The Lives of Modern Women vs. the Lives of Women 100 Years Ago

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The lives of modern women are immeasurably more comfortable, equal, and empowered than those of their early twentieth century counterparts. Over the last hundred years, women have made advances in key areas which have led to liberation and equality. Although there is still room for improvement, by gaining the right to vote, winning the opportunity to meaningfully participate in the workforce, and taking control over when and how they have children, the quality of life of contemporary women demonstrates immense improvement and amazing progress from that of women one hundred years prior. One major difference between the position of contemporary women and that of women a century ago is the political power they are able to exercise. Before the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified in 1920, there was no Constitutional guarantee to grant voting rights to women, and most states forbid women from voting. This political disenfranchisement created a situation in which women were powerless to shape the legal system by which they were forced to abide. In sharp contrast, today women enthusiastically exercise their right to vote. This is evinced by rates of voter turnout, which, according to Linda Lowen, are significantly higher for American women than men.

Furthermore, women are not limited to being active in electing leaders and voting on policy, but often in control of the reins of power themselves. Today, there are many prominent female politicians fulfilling vital roles such as Secretary of State, and presidential bids by women are taking very seriously. Although the ratio of female to male politicians is still far from equal, household names such as Hilary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi are evidence of women's meaningful participation in the political system. In a depressing disparity, women of the 1910's had no female role models, or even official voice, in democratic politics.

The impact of women's suffrage can hardly be understated. The evidence can be seen in the...
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