Re­mem­ber­ing the strug­gle: For women’s suf­frage 100 years later

The Dundalk Eagle - - OBITUARIES - By JOHN A. MICKLOS Es­sex Res­i­dent

This Au­gust, 100 years ago, women re­ceived the right to vote na­tion­wide. It was a long and hard strug­gle to gain the right to vote.

Amer­i­can women, long de­nied the right to vote were given that civic re­spon­si­bil­ity on Au­gust 26, 1920, with the adop­tion of the 19th Amend­ment to the U.S. Con­sti­tu­tion. The 19th Amend­ment not only es­tab­lished the right of women to vote na­tion-wide; but in­di­rectly es­tab­lished the right of women to hold pub­lic of­fice.

In ret­ro­spect, the strug­gle to give women the right to vote was long and ar­du­ous. Why? Be­cause the orig­i­nal

U.S. Con­sti­tu­tion (1787) not only failed to men­tion women; fur­ther there is no pro­vi­sion any­where in the con­sti­tu­tion that ap­plies to women as a dis­tinct group.

How­ever, nu­mer­ous women did not al­low the si­lence of the U.S. Con­sti­tu­tion and other road­blocks re­lated to vot­ing to de­ter them. The suf­frage move­ment gained promi­nence with the first women’s rights con­ven­tion at Seneca Falls in 1848.

Although nu­mer­ous women and men worked for pas­sage of an amend­ment to give women the right to vote; the fol­low­ing women de­serve spe­cial recog­ni­tion:

Su­san B. An­thony, El­iz­a­beth Cady Stan­ton and Lu­cre­tia Mott. We dare not for­get-the fearless and fiery Alice Paul who raised her voice in “moral in­dig­na­tion.” She was ar­rested and treated in­hu­manly, be­cause of her protests.

These women, and oth­ers led one of the ma­jor so­cial move­ments of the 19th cen­tury, cul­mi­nat­ing in the pas­sage of the 19th Amend­ment in 1920.

To­gether with oth­ers these women tested the pa­tience of state leg­is­la­tures, chal­lenged bas­tions of male supremacy and more.

Fi­nally, we dare not-for­get-the re­spect and dig­nity owed to all women past and present in their daily strug­gles to make the world a bet­ter place for all.

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