Clicky

Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument

Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument Welcome to the official page for the Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument. For visitor information, visit http://www.nps.gov/bepa.

Home to the National Woman's Party for over 90 years, this was the epicenter of the struggle for women's suffrage and women's rights. From this house in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol and Supreme Court, Alice Paul and the NWP developed innovative strategies and tactics to secure passage of the 19th Amendment and more. President Barack Obama designated the national monument on April 12, 2016.

Operating as usual

Photos from Fossil Butte National Monument's post
02/03/2023

Photos from Fossil Butte National Monument's post

Maggie Lena Walker devoted her life to civil rights advancement, economic empowerment, and educational opportunities for...
02/03/2023

Maggie Lena Walker devoted her life to civil rights advancement, economic empowerment, and educational opportunities for Jim Crow-era African Americans and women. As a bank president, newspaper editor, and fraternal leader, Walker served as an inspiration for pride and progress. Today, Walker’s home in Richmond, Virginia is preserved as Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site, a tribute to her enduring legacy of vision, courage, and determination.

Black history and heritage—including achievements, contributions, and historical journeys—are remembered and commemorated in national parks across the country. Find resources to learn, teach, experience, and reflect during and beyond at: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/npscelebrates/black-history-month.htm

Image: Closeup view of a bronze statue of Maggie L. Walker in the Maggie L. Walker Memorial Plaza. Walker chartered the St. Luke Penny Savings Bank and served as the bank's first president, which earned her the recognition of being the first African American woman to charter a bank in the United States.

It's ! Wetlands provide a source of clean water, control erosion, reduce the effects of flooding, and provide a habitat ...
02/02/2023

It's !

Wetlands provide a source of clean water, control erosion, reduce the effects of flooding, and provide a habitat for many plant and animal species. In late 2022, the National Park Service completed the restoration of 20 acres of wetlands at the former Watergate Recreation Site within Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area. In the 1900s, this area was manipulated to create shallow ponds, mowed lawns, dams, and levees along Van Campens Brook which resulted in the loss of the historic wetlands. The restored wetland and stream are already benefiting the surrounding area by providing excellent bird habitat, diverse native plant species, an improved cold-water fishery in Van Campens Brook, and reduced flooding downstream during storm events.

Did you know that constructed wetlands can also be used to treat polluted water from abandoned mines? The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement (OSMRE) has used constructed wetlands at several sites, including at Flight 93 National Memorial. The Flight 93 Memorial – located on a former coal mine near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and the site of the September 11, 2001, crash – honors the flight’s passengers and crew with spaces for reflection, habitat restoration, and educational initiatives. In 2012, OSMRE provided funding and technical assistance to construct wetlands and treat polluted water containing iron and manganese leaking out of the former mine into nearby streams. The wetlands are now a self-sustaining natural habitat and aquatic ecosystem.

To learn more about the Watergate Wetlands Restoration Project at Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, visit: https://www.nps.gov/dewa/learn/nature/wetlands-restoration.htm

Learn more about OSMRE’s ongoing projects at: https://www.osmre.gov/news/stories/WWD

Image: Before and after photos of restored wetlands within Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.

Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park is where an American legend began. Born Araminta Ross in Ma...
02/02/2023

Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park is where an American legend began. Born Araminta Ross in Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Tubman resisted her enslavement from an early age and ultimately escaped alone and on her own in 1849. She returned to the Eastern Shore at least 13 times and freed more than 70 people trying to keep family and friends from being separated due to enslavement. Tubman went on to aid the US Army during the Civil War and continued to advocate for the rights of African Americans, women, and Americans with disabilities after the war.

African American history is preserved and shared in many national parks with some being created as monuments to remember specific individuals in our nation's history. Explore national parks that were named after people and visit their websites to take a deeper look at their life's achievements, contributions, and lasting legacies. Learn more at: https://www.nps.gov/articles/000/parks-named-in-honor-of-african-americans.htm

Image: Numerous depictions of Harriet Tubman tell the story of every stage in her life and are paired with interactive exhibits at the visitor center.

I’m a rodent, not a meteorologist…It’s Groundhog Day…again. Apparently, a shadow was seen, six more weeks of winter was ...
02/02/2023

I’m a rodent, not a meteorologist…

It’s Groundhog Day…again. Apparently, a shadow was seen, six more weeks of winter was declared, and it’s still cold outside.

