Voting Rights for Women 1920

Before 1920, a handful of states allowed American women full voting rights equal to those of men. Most women, however, were excluded from voting. The woman suffrage movement weathered deep schisms on how full suffrage could best be secured—through the states or through a constitutional amendment. However, by 1916 all major suffrage organizations supported an amendment.

On August 18, 1920—after decades of organizing, petitioning, marching, staging hunger strikes, and holding silent vigils—a three-fourths majority of the states had ratified the 19th Amendment, extending full voting rights to women. Yet full enfranchisement was not a reality, many women remained voteless because of discriminatory laws.