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Thank you for “attending” the Women’s
History Month Online Workshop. There is a lot
of great information about various aspects of
the important contributions and
achievements of some dynamic women .
Please familiarize yourself with the
information provided on this PowerPoint, the
information given through the video and be
prepared to take the quiz afterward.
March is…
Women’s History Month
Women’s History Month, now celebrated annually in the United
States, grew out of a weeklong celebration of women’s
contributions to culture, history and society organized by the
school district of Sonoma, California, in 1979. The idea quickly
caught on within communities, schools and organizations across
the country. In 1981, the U.S. Congress made it official, passing a
resolution establishing Women’s History Week. Six years later, the
event was expanded into the entire month of March.
Pictured: Gloria Steinem
Each year, the National Women’s History Project selects a theme that highlights
achievements by distinguished women in specific fields, from medicine and the environment
to art and politics. The 2010 theme, “Writing Women Back into History,” commemorates the
project’s 30th anniversary and recognizes efforts to document women’s accomplishments
and experiences in textbooks and other educational materials.
Women’s History Month coincides with International Women’s Day, which many countries
celebrate every March 8 with demonstrations, educational initiatives and customs such as
offering gifts and flowers. The United Nations has sponsored the holiday since 1975.
1777 - 1784
Abigail Adams is the wife of John
Adams, the second president of
the United States and mother of
John Quincy Adams, the sixth
U.S. president. John and Abigail
enjoy a long and spirited
relationship with extended
periods of written
correspondence while John is
away on government business.
In reference to his work on the
Declaration of Independence,
she writes to remind him that
women “will not hold ourselves
bound by laws which we have
no voice.”
Influential Woman: Sojourner Truth
Former slave Isabella van Wagener
obtains her freedom in 1828 and later
takes the name Sojourner Truth. She
begins to preach against slavery
throughout New York and New England. In
1850, she encounters the women’s rights
movement and incorporates its cause to
In 1851 she delivers her “Ain’t I a
Woman?” speech at the Ohio Women’s
Rights Convention to an enthralled
audience, cementing her reputation as a
dynamic speaker. During the Civil War she
supports black volunteer regiments and is
received by President Abraham Lincoln at
the White House.
Watch actress Cecily Tyson perform “Ain’t
I a Woman?” at the Congressional Tribute
The first woman's rights
convention is held in Seneca Falls,
New York. Attended by 300
people including 40 men.
Discussions range from the
reforming marriage and property
laws to a woman’s right to vote.
In the end, 68 women and 32
men sign a Declaration of
Sentiments calling for equal
treatment of women and men
under law and voting rights for
Influential Woman:
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Elizabeth Cady Stanton, active abolitionist,
becomes an earlier architect of the woman’s
rights and suffrage movements. She forms a
partnership with Susan B. Anthony to promote
the cause of women’s rights. In addition, she
advocates a number of other issues beyond
voting rights such as a woman’s parental and
property rights, employment and income rights,
and divorce laws.
The Declaration of Sentiments, penned at the
Seneca Falls convention by Elizabeth Cady
Stanton in 1848, borrows heavily from the
Declaration of Independence in both language
and purpose with statements such as, "We hold
these truths to be self-evident: that all men and
women are created equal.”
A torrent of condemnation follows the Seneca
Falls Convention from both the press and the
pulpit. Although somewhat uneasy with the
criticism, Elizabeth Cady Stanton feels the press
coverage is beneficial overall as many leading
newspapers publish the full version of the
Declaration of Sentiments.
Influential Woman: Susan B. Anthony
Susan B. Anthony’s Quaker upbringing
influences the role she plays in the 19th
century. She begins her professional life in
teaching, one of only a few jobs open to
women, earning one-fifth the salary of her
male colleagues. Exhausted from 10 years of
teaching, she joins the temperance society
and in 1851 meets Elizabeth Stanton. They
form a life-long personal and professional
relationship. During the Civil War Susan
Anthony works for the emancipation of
slaves and tries to link woman’s suffrage with
freeing the slaves, but without success. She
works all the rest of her life for woman’s
suffrage however, by her death in 1906 only
four states grant suffrage to women. But her
crusade goes on and in 1920 Congress
adopts the 19th Amendment finally giving
American women the right to vote.
In 1869…
The National Woman Suffrage Association
and the American Woman Suffrage
Association, both founded in 1869, were the
main suffrage organizations in the U.S.
during the 19th century. They pursued the
right to vote in different ways, but by 1890
it became necessary to combine efforts to
keep the cause alive.
The newly formed organization, the National
American Woman Suffrage Association
(NAWSA), became the most mainstream and
nationally visible pro-suffrage group. Its
strategy was to push for suffrage at the state
level, believing that state-by-state support
would eventually force the federal
government to pass the amendment.
In 1920…
After over seventy years of
struggle, women are finally
granted the right to vote as
the 19th Amendment is
ratified. With most southern
states against the
Amendment, the vote comes
down to the state of
Tennessee where it passes by
one vote in the Tennessee
house. The deciding vote is
cast by Representative Harry
Burn who carried in his pocket
a letter from his mother
encouraging him to vote for
women’s suffrage.
