While the 19th Amendment was a huge victory for women, it didn’t break down voting barriers for everyone. For decades after, millions of African American women—and men—particularly in the Jim Crow South, were blocked from casting ballots. (White lawmakers often added obstacles such as difficult literacy tests and high poll taxes to keep black people from voting.)
Many people of color would not be able to fully exercise their voting rights until the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which prohibited racial discrimination at the polls. And even today, some barriers to voting remain, such as prohibiting former felons in some states from voting.
Still, women have come a long way since getting the right to vote. Today, women consistently cast more ballots in most elections than men. And they hold about a quarter of seats in Congress—a record high.
Overall, however, they are still under-represented in public office. The inequality doesn’t end there. Although women make up about half of the U.S. workforce, they earn, on average, about 80 cents for every $1 that men earn for similar work.
That’s why, many people say, there is still more to be done in the struggle for women’s equality.
“We often remember social movements as having triumphant finishes,” Tetrault says. “One obstacle was struck down in 1920, but the fight isn’t over.”