • Gibson Girl Created

    Gibson Girl Created
    Charles Dana Gibson created the Gibson Girl, an illistration that embodied the "New Woman" of this time. The Gibson Girl was beautiful, but also independent and no longer reliant on a man.
  • Women for Bryan

    Women for Bryan
    Groups of women congregated to gain support for Bryan, making their first steps into political involvement.
  • Pembroke College Created

    Pembroke College Created
    Brown University founded Pembroke as a private women's college.
  • Women in Politics-Annie L. Diggs

    Women in Politics-Annie L. Diggs
    Annie L. Diggs was a Populist orator and editor from Kansas. She is one of the first women involved in American politics. In 1892, she wrote an article for Arena magazine highlighting 25 women who played important roles in the Farmer's Alliance and the Populist Party. This recognised the women's rising appearance in politics.
  • Florence Kelley Working for the State

    Florence Kelley Working for the State
    Florence Kelley became a factory inspector working for the state of Illinois. She obtained this job due to her work at Hull House.
  • Radcliffe College Created

    Radcliffe College Created
    Harvard University founded a private college for women to attend to get a solid college education.
  • Mary E. Lease, The Problem of Civilization Solved

    Mary E. Lease, The Problem of Civilization Solved
    Mary E. Lease was a prominent advocate for the Populist Party.
    In 1895, Lease published a book called "The Problem of Civilization Solved" where she expressed her opinion on temperance and other social reform ideas.
  • Sarah Orne Jewett Writes "The Country of the Pointed Firs"

    Sarah Orne Jewett Writes "The Country of the Pointed Firs"
    Sarah Orne Jewett was an American writer who wrote "The Country of the Pointed Firs," a collection of short stories that describe the hardships of working in Maine. She was an early female author in America.
  • Mary E. Lease

    Mary E. Lease
    Mary Lease moved to New York and became the editor of the democratic newspaper, World. She was an example of the woman's rising role in higher end and more significant jobs.
  • Charlotte Perkins Gilman Wrote Women and Economics

    Charlotte Perkins Gilman  Wrote Women and Economics
    In her book, Gilman wrote about how women were no longer fit for the inferior position in society. She said that in the dawning century, women deserved equality to men, including pay and rights.
  • Kate Chopin Wrote "The Awakening"

    Kate Chopin Wrote "The Awakening"
    Kate Chopin wrote "The Awakening", a famous novel at the time that showed the life of a married woman in the nineteenth century. It was a book that took a new look at the place of women in society.
  • Women Take Factory Jobs

    Women Take Factory Jobs
    By 1900, 17% of the factory workers were women. Women were now able and eager to take jobs outside the home.
  • Carrie Chapman Catt Takes Over NAWSA

    Carrie Chapman Catt Takes Over NAWSA
    Carrie Chapman Catt took over the National American Women's Suffrage Association in 1900 after Susan B. Anthony. This organization was devoted to having women vote. But this association focused its campaigns on getting amendments passed to state constitutions, not the United States Constitution.
  • The Mann Act is Passed

    The Mann Act is Passed
    The Mann Act is passed which outlaws the movement of women across a state line for immoral purposes. This was to help women by outlawing interstate prostitution. This law ended up being used against interracial marriages, but it was a step toward outlawing prostitution and more rights for women.
  • Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage

    Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage
    In 1913, Alice Paul created the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage which was renamed the more commonly known National Woman's Party in 1916. This party focused on a Constitutional amendment at the federal level. Alice Paul and her party picketted President Wilson for their rights even during the war.
  • Women Help the War Effort

    Women Help the War Effort
    When America joined World War I, women from YMCAs, the Red Cross, and the Salvation Army traveled to Europe to aid the soldiers. Many women were employed as nurses. But also at home during the war, women took over many jobs usually held by men.
  • New York Allows Women to Vote

    New York Allows Women to Vote
    New York amended their state constitution in 1917 to include the vote for women. This was a major victory for the suffragists, but it shows that the suffrage movement was not lost during wartime. Gaining New York's support was a step toward gaining the entire country's support for the cause.
  • The Image of a Woman changed

    The Image of a Woman changed
    The 1920s brought a slew of changes the the female public image. Women smoked in public, wore shorter skirts, dated in public, cut their hair, and met with friends outside their homes. The 20s was the dawn of the flapper, a more free woman who danced and had fun in the public eye. The place of women in society was changing.
  • The Women's Joint Congressional Committee

    The Women's Joint Congressional Committee
    The Women's Joint Congressional Committee (WJCC) was composed of lobbying groups of women who wanted womens' rigths and child labor laws. This group helped to pass the Sheppard-Towner Act which set aside federal money for maternity and child care.
  • Nineteenth Amendment Goes into Effect

