Featured Teaching Kits
Teacher-approved stories, resources, and worksheets for teaching about the struggle for women’s equality in your classroom
The fight for women’s rights in the United States goes back almost to our country’s beginning. But just because the fight is old doesn’t mean it’s over. These Massachusetts teenagers are standing up to be heard—and to amend the Constitution to guarantee equal rights for women.
During World War II, so many men went overseas to fight that Major League Baseball had trouble filling out its teams—and filling up the stands. That’s when these pioneering women stepped up to bat to play in their own professional baseball league, one whose legacy is still felt today.
In January 2016, the Department of Defense opened all combat positions in the United States military to female troops for the first time. This was a big change for our armed forces, but are women really on equal footing in the military? Read this article and form your own opinion.
Female athletes in America are surpassing their male counterparts in many ways, but when it comes to their paychecks, there’s still a lot of ground to make up. Gender wage differences in American sports are still large. Read the article to find out why—and why that might change in the near future.
Famous quotes from women throughout history
“I may sometimes be willing to teach for nothing, but if paid at all, I shall never do a man’s work for less than a man’s pay.”
—Clara Barton, a nurse who founded the American Red Cross in 1881
“If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.”
—Margaret Thatcher, the first female prime minister
of the United Kingdom
“The work of today is the history of tomorrow, and we are its makers.”
—Juliette Gordon Low, who founded Girl Scouts of America in 1912
“In Iroquois society, leaders are encouraged to remember seven generations in the past and consider seven generations in the future when making decisions that affect the people.”
—Wilma Mankiller, who became the first woman elected to be chief of the Cherokee Nation in 1985
Four women who made an impact
Susan B. Anthony
As co-founder of the National Woman Suffrage Association and founder of the American Equal Rights Association, Susan B. Anthony advocated for voting rights for 50 years and made women’s suffrage a recognized cause in both the United States and Europe.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Along with Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton organized the Seneca Falls Convention (July 19–20, 1848), the first women's rights assembly in America. There, Stanton drafted the “Declaration of Sentiments . . .,” which paralleled the wording of the Declaration of Independence and insisted on women’s suffrage.
Sojourner Truth was a preacher, abolitionist, and leading orator for black emancipation and women's suffrage. Her most famous speech, “Ain’t I a Woman?,” highlighted the importance of eliminating both racial and gender-based oppression.
Ida B. Wells
A founding member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Ida B. Wells was an African American journalist and civil rights activist who launched a far-reaching antilynching crusade and organized and demonstrated on behalf of women’s suffrage.
Supplemental resources that link to external websites about women’s history
Terms and definitions that pertain to women’s history
ratified in August 1920, the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides women with the same voting rights as men
the practice of unfairly treating a person or a group of people differently from other people or groups of people
Equal Rights Amendment
a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would guarantee women the same treatment and rights as men
the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities
to stand or march in a public place to protest something
someone who works in support of suffrage (voting rights, especially for women)
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Bettmann/Getty Images (Suffragettes); Greg Derr/The Patriot Ledger (teen girls); Sophie Kurys of the Racine Belles (baseball player); Molly A. Burgess/Courtesy of Veterans Affairs Research Communications (soldiers); Joe Robbins/Getty Images (Lebron James); Jordan Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images (Candace Parker); PhotoQuest/Getty Images (Susan B. Anthony); Bettmann/Getty Images (Elizabeth Cady Stanton); MPI/Getty Images (Sojourner Truth); Chicago History Museum/Getty Images (Ida B. Wells)