From 1941-1945
At the outbreak of World War II, American men go off to war in
droves and leave a gaping hole in the workforce needed to build
the tools of war. To meet the demand, government actively
recruits women to fill the gap. Initially, the effort was met with
resistance so the government created a promotion campaign to
sell the public on the idea and recruit able-bodied women into the
"Rosie the Riveter" was a
compilation of different efforts by
private industry and government to
get more people involved in the war
effort. After the war, many women
returned to their domestic roles in
the home, but many remained
working while their husbands went
back to school under the G.I. Bill.
Though female numbers in the
workforce dropped off after the war,
they never returned to their lower
pre-war levels.
Influential Woman: Rosa Parks
In 1955, the Montgomery, Alabama
transportation system employs a
segregated system on city buses
where African-Americans are
required to sit in the back rows of the
bus. If all seats are full and a white
person comes on the bus, AfricanAmericans are required to give up
their seat. Rosa Parks boards the bus
on December 1, 1955 after a long day
of work. After a few stops all seats
are full and when the next white
person gets on the bus, she is asked
to give up her seat. She refuses, is
arrested, and placed in jail. AfricanAmerican community leaders come
and pay her bail and soon organize a
boycott to challenge the
Montgomery transportation
segregation laws.
In 1964, Title VII of the
Civil Rights Act bans
discrimination in
employment on the basis
of race and sex. At the
same time the Act
establishes the Equal
Employment Opportunity
Commission (EEOC) to
investigate complaints
and impose penalties on
sex discrimination.
Influential Woman: Shirley Chisholm
In 1969, Chisholm became the first black
congresswoman and began the first of
seven terms. After initially being assigned
to the House Forestry Committee, she
shocked many by demanding
reassignment. She was placed on the
Veterans' Affairs Committee, eventually
graduating to the Education and Labor
Committee. She became one of the
founding members of the Congressional
Black Caucus in 1969.
Chisholm became the first African
American woman to make a bid to be
President of the United States when she
ran for the Democratic nomination in 1972.
A champion of minority education and
employment opportunities throughout her
tenure in Congress, Chisholm was also a
vocal opponent of the draft. After leaving
Congress in 1983, she taught at Mount
Holyoke College and was popular on the
lecture circuit.
In the 1970’s…
In 1972, the Equal Rights Amendment
passes Congress but fails to be ratified
by the required number of states.
In 1973, the Supreme Court hands
down its ruling in Roe v. Wade,
establishing a woman's right to safe and
legal abortion and overriding the antiabortion laws of many states.
The 1975 Pregnancy and Discrimination
Act prohibits discrimination on the
basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or
related medical conditions. It is an
amendment to Title VII of the Civil
Rights Act of 1964.
In the 1980’s…
In 1981, President Ronald Reagan nominates
Sandra Day O'Connor to become the first
woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. As
an associate justice, O’Connor becomes the
crucial swing vote for many cases where the
Court is split along ideological lines.
Also, in 1981, President Reagan
nominates Jeane Kirkpatrick as the
first woman to serve as U.S.
Ambassador to the United Nations.
In the 1990’s…
1992 Women are now paid 71 cents
for every dollar paid to men. The
range is from 64 cents for workingclass women to 77 cents for
professional women with doctorates.
Black women earned 65 cents,
Latinas 54 cents.
1993 Take Our Daughters to Work
Day debuts, designed to build girls
self-esteem and open their eyes to a
variety of careers.
1996 US women's spectacular
success in the Summer Olympics (19
gold medals, 10 silver, 9 bronze) is
the result of large numbers of girls
and women active in sports since the
passage of Title IX.
In the 2000’s…
• In 2000, Hillary Rodham
Clinton becomes the only First
Lady ever elected to the
United States Senate.
• In 2005, Condoleezza Rice
becomes the first AfricanAmerican woman appointed
Secretary of State.
• In 2007, Nancy Pelosi becomes
the first woman Speaker of the
U.S. House of Representatives.
In the 2000’s…
• President Obama signed the Lily
Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration
Act, which allows victims of pay
discrimination to file a complaint
with the government against
their employer within 180 days of
their last paycheck. Previously,
victims (most often women) were
only allowed 180 days from the
date of the first unfair paycheck.
• This Act is named after a former
employee of Goodyear who
alleged that she was paid 15–40%
less than her male counterparts,
which was later found to be
Here are some other influential
Zainab Salbi is an Iraqi American writer, activist and social entrepreneur who is cofounder and president for Women for Women International.
Luisa Capetillo (October 28, 1879 – October 10, 1922) was one of Puerto
Rico's most famous labor organizers. She was also a writer and an anarchist
who fought for workers and women's rights.
Alice Y. Hom is a community builder and educator who works on the
intersections of race, gender, and sexuality and bridges academic issues
with community based activism.
bell hooks is an American author, feminist, and social activist.
Her writing has focused on the interconnectivity of race,
class, and gender and their ability to produce and perpetuate
systems of oppression and domination.
Keep in mind…
• This workshop only outlines a brief look of the
roles, experiences and history of women in
this country. From music to film to literature
to politics, the contributions that women have
made in the United States have helped shape
the country into what it is today. Women’s
History is all of our history.
Thanks for attending!
You’re almost done…
Please complete the quiz in its entirety to
receive credit for attendance. The survey/quiz
can be found here or copy and paste this link
into your browser.