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Suffrage Leader Alice Paul Standing above Ratification Banner, Washington, D.C., photograph by the National Photo Company, August 18, 1920

Manuscript Division, Library of Congress

Suffrage Leader Alice Paul Standing above Ratification Banner

Women and the Vote

Thousands of women supported the war effort during World War I, from defense industry workers to Red Cross volunteers. Concurrently, women’s rights activists pressed Congress for the right to vote, highlighting women’s patriotism and service during wartime. Congress approved a resolution in 1919 proposing a Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution to grant women suffrage. Following the amendment’s ratification in 1920, women could legally vote in national elections for the first time, though many were still limited in exercising the vote by state laws based on race.

Not only as workers but as voters, the war has called women over the top.

Harriot Stanton Blatch, Mobilizing Woman-Power, 1918