Women's Rights Project


The First Women's Rights Convention


The first women’s rights movement was in 1848, at a convention in Seneca Falls, New York. The Declaration of Sentiments was signed to plan the civil rights for women.

The National Woman's Suffrage Association


In 1869, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton founded the National Woman’s Suffrage Association. Lucy Stone and others formed the American Woman Suffrage Association (gaining voting rights). Territory of Wyoming passed suffrage law, allowing women to serve on the jury.

The NWSA and the AWSA combine


The National and American Woman Suffrage Associations combined in 1890 to form the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) focusing on voting rights for women.

Colorado grants women the vote


In 1893, Colorado became the first state to grant women the right to vote, followed by others.

The National Association of Colored Women


The National Association of Colored Women is formed in 1896. Prominent figures include: Mary Church Terrell and Anna Julia Cooper.

The Congressional Union


In 1913, Alice Paul and Lucy Burns created the Congressional Union (later renamed the National Women’s Party) to give women the vote.

First American birth control clinic


In 1916, Margaret Sanger opened the very first American birth control clinic in New York. (arrested, later opened again in 1923.)

The Federal Woman Suffrage Amendment


The federal woman suffrage amendment is passed in 1919.

The Women's Bureau of the Department of Labor


The Women’s Bureau of the Department of Labor is formed in 1920 to investigate women’s work conditions.

The 19th Amendment

August 26, 1920

On August 26th, 1920, the 19th amendment to the constitution is signed into law, granting a woman’s right to vote.

National Council of Negro Women


Mary McLeod Bethune founded the National Council of Negro Women in 1935. (helps to fight job discrimination, sexism, and racism.)

The fight against contraception


In 1936, the fight against contraception waged on with lawsuits. However, the federal government modified the law that prohibited the distribution of birth control information.



The first Lesbian organization (DOB), is founded in 1955.

Approval of birth control


The Food and Drug Administration approves birth control pills in 1960.

Equal Pay Act

June 10, 1963

On June 10, 1963, Congress passed the Equal Pay Act.



NOW is founded in 1966 by a group of feminists. NOW is the largest women’s rights group in the U.S., fighting mainly for the ending of sexual discrimination.

Abolishment of sex-segregated ads


The EEOC makes it illegal to put sex-segregated newspaper ads in 1968, allowing more women to go for higher paying jobs.

The Equal Rights Amendment


The Equal Rights Amendment is passed in 1972, only to not be ratified by the states.

Title IX

June 23, 1972

On June 23, 1972, the Title IX of the Education Amendments, banned sex discrimination in school.

Safe and legal abortion


In 1973, the Supreme Court rules that a woman has the right to safe and legal abortion.

Equal Credit Opportunity Act


In 1974, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act the prohibits discrimination in consumer credit.

Law against marital rape


In Nebraska 1976, the first law is put in place that it is illegal for a husband to rape his wife.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act


In 1978, The Pregnancy Discrimination Act bans employers to discriminate against pregnant employees.

Sexual harassment in the workplace


The Supreme Court ruled in 1986, that sexual harassment was a form of discrimination in the workplace.

The Violence Against Women Act


The Violence Against Women Act of 1994, tightens the penalty charges against sex offenders.

The Virginia Military School


In 1996, the Supreme Court finds that the Virginia Military School must integrate women into the program.

Sue for sex discrimination


In 1999, the Supreme Court ruled that a woman could sue for sex discrimination.