Women's Timeline


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19th Amendment Ratified


The 19th amendment was ratified and women finally gained the right to vote.

Women's Groups


Mary McLeod Bethune organizes the National Council of Negro Women, a coalition of
black women's groups that lobbies against job discrimination, racism, and sexism.

Equal Pay Act


Congress passes the Equal Pay Act, making it illegal for employers to pay a woman less than what a man would receive for the same job.

The First Battered Women's Shelter Opens


The first battered women's shelter opens in the U.S., in Urbana, Illinois, founded by Cheryl Frank and Jacqueline Flenner.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act


The Pregnancy Discrimination Act amends Title VII making it unlawful for an employer to discriminate on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.

First Marital Rape Law


The first marital rape law is enacted in Nebraska, making it illegal for a husband to rape
his wife.

Reproductive Rights


More than 750,000 joined NOW’s march for reproductive rights, the largest single demonstration ever in the nation’s capital.

The Violence Against Women Act


The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) of 1994 was signed into law, a comprehensive effort to address violence against women through educational and legal

Third Woman in History Serve on the Supreme Court


Sonia Sotamayor is the first Latina woman ever to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court and the third woman in history to serve on the Court.

Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act


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 accurate.