Women's Suffrage: 100 Years Later

August 18th, 1920—the day that the 19th Amendment which granted women the right to vote was ratified. Here we are now, almost 100 years later. From the time even before the 19th amendment was added to the Constitution until now, it is safe to say that a lot has happened in relation to the women’s suffrage movement since then. (And there is still more to come.) 

The fight for women’s suffrage began even before the 20th century. The most notable start to the movement was in 1848 with the Seneca Falls Convention, a convention held with a specific focus on women’s rights. The movement continued throughout the Civil War and led to the formation of the National American Woman Suffrage Association with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, a name you’ve probably heard before, as the president. From then on, the movement grew continuously. Women wanted power and recognition and they were not going to stop until they got it—and then they did, sort of. The amendment was passed and gender no longer determined who could and could not vote, but this was only the beginning. Unsurprisingly, sexism and the general idea that men were superior to women most certainly did not disappear, but neither did the motivation of women around the world to prove that they deserve praise and respect.

There were many milestones that were hit during the century that has led us to where we are today. Towards the end of the 1900s we slowly, but finally, began to see more women entering the field of politics. Many have probably heard of Sandra Day O’Connor, the first female member of the Supreme Court, or Madeleine Albright, the first woman to become the secretary of state. Fast forward to 2016, when Hilary Clinton became the first woman to receive a presidential nomination from one of the largest political parties. And although Clinton lost (lost the electoral college vote, at least), the fact that she was a presidential nominee at all meant a lot to women in the United States and around the world. Within the four years since then, women have felt encouraged to involve themselves in politics and use their voices to fight for their rights even more. 

The number of women that have voted during a presidential election has been higher than that of men since 1964. Clearly, women are showing up to play their part in trying to elect politicians that will support them, encourage them, and fight for them. The world of politics is one that needs women more than it seems. The milestones that seem rather insignificant may just be the ones that matter the most. One of these political milestones is visible right now, with three out of the twelve members of the Democrat party that are aiming to run against President Trump being women. These kinds of things are the ones that we should be proud of because they show that change is coming. The work is nowhere near being finished just yet, and there is still a lot more to come in terms of representation, justice, and equality for women. But today our focus is on the fact that it has been almost an entire century since women gained the right to vote, and I’m confident that the achievements will just keep on coming. 

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