The Womens' Rights Movement: Politics

By catzore
  • First Women's Rights Convention Held

    About 300 activists gather in Seneca Falls,
    N.Y., to strategize on how to achieve wom-
    en’s suffrage nationwide. Participants,
    including Elizabeth Cady Stanton and
    Lucretia Mott, sign the Declaration of Sen-
    timents and Resolutions, modeled on the
    Declaration of Independence, which calls
    for equal treatment of women and men un-
    der the law and voting rights for women.
  • Period: to


  • Racial Equality Issue SplitsTwo Suffrage Associations

  • Territory of Wyoming GivesWomen the Right to Vote

  • First Woman Nominated for President

    Nominated by the Equal
    Rights Party, Victoria
    Chaflin Woodhull is the
    first woman to run for
    president of the United
    States. But neither she nor
    any other woman is al-
    lowed to vote.
  • Susan B. Anthony Arrestedfor Attempting to Vote

    Susan B. Anthony casts her first
    vote to test whether the 14th
    Amendment would be interpreted
    broadly to guarantee women the
    right to vote. She was arrested
    and tried on June 17-18, 1873, in
    Canandaigua, N.Y., and convict-
    ed of “unlawful voting.”
  • Supreme Court Denies Voting Right to Women

    The Supreme Court decides in Minor v.
    Happersett that a Missouri law limiting the
    right to vote to male citizens is constitu-
    tional. The Court rejects the claim by Vir-
    ginia Minor that the state law deprives her
    of one of the “privileges or immunities” of
    citizenship in violation of the 14th Amend-
    ment. While women are “persons” under
    the 14th Amendment, the Court says, they
    are a special category of “non-voting” citi-
    zens, and states may grant or deny them
    the right to vote.
  • National Association of Colored Women Organized

    Leaders of more than 100 African Ameri-
    can women’s clubs unite to form an orga-
    nization to promote equality for women,
    raise funds for projects that benefit women
    and children and oppose segregation and
    racial violence. In 1935, Mary McLeod
    Bethune will organize the National Coun-
    cil of Negro Women, a coalition of black
    women’s groups that lobbies against job
    discrimination, racism and sexism.
  • The 19th Amendment Is Ratified

    Seventy-two years after the Seneca Falls
    Convention, the 19th Amendment, which
    gives women the right to vote, is ratified.
    Only one person who had signed the con-
    vention’s Declaration of Sentiments and
    Resolutions, Charlotte Woodward, is alive
    and able to exercise her right to vote. The
    amendment reads: “The right of citizens
    of the United States to vote shall not be de-
    nied or abridged by the United States or by
    any state on account of sex.”
  • League of Women Voters Created

    After ratification of the 19th Amendment,
    the League of Women Voters is founded
    to educate women about their right to vote
    and encourage them to exercise it. Today,
    the league promotes greater participation
    in the democratic process and advocates
    on a wide range of public policy issues.
  • First Equal Rights Amendment Introduced

    Alice Paul and the National Woman’s Party
    succeed in having a constitutional amend-
    ment introduced in Congress that says:
    “Men and women shall have equal rights
    throughout the United States and every
    place subject to its jurisdiction.” In 1943,
    it is revised to what is known today as the
    Equal Rights Amendment. The ERA was
    sent to the states for ratification in 1972
    with a seven-year deadline and quickly
    won 22 of the necessary 38 ratifications.
    But the pace slowed as opposition began
    to organi
  • Eleanor Roosevelt Leads Commission on the Status of Women

    President John F. Kennedy establishes the Pres-
    ident’s Commission on the Status of Women
    and appoints Eleanor Roosevelt as chairwom-
    an. Although she dies in 1962, a report is issued
    in 1963 documenting substantial discrimina-
    tion against women in the workplace. It makes
    recommendations for improvement, including
    fair hiring practices, paid maternity leave, and
    affordable child care.
  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Actof 1964 Passed

    Title VII bars employment discrimination
    by private employers, employment agen-
    cies and unions based on race, sex, and
    other grounds. To
    enforce the law,
    the Equal Employ-
    ment Opportunity
    Commission is cre-
    ated. In 1980, the
    that define sexual
    harassment as ille-
    gal sex-based dis-
    crimination under
    Title VII.
  • Civil Rights ProtectionsExtended to Women

    President Lyndon B. Johnson issues
    Executive Order 11375, which expands
    affirmative action policies of 1965 to
    cover discrimination based on sex. As a
    result, federal agencies and contractors
    must take active measures to ensure that
    women, as well as minorities, have the
    same employment and educational oppor-
    tunities as men.
  • Congress Passes Title IXof the Education Amendments

    The law requires that schools receiving
    federal funds provide equal access to edu-
    cational programs for men and women.
    Among other things, Title IX is credited
    with the explosive growth of sports for
    women and girls at the high school, col-
    legiate and professional levels. The law
    will take effect in 1976 after withstanding
    repeated court challenges.
  • Supreme Court Establishes Abortion Right

    In Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decides
    that a woman has a constitutional right
    to choose whether to have an abortion or
    carry her pregnancy to term, effectively
    nullifying anti-abortion laws in 46 states.
  • Women-Only Branches in U.S. Military Eliminated

    The male-only draft during the Vietnam
    War ends, and women are integrated into
    all branches of the U.S. military as they
    become all-volunteer forces. In 1976,
    U.S. military academies will be required
    to admit women. Over the years, military
    policy that prevented women from combat
    assignments will ease. In the Afghanistan
    and Iraq wars, women will
    become more fully involved
    on the battlefield.