Do you use your power to vote? Have you ever thought that this right was not always a right for women? Women had to protest and fight for this right so that young women today can vote and have a say in who represents the people of our city, state, and country.
The Suffrage Movement, the movement towards women's rights, started geographically in the northeast of the United States. The women there organized the first women's rights convention at Senecca Falls, New York, in 1848.
The Women's Rights movement began dividing after the disappointment of the 14th and 15th amendments, which provided African American men with the right to vote, but women still could not.
One of the women's suffrage groups was the National Women's Suffrage Association (NWSA) led by Elizabeth Candy Staton and Susan B. Anthony, opposing the 15th amendment. This organization focused on federal action for feminist reforms. But there was another organization that was for the 15th amendment. The American Women's Suffrage Association or AWSA was being run by Lucy Stone and others. The AWSA looked more to the grassroots for support while still supporting the 15th amendment. Both of the groups argued that all tax payers had the right to vote regardless of race, creed, or gender.
In 1890 the NWSA and the AWSA finally came together and decided on a common goal, to give the right to vote to women. After long protesting, debating, and communicating with the government, still no new state would give women the right to vote until 1910. Then in 1920 the 19th amendment was added to the United States Constitution, which gives all American women the right to vote.
Because of their right to vote, women could now dream about being involved in politics. A total of twenty-two women have held a cabinet or cabinet-level appointments in the history of our nation. Of all the men who have served as president, only seven have appointed women to their cabinets.
The first women appointed to a presidential cabinet was Frances Perkins. She was selected in 1933 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to head the Department of Labor. In 1997 Aida Ulverez became the first ever Hispanic women to be elected to a cabinet, and Madeleine Albright was the first women to be appointed Secretary of State. These and many other women continue to make a stand for women everywhere.
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