Women Have LimitedProperty RightsThe colonies adopt the English system of
property ownership for married women,
meaning women cannot own property in
their own name or keep their own earnings.
By 1900, every state will have passed legislation
modeled after New York’s Married
Women’s Property Act (1848), which
grants married women the right to keep
their own wages and to own property in
their own name
first high school for girls open
racial equality splits groupDisagreements over the 13th, 14th and 15th
Amendments and the relationship between
women’s suffrage and the movement for
racial equality divide the women’s rights
movement between two organizations: the
National Woman Suffrage Association and
the American Woman Suffrage Association.
The rivals will merge in 1890 to form
the National American Women’s Suffrage
equal par for equal workThe National Labor Union, one of the
nation’s first organized labor advocacy
groups, pushes for equal pay for equal
work, the concept that a woman must be
paid the same as a man for doing the same
or equivalent job with the same qualifications.
first woman to be dominated for presidentnominated 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 allowed
Supreme Court Denies VotingRight to WomenThe Supreme Court decides in Minor v.
Happersett that a Missouri law limiting the
right to vote to male citizens is constitutional.
The Court rejects the claim by Virginia
Minor that the state law deprives her
of one of the “privileges or immunities” of
citizenship in violation of the 14th Amendment.
While women are “persons” under
the 14th Amendment, the Court says, they
are a special category of “non-voting” citizens,
and states may grant or deny them
the right to vote.
Eleanor Roosevelt LeadsCommission on the Status of WomenPresident John F. Kennedy establishes the President’s
Commission on the Status of Women
and appoints Eleanor Roosevelt as chairwoman.
Although she dies in 1962, a report is issued
in 1963 documenting substantial discrimination
against women in the workplace. It makes
recommendations for improvement, including
fair hiring practices, paid maternity leave, and
affordable child care
Equal Pay Act BecomesFederal LawFirst proposed 20 years earlier, the law
says employers must give equal pay for
men and women performing the same job
duties regardless of the race, color, religion,
national origin or sex of the worker.
Women-Only Branches inU.S. Military EliminatedThe 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.