The Modern Day Women’s Movement and the Ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment


The 19th amendment enacted in 1920, stated that the United States or individual states could not deny its citizens the right to vote due to gender. This amendment gave equal voting chances to both women and men. This meant that one could not be denied the right to vote based on their gender. Consequently, women could enroll in any career and expand their education. Many of them enrolled in science, law, and medicine fields. Further, they were free to choose their dressing without any victimization. Apparently, the amendment was not about voting only, but aided in giving women the ability to improve their individual lives.

The amendment came to the Senate in 1918 despite Susan B Anthony having submitted it by the beginning of1875. The Senate approved the amendment and sent it back to the state for ratification. The woman’s suffrage movement dates back to mid 19th century.  Founded by a woman, it had an active role in politics through the temperance and the abolitionist movement. Today, women commemorate women’s equality day after the certification of the 19th amendment on October 26, 1920. The constitutional amendment passed by Congress gave US women the right to vote. Millions of women got affirmation of their citizenship whereby they gain a mechanism to empower their communities’, families and themselves.

Importance of the 19th amendment

The amendment was a pivot that played a role in enhancing women’s reproductive rights and ushered a new voting population, which would finally legalize abortion and contraceptives. Women experienced economic progress due to increased availability of family planning and avenues, which allowed them to join professional occupations. Even though the amendment was for all women, African American women worked hard to address both gender and race in all parts of the country. African American suffragists believed that voting was a mechanism aimed at protecting their citizenship, which would promote racial equality in the American society. Before achieving the suffrage, state laws prevented women from serving on juries, voting in elections, signing contracts, inheriting and owning property. Wages were menial while job opportunities for women who worked outside their homes were scarce in the service industry. Women were encouraged to marry to ensure economic security. Besides, bearing children was considered a duty in the marital contract.

The amendment enhanced women to be close to equality in all aspects of American life. At the time, women advocated for fair wages, sex education, education, birth control, and job opportunities. After the ratification, women candidates got the opportunity to be elected. Most of them became advocates for divorce and inheritance laws that could allow them to have economic security. The women took advantage of the right to vote and eventually run for public offices leading to improvement in government affairs and their lives. Voting ensured women’s reproductive and economic progress. Indeed, during the first years after the amendment was passed, federal courts undermined provisions on contraception. In 1960, food and drug administration approved a bill which allowed couples and women to plan for the number of children they wanted. The second wave of woman’s movement was in early 1970 where they advocated for reproductive health policy.

After the amendment, the American society witnessed availability of family planning services where women delayed marriage and graduated from higher education. This increased their ability to work for an extended period, which provided more opportunities for upward mobility and promotions. Women could access increased earning, which improved their living standards.

The women would help in electing progressive policymakers who would be instrumental in enacting policies beneficial to them. Policies such as the ones adopted between 1920 and 1956 were essential in improving their economic circumstances and reproductive health. The society witnessed delayed childbearing among women, and this was linked to education. Additionally, there was an extension of working periods which increases their retirement benefits.

Political impact

After passing of the Nineteenth Amendment, many advocates of equal voting rights persuaded women to engage in politics to maximize their new-found freedom. This saw majority women becoming involved in republican and democratic parties. Additionally, women voters leagues and the nonpartisan groups were established. Republican and Democratic leaders provided a way for the woman to take a position within their organization. During that period, women got elected to political offices, including the House of Representatives. Women recorded success in state-level politics, such as serving as secretary of education or secretary to state. Although many were in state administration positions, they made a considerable impact through the political office.

Social impact

After the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, several women-led campaigns resulted in the expansion of social policies which were established during the progressive era. Fourteen women right movements joined forces and created the Women Joint Congressional committee. This lobby group fought for national level social welfare legislation. It managed to establish the mother’s pension to cater for poor women with children and industrial reforms such as child labor laws. Additionally, the Sheppard Tower Act was created to provide funds to the state. The suffrages were essential since they empowered African American women as well as lifting their community. The concern coming from African Americans was that they were worried about being discriminated on account of race and gender, unlike the white women. In 1920 and 1930, black women wanted individual control over one’s fertility. Besides, they resisted private and government-funded anti-naturist campaigns on population control. Their leaders believed that the amendment would help the African American community in fighting for economic and racial equality.

