by Caroline Johnston
One hundred years ago, American women’s lives were forever changed with the passing of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote. However, the ratification of this amendment did not come easily. Suffragists such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Alice Paul, and Lucy Burns dedicated their entire lives to ensure that women would get the right to vote. The right for women to vote is not something that should be taken lightly, because many risks were taken to grant that right. Now in 2020, we dedicate this year’s Women’s History Month to women’s suffrage. We should honor those who fought for years to obtain the right to vote, by going out and exercising their rights, especially in this upcoming 2020 election.
The Seneca Falls Convention in 1848, was the first event to discuss women’s rights which was organized by Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. After that convention, the real fight for women’s suffrage began. In 1869, both the National Woman Suffrage Association and the American Woman Suffrage Association were established. These two associations merged a few years later, because they had more power together than apart. For the following 50 years, suffragettes participated in strikes outside of the white house, marches, hunger strikes, and petitioning. Many women were arrested and maltreated in jail, such as Alice Paul, and faced unfair consequences in order for this amendment to be passed, and that is something we can not take for granted.
Although America gained independence and became its own country in 1776, women had to wait until 1920 to be granted the right to vote, despite having helped build the nation. Freshman Riley Petrocco said it’s important “to have a say in decisions that could impact my entire life or at least the society around me.”
Now 100 years later, many women continue to exercise their right to vote and still find the right extremely important. Junior Kyla Watkins said that, “The right to vote is important because being able to share your voice in this democracy is incredible, and we, as citizens of the United States, are lucky to have that fundamental right!” Junior Jenna Benenson said, “Whether it be for city council or the president, having people from all backgrounds vote is important because it brings different perspectives into the picture.” Without the perseverance and bravery of the suffragettes, women would not have the right to participate in voting, so make sure to honor them by celebrating this year’s Women’s History Month.