Finding a Voice: Women's Fight for Equality in U.S. Society
Focuses on the women's rights movement in the United States, from the 18th century to the present. Each of the books provide a historical survey of women's rights during a specific time period, profiling major figures & discussing their accomplishments and their importance in American history.
Senior Consulting Editor: A. Page Harrington, Executive Director of the Sewall-Belmont House & Museum, on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
The Sewall-Belmont House celebrates women's progress toward equality--and explores the evolving role of women and their contributions to society--through educational programs, tours, exhibits, research, and publications. The historic National Woman's Party (NWP), a leader in the campaign for equal rights and women's suffrage, owns, maintains, and interprets the Sewall-Belmont House and Museum. One of the premier women's history sites in the country, this National Historic Landmark houses an extensive collection of suffrage banners, archives, and artifacts documenting the continuing effort by women and men of all races, religions, and backgrounds to win voting rights and equality for women under the law. The Sewall-Belmont House and Museum and the National Woman's Party are committed to preserving the legacy of Alice Paul, founder of the NWP and author of the Equal Rights Amendment, and telling the untold stories for the benefit of scholars, current and future generations of Americans, and all the world's citizens.
"Though aimed at the middle grades, each volume includes further resources for both younger and older readers, making the series a suitable purchase for high school libraries as well, especially where students need introductory information."
"The condensed history is very readable, and the historic photographs that capture the mood of events are eye-catching."
"The value of remembering the names and faces of women who fought for their modern day equality is at the very core of this book." "...an excellent resource for the researcher." "The seven chapters are well-organized with interesting Fast Facts and sidebars that keep the reader's attention."
In early America, married women had no rights under law. They belonged to their husbands. Their voices were not heard in public. But with the War of Independence, women found a voice as patriots. They supported the rebellion with boycotts. During wartime, women spied on the enemy. They served as messengers. They tended the wounded. Some even served as soldiers. Women performed daring feats of bravery. And they proved they were capable of doing much more than 18-century society allowed them.
Some women called for change. Abigail Adams asked that the laws of the new nation recognize legal and educational rights for women. Judith Sargent Murray called for educational reform.
It would take several more decades before women took up the cause for their legal, educational, and political rights. But leaders of the movement would be able to look to 18th-century American women for inspiration.
It was women who first picketed the White House for a political cause. In 1917, they held banners and signs calling for suffrage for women. They wanted the right to vote.
These suffragists were continuing a protest that had begun in 1848. Elizabeth Cady Stanton helped found the suffrage movement. Her friend Susan B. Anthony shaped it. They would both live long enough to see women gain the vote in a few states. But it would take another generation to finish the campaign. Among those activists were Carrie Chapman Catt, who took a disciplined and moderate approach, and Alice Paul, whose confrontational style led to picketing the White House.
The fight to achieve the vote was long and hard. Suffragists followed both moderate and militant paths. But they shared the belief that women were citizens of the United States. And that meant they had a right to vote.
It took decades, and a Constitutional amendment, for all American women to get the right to vote. But the legal right to vote did not guarantee equality under the law. Suffrage leader Alice Paul believed another amendment was needed. In 1923, she wrote the Equal Rights Amendment. It was introduced in Congress. And the national debate over the ERA began.
The major principle of the Equal Rights Amendment is that gender should not determine any legal rights of citizens. Supporters believed the ERA would keep women from being denied equal rights under federal, state, or local law. The ERA had many opponents in the 1920s. And it had even more in the 1970s, after Congress passed the measure. Although it failed to pass by its 1982 ratification deadline, some people believe the ERA is still alive. They are continuing the effort to put equality for women in the U.S. Constitution.
For American women, the struggle to win equality has been long and difficult. And the struggle continues. But incredible progress has been made. Much of the credit goes to feminists who refused to accept second-class status because of their gender.
This book examines the three historical waves of the American feminist movement. It details the goals and achievements of each wave. It also profiles some of the pioneering women who shattered stereotypes and found success through talent, hard work, and determination.
"You should be happy being a wife and mother!" This was the message American women heard constantly until the early 1960s. But growing numbers of women felt that being a wife and mother was not fulfilling or stimulating enough. Something had to change. Women like Betty Freidan, Martha Griffiths, Pauli Murray, Esther Peterson, Gloria Steinem, Frances Beal, and Bella Abzug dedicated themselves to securing equal rights and opportunities for women in the workplace, in education, and under the law.
The work of those involved with what became known as the "women's liberation movement" in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s permanently changed attitudes in American society.
The Second World War changed how the United States saw women's roles. Not only could women work, they could do work that men did. They could work in homes and hospitals, but they could also work in offices and factories. They could sew and cook, but they could also weld and rivet. As American men went to fight the war, American women even followed them into the service. They formed the WAC, the WAVES, and other women's groups to help win the war.
"Women Go to Work 1941--1945" is the story of the women of World War II. Whether they stayed home and wrote letters while they tried to keep the farm going, or they marched off to the factory to make airplanes and bullets, their lives changed. They had to change because the world around them was changing, and they had to meet the challenge.
African-American women played a major role in bringing about social change during the civil rights movement. They participated in sit-ins and marches. They helped plan demonstrations and boycotts. And they were arrested for civil disobedience. Many women worked behind the scene, helping to organize protest efforts.
Some women took on leadership roles. One was NAACP activist Rosa Parks, who is best known for inspiring the Montgomery bus boycott. She worked alongside Ella Baker, who later helped organize the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). SNCC founding member Diane Nash directed sit-ins and Freedom Rides. Fannie Lou Hamer took on the political machine of Mississippi in a demand for black voter representation. These women and many others of the civil rights movement helped ensure that the United States government guaranteed equal rights for all Americans, black and white.
The story of the women's suffrage movement in the American West is one of expansion, courage, and struggle. It begins in 1869, when Wyoming Territory recognized full and equal voting rights for a population of just 1,000 women.
As the demand for equality spread throughout the country, the West became a symbol of the equality and opportunity women sought. Discover what drove the women's rights movement in the West, and how the battles women fought on the frontiers of America made them pioneers not only of geography, but also of history.
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