“The right of citizens of the United States to vote
shall not be denied or abridged by the United States
or by any State on account of sex.
Congress shall have power to enforce
this article by appropriate legislation.”
19th Amendment to the United States Constitution
A major advance in Women’s Voice in the United States of America came on August 18, 1920, with the ratification of the 19th amendment to the Constitution finally granting women the right to vote. From the founding of our country until 1920, women’s voice was suppressed by denying our participation in local, state and federal elections. So it is with great pride, each of us women, steps into the voting booth to cast our ballot today.
The final push toward gaining our full women’s right to vote began in 1848 at a women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York. We owe our gratitude to convention organizers Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902) and Lucretia Mott (1793-1880). There were almost 200 women in attendance at this convention. Elizabeth and Lucretia had attended the 1840 World Anti-Slavery Convention in London, but, as women, were barred from participating on the convention floor. This was the impetus for their call to other women including Martha Wright, Mary Ann McClintock and Jane Hunt to hold the convention to discuss social, civil, and religious conditions and rights of Women. Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s, “Declaration of Sentiments and Grievances,” was modeled after the Declaration of Independence declaring in its preamble, “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights…”
After this convention, the issue of women’s right to vote became primary to the women’s rights movement. (Other issues at the time, that we now take for granted, included married women getting the right to own property and having legal claim to any money women earned.) Stanton and Mott were joined by Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906) and others, forming organizations that raised public consciousness and lobbied for voting rights for women.
It took 72 years of struggle by many heroines to finally get our women’s voice heard! With heartfelt gratitude and thanks to them, we VOTE today!
for The Interfaith Peace Project