    Nineteenth Amendment Goes into Effect
    Tennessee was the 36th state to ratify the nineteenth amendment to the Constitution which prohibits voting discrimination based on sex. With the majority of America ratifying the amendment, it goes into effect in 1920 and women now have the righ to vote. This is a pivotal right that women gained.
  • The American Birth Control League is Founded

    The American Birth Control League is Founded
    Margaret Sanger created the American Birth Control League at the American Birth Control Conference in New York in 1921. She was the face of the birth control movement and she believed that women had the right to access to birth control. This organization later becamce Planned Parenthood and it helps women keeps their rights to contraception.
  • Women in the Workforce During the Depression

    Women in the Workforce During the Depression
    It was looked down upon for a married woman to hold a job during the depression because this was seen as taking this job from a man. Many women left the workforce so there were more jobs for unemployed men to take. The female unemployment rate was above twenty percent. Unemployed women also took lower paying jobs. But despite this setback, many women married and unmarried wtill took jobs during the Depression and this led to a larger female workforce.
  • Frances Perkins

    Frances Perkins
    In 1933, Roosevelt appointed Frances Perkins as the first female cabinet member. This reflected not only Roosevelt's ideas of equality, but also the progress of women in official positions.
  • Women in the Movies

    Women in the Movies
    Movies during the Depression often told the ususal story of a domestic life for women, but there were a few movies that began to push the envelope in terms of the role of women. Actresses like Mae West, Katharine Hepburn and Joan Bennett challenged the norm and showed the public that female stereotypes were not always true. Their independent characters set a precedent for women to come.
  • Eleanor Roosevelt Becomes the First Lady

    Eleanor Roosevelt Becomes the First Lady
    Eleanor Roosevelt, FDR's wife greatly expanded the position of First Lady. Mrs. Roosevelt had no official duties, but this did not stop her from having her own agenda and becoming involved in issues independent of what her husband worried about. She was not afraid to advise the president and give her own opinions where previous women had stayed away from political issues. She also greatly helped FDR when he was confined to a wheelchair.
  • Dorothea Lange

    Dorothea  Lange
    Dorothea Lange was a Depression Era photographer. She documented the life of ordinary people and farmers, those stuggling under the difficulties of the Depression. Her most famous shot "Migrant Mother" gained her recognition and represented the mood and people of the time period.
  • America Mobilizes for War

    America Mobilizes for War
    As America began to prepare itself for the war abroad, the hiring of women and minorities increased rapidly. This also included higher payment and established a certain standard of living for middle class families. Jobs for women included building and mending weapons, aircrafts, and ships. A prime example of this ideal, hard working woman was Rosie the Riveter.
  • Use of Propaganda (Rita Hayworth)

    Use of Propaganda (Rita Hayworth)
    Many Hollywood celebrities used their popularity to gain support and aid for war mobilization. One example is actress Rita Hayworth who "displays her famous legs to urge Americans to donate scrap metals for the manufacture of military equipment."
  • A Change in Style

    A Change in Style
    Women were clad in pants and bandanas as they headed off to factory jobs. While the military emphasized the divide between male and female characteristics, these labor jobs encouraged women to take on the masculine tasks in war defense factories.
  • Women in the Military

    Women in the Military
    Initially, women joined the military as nurses in the Red Cross. Eventually, more than 300,000 joined the armed forces in regular military positions.
  • Women's Army Corps

    Women's Army Corps
    Women's Army Corps created by Public Law 554.
  • Navy's Women Appointed for Voluntary Emergency Service

    Navy's Women Appointed for Voluntary Emergency Service
    WAVES was also significant for giving women jobs other than factory and nurse labor. It proved the extent at which women were equal to men.
  • Women's Airforce Service Pilots

    Women's Airforce Service Pilots
    WASPs was another organization just for women that enabled them to participate in the military sphere of war.
  • Female Employment

    Female Employment
    Female employment peaks in the year of 1941 to a little less than $20 million.
  • Traditional Attitudes Towards Women

    Traditional Attitudes Towards Women
    Unfortunately, and despite the change in scene for women, typical attitudes and discrimination continued throughout the war. Women earned less than 65% of what men earned. In addition, some labor unions required that the females gave up their jobs to men returning from war. At the end of the war, most women returned to their jobs as the primary caretaker of children and the family.
  • Women Return to the Home

    Women Return to the Home
    By the end of the war, women were expected to return to their domestic jobs as caretaker of the house and family.
  • Overall Perspective of Women after War

    Overall Perspective of Women after War
    In the end, women did gain some much needed and deserved respect for their proud and tireless efforts towards the war. It showed the world their capabilities and potential in spheres outside of the home.
  • I Love Lucy

