Women During The Progressive Era
During the Progressive Era, millions of Americans organized reforms in attempt to revolutionize industries, working conditions, and immigrantion issues. Between the 1890s and 1920s, American women advanced politically, socially, and economically thus emerging as a focal point for social reform. Women progressed in the political reform and began to speak out against laws that were deliberately set against them. Eventually, they were able to earn the right to vote and compel society to view women through a new lens. Although women were denied the right to vote in elections, throughout this time period they evolved and began exercising what they believed as their rights as citizens to embody public policies and develop institutions.
Before the Progressive Era, women found themselves providing for their family as traditional women would. Additionally since many women were raised to always upkeep the family, many never considered life outside of their home. However with the advent of the Progressive Era, women were fascinated in large companies that dominated American’s financial interest. Millions of women joined civic organizations helping them expand their roles from domestic duties to concerns about their communities and environments. According to the article, “Women and the Progressive Movement”, “Women were involved in several organizations such as the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), the National Consumers’ League (NCL), Women’s Trade Union League (WTUL), and other various trade unions.” Thus, women were able to make a breakthrough and develop new societal norms which allowed for women to be portrayed as equals to men and obtain higher socioeconomic status.
Furthermore, an important aspect to women advancement was their quest for equality. The struggle for women’s right to vote was one of the main elements in their fight for equality.
Although times were changing with women displaying their capability of handling the work responsibilities left behind by men, sexist stereotypes still often existed and plagued women from living as equals to men. Women reformers demanded the right to vote on the grounds for equal opportunity and simple justice. For this reason, Progressive reformers, “embraced women’s suffrage by expressing what they felt were the practical outcomes such as reducing political corruption, protecting the home, and increasing the votes of native-born whites,” as mentioned in the article “Progressive Era Reformers”. With this in mind, the Nineteenth Amendment was granted allowing women the right to vote, and promoted women as they gained acknowledgement in the eyes of the society.
During the Progressive Era, women were eligible to work; however, women believe they were receiving unfair labor hours and low wages in comparison to the men. Around this time, women had limited opportunities to obtain a career. Typically workers were young, unmarried women who were unskilled or moderately skilled in their workforce. However, even when women were able to have the job, the working conditions were unbearable. Therefore, women wanted protective laws to stop sex discrimination, industrial absue, and fulfill gender roles. When these issues were brought to the attention of the government, they decided to make adjustments by implementing inspections and health regulations in factories. Overall, women’s labor law achieved a large goal of protection for all employees involved in the industrial abuse.
Ultimately, women were able to emerge in the public opinion and advance the reforms of the era faster. The Progressive Era transformed the world as they knew it and influenced the society greatly, for it created a new middle class, one that would constantly grow in power until it became what it is today. All in all, the role of women during the Progressive Era acted as a catalyst for reforms that helped society become modern and dynamic.