The Struggle for Equality: Women's History Month, Part 1

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Episode Description:
In this episode, we briefly trace the struggle of women for equal voting rights in the United States.

Script for The Struggle for Equality: Women’s History Month, Part 1

60-Second Civics, Episode 4271: March 1, 2021

The Struggle for Equality: Women’s History Month, Part 1


In the American colonies and in early republic, women did not have basic political and economic rights.

For example, women typically could not vote or hold office.

Women's property rights were limited, too.

Indentured servants and free and enslaved African American women had even fewer rights.

And yet, in the 1800s, women began to organize to demand equal rights.

The first national convention for women's suffrage; that is, the right of women to vote, took place in Seneca Falls in New York in 1848.

But the suffrage movement would ultimately not achieve success until 1920, with the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment, which recognized the right of women to vote.

But there was a catch.

Although in theory the Nineteenth Amendment applied to African American women and women of any ethnicity, discriminatory voting policies in the states meant that women of color were often denied their constitutional right to vote.

This would change only with the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The struggle for full equality continues to this day, particularly in the workplace, with the Me Too movement exposing continuing problems with sexual harassment, and with disparities in pay between men and women, among many other challenges.

This has been 60-Second Civics, a podcast of the Center for Civic Education.


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