    I Love Lucy
    Lucille Ball stars in I Love Lucy, a different kind of situation comedy featured a female lead and a Cuban husband. This show was ahead of its time and was originally turned down by TV stations for being too out there.
  • The Daughters of Bilitis (DOB)

    The Daughters of Bilitis (DOB)
    The DOB is created and becomes the first organization for lesbian Americans.This provides support for lesbian women who were seen as different in the 1950s.
  • Approval of Birth Control

    Approval of Birth Control
    The FDA approves the use of the birth control pill.
  • Commission on the Status of Women

    Commission on the Status of Women
    The Presidential Commission on the Status of Women was created by John F. Kennedy's executive order 10980 and signed December 14, 1961. Eleanor Roosevelt was the appointed chairwomen.
  • Rachel Carson Writes Silent Spring

    Rachel Carson Writes Silent Spring
    In 1962, Rachel Carson wrote the book Silent Spring documenting the horrible effects of pesticides on mammels. She led the way for a greater understanding of modern ecology.
  • The Feminine Mystique

    The Feminine Mystique
    Betty Friedan publishes The Feminine Mystique, a highly credited book depicting the struggles and dissatisfaction of middle class women at the time.
  • The Equal Pay Act

    The Equal Pay Act
    Congress passed the Equal Pay Act to ensure that women are not paid less thanmen for the same job. This act reduces discrimination against women in the workforce
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

    Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
    The EEOC is established as part of the Civil Rights Act. This act outlawed discrimination based on race or gender and this added portion allows for the investigation of any companies that might be discriminating. This helped women to gain more rights and pay closer to what men made.
  • Griswold v. Connecticutt

    Griswold v. Connecticutt
    In the Supreme Court case Griswold v. Connecticutt, the Connecticutt law that outlawes contraceptives was overturned. The justices decided that this law was unconstitutional because it violated a women's right to birth control and privacy. This was a landmark victory for women having the right to planned pregnancies.
  • National Organization for Women (NOW)

    National Organization for Women (NOW)
    NOW is founded in 1966 by feminist leaders including Betty Friedman to fight for women's rights and to end discrimination in the workfoce. NOW is still around today to ensure that women are treated equally to men.
  • National Organization for Women

    National Organization for Women
    NOW is founded in 1966 by 28 women and men. It was from the ideas of the Commission on the Status of Women. One of the several founders include Betty Friedan.
  • Executive Order 11375

    Executive Order 11375
    Executive Order 11375 was created by President Lyndon Johnson. This ensured that women would be recieving the same educational and job opportunities as men.
  • Against Our Will

    Against Our Will
    American feminist Susan Brownmiller published the landmark book Against Our Will, about rape. She later became one of TIME's "Women of the Year".
  • Taylor v. Louisiana

    Taylor v. Louisiana
    January 21, 1975----In Taylor v. Louisiana, the U.S. Supreme Court held that women could not be excluded from a venire, or jury pool, on the basis of having to register for jury duty.
  • International Conference on Women

    International Conference on Women
    The U.N. sponsored the First International Conference on Women in Mexico City.
  • The United States armed forces opened its military academies to women. Public Law 94-106

    The United States armed forces opened its military academies to women. Public Law 94-106
    The United States armed forces opened its military academies to women.
  • Barbara Charline Jordan

    Barbara Charline Jordan
    Congresswoman Barbara Charline Jordan of Texas. She was the first black person and first woman to address the convention as a keynote speaker, declaring that "My presence here . . . is one additional bit of evidence that the American dream need not forever be deferred."
  • International Women's Day

    International Women's Day
    International Women's Day was formalized as an annual event by the U.N. General Assembly.
  • National Women's Conference

    National Women's Conference
    In the U.S., the first National Women's Conference since the Seneca Falls Convention was held in Houston, Texas. Women from all over the country, 20,000 in all, gathered to pass the National Plan of Action.
  • The Pregnancy Discrimination Act

    The Pregnancy Discrimination Act
    The Pregnancy Discrimination Act banned employment discrimination against pregnant women in the U.S.. A woman cannot be fired or denied a job or a promotion because she is or may become pregnant, nor can she be forced to take a pregnancy leave if she is willing and able to work.
  • ERA

    ERA
    The Equal Rights Amendment's deadline arrived with the ERA still three states short of ratification; there was a successful bill to extend the ERA's deadline to 1982, but it was still not ratified by then.
  • The Second Wave

    The Second Wave
    Second wave feminism begins. This wave was called the "Feminist sex wars" regarding women, pornography, and gender stereotypes.
  • The Violence Against Women Act

    The Violence Against Women Act
    The Violence Against Women Act was passed by Bill Clinton to tighten the punishment on sex offenders.