Women You Should Know

Alice Paul (1885-1977), an American suffragist leader, was born into a Quaker family in Moorestown, New Jersey on January 11, 1885. Her tireless struggle for women’s rights triumphantly resulted in women being granted the right to vote in the United States federal election in 1920. However, this feat did not come easy for Paul. She fought a long hard battle, beginning in 1908 after joining the Women’s Social and Political Union. Her activities resulted in her being imprisoned three times. While imprisoned Alice, along with other suffragettes, went on a hunger strike. Consequently she was put in the psychiatric ward and force-fed. Three years after Paul’s 1920 victory, she became the original author of a proposed Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the Constitution. The ERA was not passed in Congress until 1970, a few years before the death of Alice Paul in 1977. In 2004, HBO Films produced an aptly titled film Iron Jawed Angels that depicts the struggles of Alice Paul and other suffragists.

I never doubted that equal rights was the right direction. Most reforms, most problems are complicated. But to me there is nothing complicated about ordinary equality.
– Alice Paul

Source for additional information: Alice Paul Institute-http://www.alicepaul.org/
Reference: Von Garnier, K. (Director) (2004). Iron Jawed Angels [motion picture]. Warner Home Video.

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