The Suffering Suffragettes - When Women Couldn’t Vote

Updated on Aug 18, 2020. Originally added on Apr 04, 2016 by Kathy Pinna
"Men, their rights, and nothing more; women, their rights, and nothing less." - Susan B. Anthony

Throughout the late 1800's and the early 1900's, women all over the world lobbied for their rights. The right to vote wasn't given to women in the U.S. until 1920. These fascinating photos capture many of the struggles of those women. And go to the last page of this article to read about the experience of one suffragette who was force fed - it happened to many who were jailed and went on a hunger strike.

Facts: New Zealand lead the way in 1893, the United States came later to the party (1920) for white women and some women of color - it took another 45 years for the legal doors to open for all women, and Saudi Arabia is the most recent (2011). Everywhere in the world, women have had to fight for the right to vote and it took 60 years (1980) for all U.S. states to finally ratify the 19th Amendment!

Riding for Rights!

National American Woman Suffrage Association Parade

A "herald" at the front of a 1913 suffrage parade


Suffragette marching costume, 1916

This is a suffragette "marching uniform". You can see her limbs!

It wasn't just about voting

Sarah Anderson, suffragette

Suffragettes also demanded equal rights, such as the right to smoke in public. Not so popular today?


Fashionable with furs

Trixie Friganza, New York

Although it would take another 12 years to get the vote, this suffragette looks upbeat!

What woman doesn't want to protest in flowers?

Mrs George Odell, suffragette

Suffragette Mrs. George Odell

Suffragette Parade

Suffragette parade

Women march . . . men watch!

"Help us to win the vote"

Help us to win the vote

Women stand . . . men watch


1913 Postcard: "Votes for Women"

Votes for women

"For the work of a day, for the taxes we pay, for the laws we obey, we want something to say"

Even when we protest, we're artistic!

Suffragette demonstration

1918 Suffrage demonstration at the statue of Marquis de Lafayette

Magazine support, 1915

The mascot / painted by Rolf Armstrong.

Puck magazine, an influential publication, supported women's suffrage in the 1910's.

Educating the next generation

Two suffragettes showing banner to young girl

Two suffragettes showing a young girl the Suffrage Flag (in England, the colors were purple, white, and green - in the U.S., they were purple, white, and gold).

Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony

Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony

They were abolitionists and pioneer suffragettes.

Suffragette float, 1913

New York Fair, Yonkers

"Women's cause is man's - they rise or fall together"

Back to Top