The challenges women face today, even after passing of the 19th amendment Act

Women, both in America and across the world are under assault from conservatives who threaten to restrict contraceptives and abortion rights. Despite the struggle they experienced, women have continued to face obstacles in attaining their goal, which is the quest for equality. One dominant issue women are facing today is men who continue to use sexism to intimidate them. Men have powers, which prevent women from climbing up on a phallic plinth. Several avenues have affected women’s quest for equality. These include division of labor.

The society has entrenched the idea that housework and childcare belong to women even when they are in professional careers. In fact, women have continued to engage in housework, unlike their male counterparts. The media has also perpetuated unhelpful stereotyping on women. Indeed, the media views women who are in politics differently compared to their male colleagues. The glass ceiling is another factor that has led to gender inequality. Men prevent women from accessing particular position in organizations. It is likely that after childbearing, women don’t progress upward in their career. Another big challenge faced by women is in on economic empowerment and political participation. No country is being spared since even the advanced ones have seen women who are elected as prime ministers and presidents being subject to comments and sexist jokes. There are also gaps in salaries in addition to having fewer women in business position and significant politics. Female quota in politics and business is relatively common. Until today, only three women are president all over the world.

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Women continue to face social inequality as witnessed by the national statistics office. Those holding full-time careers are less than men. Black women continue to face health disparities and record high mortality rate than white women. These incidences are depressing and show issues that create a disadvantage among women. Many of them are facing domestic violence daily where they are killed by either their male counterpart or former partners. They are the most significant target of domestic violence, such as rape. They are denied necessary pay equity. Every day there are new stories of gender discrimination which threatens women in the workplace, their families and faces healthcare equality challenges. Although there is affordable care aimed at rectifying the disparities, some insurance companies are charging more on women subject to their gender. Sometimes they are denied access to birth control methods and restriction on accessing abortion. This means that they do not have a total guarantee to control their bodies.

In reality, there is conservation regarding women and men’s roles. In the American policies, there is a lot of controversy regarding voting right, which has formed the long battle over racial prejudice. Many black people are barred or intimidated from voting via discriminatory practice or other legal restrictions. Despite the 19th amendment, which gives voting power to all citizens, in some places, people are being barred from voting, especially in the south. Records have shown that some have either been jailed or attacked in their attempt to prove defiance or trying to advocate for system changes. This is contrary to what is provided in the 19th amendment.

The modern day women’s movement and its achievements

The modern day’s woman’s movement is striving to end violence and discrimination against women via political-legal and social change. It has become the most influential social movement in the modern western world.  Its primary focus is ending gender inequality in workplaces, politics, and law and society at large. The movement gained muscles after the establishment of a royal commission on the status of women in 1970. Through lobbying, this movement has brought a variety of social reforms. These reforms include pension benefits, daycare pay equity, affirmative action, sexual violence, reproductive rights among others. The movement has many groups operating at bureaucratic and community levels. These groups include women’s union groups, status of woman council, rural women’s group, native women’s groups among others.

The movement in its early days brought women from different ages and backgrounds to analyze and discuss their lives. These women also uncovered the problems they faced and shared with other women in the society. Some women’s centers provided a different service to women such as counseling, community education, health programs and support services for women in crisis. Changes were witnessed in universities thanks to the women’s movements.  Students could minor in women’s studies program being an interdisciplinary course, which helped them to understand gender and women in all areas of society. These areas are science, religion, mass media, and politics.

The movements have continued with their efforts to bring changes in the society. They pushed for acts such as anti-discrimination, which changed the wording in various legislations to protect women and other group’s rights. A significant step that the movement has witnessed is passing laws which recognize the division of property equally after divorce or separation. The legislation goes ahead to guarantee widowed men and women of inheriting matrimonial homes. Women are also encouraged to run for political positions by the movements. Several initiatives have been established by the movements such as mentoring programs which have helped the female candidate in organizing campaigns ranging from elections in education, health, government office and economic development boards. These networks have played a vital role in identifying and encouraging potential women candidate to run for office.

