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A Timeline of Women’s Voting Rights

2020 marks an important year for women voting in the United States. Along with an election, it’s a century after the passage of the 19th Amendment. But just as women’s voting rights weren’t always the law of the land, neither was their disenfranchisement.

As we look below at the history of hard-won advances towards gender equity in the U.S., we also remember that in many parts of the world, women’s rights are in danger.

Disenfranchisement is a reality for many. Transforming that reality will mean advocating and allying with women working towards ensuring everywoman's voice is heard and valued.

Commit now to using your power to change the world to make it more equal, peaceful, and prosperous for women everywhere.

A Timeline of Women's Voting Rights
They Didn’t “Remember the Ladies”   1776 – As the colonies become the United States of America, women who meet the necessary requirements can vote in Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire, and New Jersey. Abigail Adams writes her husband, John Adams, to “Remember the Ladies” and of the importance of women’s representation and rights for the new American government.    1787 – All states except for New Jersey deny voting rights to women.
1807 – Women across the U.S. lose the right to vote.    1820-30 – Men dominate the public sphere and restrict women’s rights in voting, owning property, and earning income.
The Sparks of Suffrage   1840s – The fight for women’s suffrage begins.   1848 – The Seneca Falls Convention becomes the Inaugural Women’s Rights Convention, and is met with controversy. Elizabeth Cady Stanton drafts and shares the Declaration of Rights and Sentiments, calling for women’s equality and the right to vote.
1851 Men disrupt the Ohio Women’s Rights Convention. Sojourner Truth delivers her speech, “Ain’t I a Woman?” addressing opposition. 1878 An amendment for women's suffrage is introduced in Congress.  1916-1917 – The Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage embarks on protests and hunger strikes. 33 women are arrested, beaten, and terrorized on November 4, 1917 for picketing. On November 7, Jeanette Rankin of Montana becomes the first woman elected to Congress.
The Road to Voting Equity   1918 – President Woodrow Wilson changes his previous stance to support the women’s suffrage movement. The U.S. House of Representatives pass the 19th Amendment, but it fails to reach 2/3 of the vote in the U.S. Senate.   1920 – A century and a half after the founding of the U.S., the 19th Amendment passes: Women citizens in the U.S. gain the right to vote on August 26, 1920 — but many Black and indigenous women are denied this right.
1924 – The Snyder Act is passed, granting Native Americans citizenship. They are not granted voting rights in the entire US until 1962, when Utah became the last state to grant voting powers.   1965 – The Voting Rights Act is passed, protecting the voting rights of millions of black voters. It’s named one of the greatest achievements from the Civil Rights Movement.

Across the world, women’s voting rights still aren’t secure — but there are women working to change that. 


It’s Still Difficult for Women to Vote   List of Countries:   Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Vatican City, Egypt, Uganda, Afghanistan, Zanzibar, Papua New Guinea   Today – The fight for gender equity and women’s rights continues, in the U.S. and around the world. One way all of us can advance gender equity is by exercising our right to vote!    Another way is to be an ally for women around the world who are still fighting to exercise their own right to vote. Learn about the Change Agents



Hero - Pascalina South Sudan
”Just as ripples spread out when a single pebble is dropped into water, the actions of individuals can have far-reaching effects.” —Dalai Lama