You are here

Women: Present

Women fought for 80 years to gain the vote. Finally, in 1920 the 19th Amendment was ratified to do just that. Previously, white male lawmakers had created laws that reinforced the perception that women were the property of their husbands rather than individuals with rights, which included the right to participate in government.

Unfortunately, the movement that demanded a voice in politics was not always inclusive. Black women played instrumental roles, but the campaigns that received the most attention and support from legislators were primarily led by and for white middle-class women. Racism and classism still remain significant barriers to a cohesive feminist movement.

Women today — particularly women of color — earn less outside the home and have more child-care responsibilities than men. Women are also more likely to live in poverty and to have less access to reliable transportation. Women are more likely than men to face barriers to voting.

Against these odds, women still turn out to vote at higher numbers than men.