#WCW: Women in Policy

With the 2020 election just around the corner, history is in the making. In the United States, we have the very first Vice President Democratic Nominee that is a woman of color: Kamala Harris. This exciting step for women, especially women of color in the United States, should remind us of all of the women before us who fought and pioneered for our rights - voting rights, reproductive rights, and basic equality. Here’s a quick timeline of some of the most important women in politics and -- in general -- of our history. 



Susan B. Anthony: 1820 - 1906

Susan B. Anthony began the movement for equality for women. In 1853, she campaigned for women’s property rights, and was a huge supporter of the abolitionist movement. She was passionate about the enfranchisement of women, and helped to create the National American Woman Suffrage Association, alongside Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who was the first president of this association.


Ida B. Wells: 1862-1931

Ida B. Wells was a powerful woman. She was an anti-lynching activist, and spread her messages through journalism. She wrote about Jim Crow laws, as well as disenfranchisement for women and African Americans. People were so appalled that she was willing to speak out against the broken systems that she received death threats from angry white supremacists, both male and female alike. She organized marches for equality her entire life. 


Elizabeth Cady Stanton: 1815-1902

As the first president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, Elizabeth Cady Stanton was fiery and passionate about women’s equality. She was the first woman to run for the United States House of Representatives in 1866. While she did not win, she remained a huge activist for women’s rights the rest of her life. 


Martha Hughes Cannon: 1857-1932

Martha Hughes Cannon was a pioneer in the medical field, and she obtained a degree in pharmacy despite most women being held back from even applying to medical school. As time went on, she became involved in activism and the Democrats of Utah nominated her for the senator seat - and she won! Martha Hughes Cannon was the very first woman state senator in the United States.


Soledad Chacon: 1890 - 1936

Soledad Chacon was a passionate activist for women’s rights, and was the first woman and first Hispanic woman to be elected to an executive office. In New Mexico in 1922, she was elected as the Secretary of State. This was a huge stride for women’s rights.


Constance Baker Motley: 1921-2005

Constance Baker Motley was the first African-American woman elected to the New York State Senate. After serving time there, she was appointed as a federal judge, which was also a first for an African-American woman. She was a huge activist in desegregation and the Civil Rights Movement.


Kathy Kozachenko: 1953 - 

Kathy Kozachenko was the very first openly lesbian woman to run for political office in the United States. She won, and represented a district in Ann Arbor, Michigan. 


Sandra Day O’Connor: 1930 -

Sandra Day O’Connor was the very first woman to sit on the United States Supreme Court. She paved the way for future justices, such as Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She was appointed by Ronald Reagan in 1981, and served until 2006. 


Ruth Bader Ginsburg : 1933 - 2020

Ruth Bader Ginsburg served on the United States Supreme Court from 1993 until her untimely death on September 18th, 2020. She was a pioneer for modern women’s rights, including reproductive rights. She was an advocate her entire life for reinventing the ideas about women in positions of power. 


Hillary Clinton: 1947 - 

Hillary Clinton was the first woman to be nominated by a major party for a presidential election. In 2016, she ran as the Democratic party’s nominee. She ran against Donald Trump, and won the popular vote, but because of the electoral college she did not win the election.


Kamala Harris: 1964 - 

Kamala Harris is the first woman of color to be nominated and third woman to be picked to be a Vice President running mate. After serving as a state Senator from California and running for president, her nomination for vice president is a historic event for women of color all across the United States.