Midwest Social Sciences Journal


Women earned the right to vote 100 years ago with the ratification of the 19th Amendment, effectively ending the suffrage movement that had transpired over generations. Their hard-won victory doubled the American electorate and provided women with an essential right of citizenship of which they had long been deprived. Not all women were welcomed at the polling place, though, and the exclusion of women of color, particularly in the Jim Crow South, revealed yet another barrier to eventually be struck down. In the 100 years since women earned their right to vote, they have begun “outvoting” their male counterparts and emerged as candidates for office in every branch and at every level of government. Despite great success, women are still underrepresented in public office, however. This article examines the role of women in politics from the decades prior to suffrage to the months leading up to the 2020 election and reminds us that although women have made tremendous strides, there is still a long way to go.