Women and the Vote: Opposition to Women’s Equality, from Suffrage to the ERA
Press Release · Monday, November 26, 2018

Washington, DC

On Thursday, December 6, at 7 p.m., the National Archives starts our centennial celebration of women’s suffrage with a special event: “Women and the Vote: Opposition to Women’s Equality, from Suffrage to the ERA.”  A panel of experts will explore how the feminist movement has been shaped and changed by the systems, institutions, and individuals working against women’s equality. Panelists include Elaine Weiss, author of The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote; Marjorie J. Spruill, author of Divided We Stand: The Battle Over Women's Rights and Family Values That Polarized American Politics; and Carol Robles-Román, Co-President and CEO of the ERA Coalition. Deputy Archivist of the United States Debra Steidel Wall, who serves on the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commission, will introduce the program, and book signings will follow the event. Presented in partnership with the National Woman's Party, the 2020 Women’s Vote Centennial Initiative, and The ERA Coalition, and in conjunction with our upcoming exhibit, Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote.  

The event will be held in the William G. McGowan Theater of the National Archives Museum in Washington, D.C. and live streamed on YouTube. Attendees should use the Special Events entrance on Constitution Avenue at 7th Street, NW.  This public program is free to the public, but reservations are recommended and can be made online.

Elaine Weiss is an award-winning journalist and writer. Her new book, The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote, tells the inside story of the fight to ratify the 19th amendment, internecine disagreements about how to secure the vote, and the racism that affected the women’s suffrage movement. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and director Steven Spielberg have teamed up to adapt this book for television. The drama will mark Clinton's debut as an executive producer.

Marjorie J. Spruill teaches courses in women's history, Southern history, and American history at the University of South Carolina.  Although much has been written about the role of social issues in politics, little attention has been given to the historical impact of women activists on both sides. Divided We Stand shows how the battle between feminists and their conservative challengers divided the nation as Democrats continued to support women's rights and Republicans cast themselves as the party of family values.

Carol Robles-Román is co-President and CEO of the ERA Coalition/Fund for Women’s Equality, sister organizations working together to educate, advocate and organize to ensure constitutional equality in the United States. Previously she was the President and CEO of Legal Momentum – The Women’s Legal Defense and Education Fund where she led projects with big cities and organizations in gender justice, personal safety and access to justice reform.  

Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote. This exhibit commemorates the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment by looking beyond suffrage parades and protests to the often overlooked story behind this landmark moment in American history. This fuller retelling of the struggle for women’s voting rights illustrates the dynamic involvement of American women across the spectrum of race, ethnicity and class to reveal what it really takes to win the vote for one half of the people. Opens March 8, 2019, in the Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery of the National Archives Museum.  Learn more about the history of women in the United States by exploring their stories through our collection of letters, photographs, film, and other primary sources online. Rightfully Hers is made possible in part by the National Archives Foundation through the generous support of Unilever, Pivotal Ventures, Carl M. Freeman Foundation in honor of Virginia Allen Freeman, AARP, AT&T, Ford Motor Company Fund, Facebook, and HISTORY ®.   

The National Archives Museum in Washington, DC, is Metro accessible on the Yellow and Green lines, Archives/Navy Memorial station. For upcoming programs, visit the Calendar of Events online:


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This page was last reviewed on November 26, 2018.
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