American women gained the right to vote in 1920, with the adoption of the 19th Amendment and its ban on denying women the right to vote on the basis of sex.
But the road to women’s suffrage actually started some 70 years earlier, on two hot and humid days in July 1848, with the Seneca Falls Convention. That historic meeting brought together women – and men – who believed that equality between the sexes is a critical element of the American experiment. And a key tenet of their shared goals was the right to vote.
A simple idea today, but radical then.
And in the 100 years that followed the Seneca Falls Convention came a flowering of organizations—ranging from the Links, the League of Women Voters to The Junior League to the Girl Scouts—designed to ensure that women’s (and girl’s) talents would not be ignored.
Today, the achievements of remarkable American women can be seen in the National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls or the National Women’s History Museum (with its goal of building a Museum on the National Mall in Washington, DC).
*This article was originally published in The Civic Lede, an official publication of The Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc., and has been reprinted with permission. The Civic Lede spotlights notable developments in philanthropy, not-for-profits, women’s interests, voluntarism and leadership, and offers commentary on the issues on which The Junior League has been active for many years.