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The movement has transformed how female and male genders view themselves. There is a new wave of women demanding equal pay similar to their male counterpart without the feeling of intimidation. Perception regarding women has changed, and now they can hold a superior position in economic, political, religious and social platforms. Through these movements, women have access to job and education opportunities which puts them at the same level with men. This has paved the way for improvement in their social standing. Additionally, they have led to the promotion of women to seek a college education and pursue higher standards of living.

Even though the modern day women’s movements have made a considerable stride, there are many issues which have emerged and need their attention. The movement should focus on equality for all and not for a few individuals. They should include all women by action and not mere talking. The movement needs to think outside the American white box and focus on challenges in developing countries. They should fight for equal opportunities for both white and black women. The movement needs to integrate women from all races so that it can efficiently achieve its goals. It is worth noting that the women activists did not end after the signing of the amendment. All through 1920, they started focusing on equal right legislation and advancement of women in politics. Further, they advocated for social welfare policies. Even though all their goals were not attained, women works have led to the expansion of their right after several years.

Impact of 19th amendment in today’s American society

It is now ninety-seven years after 19th amendment ratification which saw American women acquire voting right. This fight has continued to progress each year. Women activists have given majority women an avenue to make their voices heard and thus changed issues regarding inequality in the political system. The 19th amendment has impacted today’s society in various ways. Every year women commemorate August 26, which is a unique moment in their lives. August 26 marks the women’s equality day, which offers women opportunity to look back at the American society and the farther they have come in fighting for their rights. They reckon the stride made and what awaits them in the future.

Most women have been vocal in the political arena, and many have expressed their wishes to join active politics. Leaders have been bold when campaigning for their rights thanks to the 19th amendment. Besides, more and more women’s issues are dominating headlines in the media. Women of color have been vocal in advocating for social equality in the democratic processes. Apparently, that female voice in the media encourages civic participation as women try to reclaim their country. Due to the19th amendments, new women’s movements have emerged which are an inspiration to grassroots activism. Female are working in the society and have witnessed the significant victory. These achievements have been recorded as they join Congress, engage inequality issues and health care bill among others. Indeed, women across America are getting involved in politics in addition to their voices being heard at every government level.

Many opportunities have emerged which encourage women to achieve economic and political prominence. Many individuals are fighting to ensure that elections are fair, free and transparent as possible. American society has a lot, which can’t be told by any country. Even though the country has achieved a lot, it has some miles to go. Nevertheles, every boy and girl in America understand the role played by women in building the country. This inspires them to be trailblazers and history-makers.

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The 19th amendment anniversary coincides with the celebration of the march on Washington. The state has witnessed drastic changes where women have redefined their voting powers by standing against extreme reproductive politics. As women are making an impact on the ballot box in large numbers, some communities face restriction by being silenced by conservatives. The celebration of women’s equality day just like the march to Washington has a significant meaning which all women should embrace. By ensuring that there is the maintenance of voting power among women, it provides an avenue to create strong and healthy families. As they celebrate the day, they mark the struggles that generations of women faced as they fought for equal access to American dream promises. The voting right was a mechanism to enhance equality. They believed that once they achieve political balance, economic and social equality would follow with ease. Since women acquired the right to vote, there has been a continuous push for justice and progress in today’s society. Despite the advocacy, the fact that the hard-fought battle witnessed the reality of inequality still exists. Women should be at the front line in voting for social change. They should vote against individual who deny them the excellent wage and those who don’t rectify sexism in workplaces. Further, they should vote against people who deny them their rights. Much effort is needed to have more women serve in local, state and national levels. Past mothers fought and ensured their voices were heard in ballot boxes. It is up to every woman to ensure that they acquire a seat in decision making tables.

Women of color have remained resilient in congress with their voices being clear. By encouraging women from all background to be in the political ring, it makes women leadership a norm. Progress is recorded by every woman who runs for federal, state or local office. This is the best way of showing a young females that room still exists for them.

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