5 Women Of The Past Who Women Can Thank Today
Image Credits: Greta Page-Mann
Today, women in America have the freedom to live the life we choose. This liberty did not come without the hard work and sacrifice of countless women who fought for our equal rights. Here are just five of many women who women today have to thank.
1) Susan B. Anthony
Susan B. Anthony grew up in a family of activists, and she was no exception. She became active in temperance, however, was not allowed to speak at rallies because she was a woman. This inequality motivated her to join the women’s rights movement in 1852, and soon after, dedicated her life to fight for women’s suffrage. She created the and produced a weekly publication that lobbied for women’s rights titled The Revolution along with founding the National Woman Suffrage Association. Anthony gave speeches around the country to convince others to support women’s suffrage and published the first volume of History of Woman Suffrage alongside several other women.
2) Alice Paul
As a well-educated woman who received her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, Alice Paul was determined to change laws to earn equal rights for women. Paul joined the National Woman’s Party, and after the 19th Amendment passed giving women the right to vote, she did not stop there. In 1923, she introduced the first Equal Rights Amendment to Congress. Later, she worked on a civil rights bill along with fair employment practices.
3) Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Elizabeth Cady Stanton, along with other women, held the Seneca Falls Convention, where attendees drafted the “Declaration of Sentiments”, proposing the right for women to vote. She became one of the leading women in the movement, fighting for other rights such as divorce. During the Civil War, she focused on abolishing slavery. Stanton worked alongside Susan B. Anthony on a weekly militant paper, the Revolution, and later created the National Woman Suffrage Association in 1869. She combined the organization with the National American Woman Suffrage Association, serving as president for several years. Stanton often traveled to give lectures and speeches along with calling for a constitutional amendment to give women the right to vote. She worked alongside Anthony to publish the first three volumes of the History of Woman Suffrage.
4) Lucy Stone
As the first woman from Massachusetts to earn a bachelor’s degree, Lucy Stone was an avid voice for anti-slavery and the women’s rights movement. In 1850, she assembled the first national Women’s Rights Convention, which served as a significant event for women everywhere. Stone served as a leader and her speech at the convention was printed in newspapers around the nation. Following this speech, Stone traveled throughout North America to speak about women’s rights.
5) Ida B. Wells
While Ida B. Wells was born into slavery, she undoubtedly dedicated her life to fighting for equal rights – both for women and African-Americans. As an owner of the Memphis Free Speech and Headlight, and a school teacher in a segregated public school, she served as a voice for equality. Wells initiated civil rights organizations, forming the National Association of Colored Women. Along working with the National Equal Rights League, Wells called on President Woodrow Wilson to stop discriminatory hiring practices for government jobs. She also fought for women’s suffrage and established the first African-American kindergarten in her community. In 1930, she made an unsuccessful big for state senate; although it was unsuccessful, it did not go unnoticed.
These women dedicated their lives to fighting for equality and the freedom that women in America enjoy today. We would not have the ability to achieve our hopes and dreams without these five women, and many others who fought on the front lines of equality. Although we do not live day-to-day thinking about what these women went through, we should do our part in recognizing and thanking those who did not give up on fighting for women’s rights, and are still fighting for women’s rights around the world today.
FFL Cabinet Member
Jennifer Duplessie is a junior at Texas A&M University studying political science and communications. When she is not cramming for class in the library, she enjoys iced coffee, her over-sized Kate Spade agenda, yoga, and Fightin' Texas Aggie football.