Causes Of Women's Suffrage

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It is difficult to argue that any movement truly ends, especially movements concerning social justice and the equality of people. Such movements have been observed throughout the course of American history, constantly reforming social and political tradition to fight against oppression. One such movement began in 1848, when a group of women came together in Seneca Falls, New York to discuss the prospect of women’s rights. Over the course of the next seventy years, the gathering at Seneca Falls developed into a full blown movement aimed at developing stronger rights for women in political, social, and economic aspects. Women’s suffrage, one of several causes that women across America were fighting for, was won via the ratification of the 19th…show more content…
Beginning as early as the 1830s, women fought for fair wages, safe working conditions, reasonable hours, and regulation of child labor.⁷ Strikes lead by working women erupted in many cities where unsafe factory conditions were common, such as the New York Shirtwaist Strike of 1909. On November 24th, 20,000 female workers from the garment industry went on strike in New York, seeking “better wages, standardized work days, improved working conditions, and union representation.”⁸ Women’s strikes often highlighted the unfortunate child labor practices that took place in many mills, such as in the Lawrence, Massachusetts Bread and Roses Strike in 1912. One child from Lawrence reported to a Chicago newspaper that he was in the fifth grade and that he “wish[es] [he] could go on [in school], but of course it it [his] duty to help papa and mamma as soon as [he] can.”⁹ Women found child labor practices abusive and detrimental to the education of young children, and advocated for legislation like the Child Labor Amendment, proposed in 1924. The amendment would allow Congress the power to “limit, regulate, and prohibit the labor of persons under eighteen years of age.”¹º Though it gained support from around the country, the amendment was ratified by only twenty eight of the thirty six states needed for it to be enacted and was not accepted. Women also rallied support for the Fair Labor Standards Act, which successfully passed in 1938. The act established fair wage and labor laws and addressed problematic issues with child labor.¹¹ Although the labor movement addressed issues that did not apply solely to women, many problems that women aimed to highlight did concern the women’s rights and does belong under the massive umbrella of ideas that is the women’s
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