2020 marked the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which guaranteed American women the right to vote. But the struggle for women’s suffrage started much earlier. Here are some of the historical highlights, as well as facts about women’s role in the electorate today.
The number of years of organized advocacy it took for women to gain the right to vote, dating from the Seneca Falls convention in 1848 to the adoption of the 19th Amendment in 1920.Learn more
The estimated number of people who attended the women’s rights convention in 1848 in Seneca Falls, New York, marking the beginning of widespread activism for women’s suffrage.Learn more
The first U.S. territory or state to grant full voting rights to women. It did so in 1869.Learn more
The year an amendment for women’s suffrage was first introduced in the U.S. Senate.Learn more
The estimated number of people who marched in the women’s suffrage parade in Washington, D.C., the day before President Woodrow Wilson’s inauguration in 1913. Reports of the event were widely circulated, reinvigorating the movement and garnering additional support for the cause.Learn more
The combined total number of signatures on a series of petitions that suffragists presented to the U.S. Senate on July 13, 1913, asking for the right to vote.Learn more
The number of states that had given women full voting rights prior to the 19th Amendment. Women in two territories (Alaska and Montana) also had full suffrage. Another 12 states had granted partial voting rights to women, limiting their vote to certain races, such as presidential or municipal elections.Learn more
The number of years it took for the 19th Amendment to pass both houses of Congress after being first introduced in 1878. The House of Representatives passed the amendment on May 21, 1919, and the Senate followed on June 4, 1919.Learn more
The number of states — a two-thirds majority — needed to ratify the 19th Amendment for it to become law.Learn more
The 36th state to ratify the 19th Amendment, doing so on Aug. 18, 1920.Learn more
The day the 19th Amendment was signed into law by then-Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby. In 1971 Congress designated that day as Women’s Equality Day.Learn more
The first presidential election where more women turned out to vote than men. This trend has continued in every presidential election since.Learn more
The percentage of eligible female voters cast ballots in the 2020 presidential election, compared with 65% of eligible male voters.Learn more
Learn more about:
The events leading up to passage of the 19th Amendment (U.S. Senate)
Online exhibit on the 19th Amendment (National Archives)
Women and the Constitution (Constitution Center)
Black women and the 19th Amendment (Smithsonian)
President Woodrow Wilson’s endorsement of women’s suffrage (U.S. Senate)
The people and organizations who fought for universal suffrage (Library of Congress)
What did it take for American women to gain the right to vote?
When they turn 18, most Americans are eligible to cast a ballot for their local, state, and federal representatives. Let’s take a closer look.
A closer look at how Americans elect their president