Women’s Roles in History

From early colonial times through the mid 1800s, the American history has witnessed impressive victories and tragic failures of women in their fight for equal rights. At times, the cultural context defines the roles of women in society and inspires a feeling of liberation, while, in other times, the American cultural conditions made equal rights not only impossible for women, but forbidden. However, all the failures and victories of American women have determined the course to women’s liberation. The Nineteenth Amendment gave women the right to vote. No doubt, it was a glorious victory and a great success for women. Nevertheless, women’s suffrage was not an easy success and prior to becoming an achievement it proved to be a significant failure in the women’s effort toward equal rights.

On August 26, 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment gave women the right to vote officially and legally. The victory came after a 60-year struggle for equal rights in America. Since then, women have earned equality in many other spheres of society including sex, work and earnings. For instance, women nowadays have the right to choose any profession they like and receive the same salary as men. Women’s suffrage was the catalyst for many of the rights that women enjoy today, making this one of the greatest success in American women’s history. Its initial rejection also makes the Nineteenth Amendment one of America’s biggest failures in regard to women’s rights.

In 1918, President Woodrow Wilson declared that suffrage was an urgent need for the war effort. The House of Representatives passed what would later become the Nineteenth Amendment, but it was rejected and defeated by the Senate (as was its second attempt in the following year). Giving the importance to the fact that women’s suffrage has come to play a leading role in terms of the life of each modern American woman, the initial failure of this amendment sounds devastating to the deserving women who fought hard for the democratic right as well as for the future of American women.