Whether it is with family or friends or at my second home, the library, I am graced to be surrounded by smart and effective women. Even in an eventful election year, I take for granted the right to vote as I consider which candidates or initiatives to support. Writing this blog post allowed me the time to stop and think about the fact that it’s been less than 100 years since women achieved voting rights in the United States. Growing out of the abolitionist movement to end slavery, Women’s Suffrage (meaning the right to vote in political elections) spanned from about 1848 to 1920. Leaders like Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Lucretia Mott, and Sojourner Truth, among others, worked to achieve the legal right to vote (Higgins, 2016). Passed by Congress June 4, 1919, and ratified on August 18, 1920, the 19th amendment granted women the right to vote.
The Suffrage movement was the impetus for other Feminist movements that followed. We as a nation have made tremendous progress yet we still struggle with pay equity, the leadership gap, lack of paid family leave, and issues regarding body image and the objectification of women. My focus at the library is to improve access to information for youth and their families. Click on these links to learn more about Women's History Month and to find books for kids, tweens, and teens on Women’s Suffrage and the Feminist movements.