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Women's Rights Timeline
Transcript of Women's Rights Timeline
Women Have Limited Property Rights
The colonies adopt the English system of property ownership for married woman, meaning women cannot own property in their own name or keep their own earnings.
First Women's Rights Convention Held
About 300 activists gather in Seneca
Falls, N.Y., to strategize on how to
achieve women's suffrage worldwide.
Participants, including Elizabeth Cady
Stanton and Lucretia Mott, sign the
Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions, modeled after the Declaration
of Independence, which calls for equal
treatment of women and men under the law and voting rights for women.
Territory of Wyoming Gives Women the Right to Vote
The Territory of Wyoming passes the first law in the nation giving women over 21 the
right to vote. After joining the Union in 1890, Wyoming becomes the first state to permit women the right to vote in all elections, although in 1887, Kansas allowed women to vote municipal elections.
National Labor Union Backs Equal Pay for Equal Pay
The National Labor Union, one of the nation's first organized labor advocacy groups, pushes for equal pay for equal pay, the concept that a woman must be paid the same as a man for doing the same or equivalent job with the same qualifications.
Susan B. Anthony Arrested for Attempting to Vote
Susan B. Anthony casts her first vote to test whether the 14th Amendment would be interpreted broadly to guarantee women the right to vote. She was arrested and tried on June 17-18, 1873, in Canandaigua, N.Y., and convicted of "unlawful voting."
Supreme Court Denies Voting Right to Women
The Supreme Court decides in Minor vs. Happersett that a Missouri law limiting the right to vote to male citizens is constitutional. The Court rejects the claim by Virginia Minor that the state law deprives her of one of the "privileges or immunities" of citizenship in violation of the 14th amendment. While women are "persons" under the 14th amendment, the Court says, they are a special categoryof "non-voting" citizens, and statesmay grant of deny them the right to vote.
Women's Trade Union League is Established
This national labor group is created to unionize working women and advocate for improved wages and working conditions for women. Its leaders will go on to form the International Ladies' Garment workers' union.
The 19th Amendment is Ratified
Seventy-two years after the Seneca Falls Convention, the 19th Amendment, which gives women the right to vote is ratified. The amendment reads: "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex."
League of Women Voters Created
After ratification of the 19th Amendment, the League of Women Voters is founded to educate women about the right to vote and encourage them to exercise it.
First Equal Rights Amendment introduced
Alice Paul and the National Women's Party
succeed in having a constitutional amendment introduced in Congress that says: "Men and women shall have equal rights throughout the United States and every subject to its jurisdiction."
Eleanor Roosevelt Leads Commision on the Status of Women
President John F. Kennedy establishes the President's Commission on the status of women and appoints Eleanor Roosevelt as chairwoman. Although she died in 1962, a report is issued in 1963 documenting substantial discrimination against women in the workplace. It makes recommendations for improvement, including fair hiring practices, paid maternity leave, and affordable child care.
Equal Pay Act Becomes Federal Law
First proposed 20 years earlier, the law says employers must give equal pay for men and women performing the same job duties regardless of the race, color, religion, national origin or sex of the worker.
Supreme Court Issues Ruling on Contraceptives
In Griswold v. Connecticut, the Supreme Court legalizes the use of contraceptives by married couples. Margaret Sanger, a feminist and family planning activities, advocated legalization of contraceptives in 1914.
Congress Passes Title IX of the Education Amendments
The law requires that schools receiving federal funds provide equal access to educational programs for men and women. Among other things, Title IX is credited with the explosive growth of sports for women and girls high school, legiate and proffesional levels.
Supreme Court Establishes Abortion Right
In Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decides that a woman had a constitutional right to choose whether to have an abortion or carry her pregnancy to term, effectively nullifying anti-abortion laws in 46 states.
Women-Only Branches in U.S. Military Eliminated
The male-only draft during the Vietnam War ends, and women are integrated into all branches of the U.S. military as they become all-voluntary forces. In 1976, U.S. military academies will be required to admit women.
Employment Discrimination against Pregnant women banned
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act ensures
that employment discrimination on account of pregnancy is treated as unlawful sex-based discrimination. As a result, employers cannot question potential hires about their plans to have children and have to extend benefits equally.
Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act Signed into law
New federal law expands workers' right to sue for pay discrimination and relaxes the statute of limitations on such suits after Lilly Ledbetter sues against Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. against pay discrimination. But Courts threw out case after claiming that she should have filed her case within 180 days when Goodyear was paid less that peers.