Key Moments in the 100-Year Fight for Women to Vote

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Culture & Conversation Human Rights

Key Moments in the 100-Year Fight for Women to Vote

Kate Kelly

Ratification of the 19th Amendment capped a nearly century-long fight that carries on today with the push for the Equal Rights Amendment.

This month marks the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in this country, with Congress ratifying the 19th Amendment and guaranteeing women’s constitutional right to vote on August 18, 1920.

But ratification of the 19th Amendment was hardly a panacea for voting rights, let alone gender equality more generally.

White women are often the public face of the fight to ratify the 19th Amendment, but it was thanks to the work of women of color that the U.S. Constitution would eventually recognize the right of women to vote. Activists like Adelina Otero-Warren, Mary Church Terrell, Mabel Ping-Hua Lee, and Zitkála-Šá were instrumental in the fight for voting rights, yet far too often their names—and their images—are left out of the conversation.

Ratification of the 19th Amendment capped a nearly century-long fight that carries on today with the push for the Equal Rights Amendment, as well as the fight to expand voting access across the country.

This timeline captures the key moments in that fight, including the activists you may not have heard of and the steps it took to march the 19th Amendment from a rallying cry to a constitutional amendment.

Here’s a look back at the push for women’s suffrage.