Wisconsin passes the nation's first equal rights bill, 1921

Governor Blaine Signs Equal Suffrage Bill

After women finally gained the vote with the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920, groups that had led the suffrage movement ceased large-scale political activity. Divisions arose between women who wanted "equal rights" and those who sought to preserve the special privileges women enjoyed in society. In 1921, the Wisconsin Legislature passed the first equal rights bill in the nation, granting women full equality with men under civil law. The bill was signed into law by Governor John James Blaine and hailed by members of the Wisconsin Woman's Party. Unfortunately, the generalities of the law and its subjection to court interpretation rendered the law essentially meaningless for women.

Related Topics: The Progressive Era
The Woman's Suffrage Movement
Creator: River Falls Journal
Pub Data: River Falls Journal. 11 July. Wisconsin Historical Society.
Citation: "Governor Blaine Signs Equal Suffrage Bill." River Falls Journal. (11 July); Online facsimile at:  http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/turningpoints/search.asp?id=770; Visited on: 2/7/2023