If you're not venturing out this winter, stay connected with national parks throughout the season. Many parks have virtual experiences to enjoy from the warmth of your own burrow. Follow the latest news and activities with on social media or on the web. Learn more at: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/npscelebrates/winter-season.htm

Investing in the future of parks! In 2023, the National Park Service is making significant advancements to increase recr...
02/01/2023

Investing in the future of parks! In 2023, the National Park Service is making significant advancements to increase recreational opportunities, improve visitor facilities, enhance climate and fire resilience, ensure critical moments in our shared history are honored and preserved, and provide economic benefits for people and communities throughout the country. The National Park Service will also work to build access to parks, create opportunities to tell new stories and provide experiences that help tell a history more representative of all Americans.

Learn more about upcoming projects that will enable the National Park Service to continue to preserve and share the nation's most important places and stories at: https://www.nps.gov/orgs/1207/national-park-investments-in-2023.htm

“I’m going on an adventure!” - Bilbo BagginsWhether you’re headed to Mordor to destroy the ring of power, or looking to ...
02/01/2023

“I’m going on an adventure!” - Bilbo Baggins

Whether you’re headed to Mordor to destroy the ring of power, or looking to spend a few days on the beach, it’s never too early to plan your next travels. The best way to begin a national park visit is with a trip to NPS.gov. Park websites have ideas about where to go, what to see, what to bring, what to do, and most important, what to include in your planning. Flexibility and a backup plan are key, too, in case of changing weather conditions, road closures, orc encounters, etc.

Every experience in a national park is unique. A little trip planning can ensure that your only surprises are happy ones. Is that tree talking to me? No, but you might be overheated.

Find vacation planning tips at: https://www.nps.gov/aboutus/news/plan-like-a-park-ranger.htm

Image: A park ranger looking up at a snow-covered mountain at Mount Rainier National Park.
NPS/D. Robinson

Photos from Martin Van Buren National Historic Site's post
01/31/2023

Photos from Martin Van Buren National Historic Site's post

When you say yes to too many projects…Sure! I got this! During the warmer months, it’s not unusual to see starlings or c...
01/31/2023

When you say yes to too many projects…

Sure! I got this! During the warmer months, it’s not unusual to see starlings or cowbirds riding on the back of a bison. All aboard!!! As far as bird transportation goes, think of it as the food car on a musty, slow moving train with multiple unscheduled stops. Nice.

What’s on the menu? Bugs! The birds get to feed on insects in the bison fur. The birds may also gather seeds displaced in the grass by the large moving animal. It’s a win-win situation for both. Except for the occasional hair ball.

Learn more about bison found in national parks at https://www.nps.gov/subjects/bison

Image: A group of starlings sitting in a line on the back of a grazing bison at Wind Cave National Park, SD. Possibly wondering what the holdup is.

01/30/2023

Meet Bert and Ernie, a pair of longleaf pine pals that live on Sesame—er, Sandhill—Street.

Ernie, on the left, is in his grass stage, when the longleaf pine looks like a big clump of grass. He’s several years old. Bert, on the other hand, is growing into his “bottlebrush” stage, with shaggy needles as he reaches to the sky, perhaps around 10 years old.

During these phases of life, the shaggy awkward appearance has a purpose—the long needles protect the tree’s terminal buds from fire. Longleaf pines are adapted to occasional fires, which add nutrients to the soil and reduce competition from other trees and shrubs.

👋 Today’s photo is brought to you by the letter L, for longleaf pine.

NPS Photo / Scott Sharaga

Photos from Apostle Islands National Lakeshore's post
01/29/2023

Photos from Apostle Islands National Lakeshore's post

There’s an App for that! Download the free  for interactive maps to use while visiting national parks. Many parks includ...
01/28/2023

There’s an App for that!

Download the free for interactive maps to use while visiting national parks. Many parks include places of interest, self-guided tours, and suggested trip itineraries included on their maps.

The NPS App was created by National Park Service staff—people who know national parks—to help you make the most of your visit. Learn more at: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/digital/nps-apps.htm

We’re just getting started. If you don’t find what you are looking for now, check back regularly as rangers continue to add more ways for you to experience parks through the App. The National Park Service is also planning to expand features, so stay tuned for more!

Image: A ranger hat with a smartphone resting against it displays the Russell Cave National Monument page on the NPS App.

If you think someone is staring at you: 1. Yawn.  2. If they yawn, they were staring. Who's ready for a wild weekend? Pa...
01/27/2023

If you think someone is staring at you:

1. Yawn.
2. If they yawn, they were staring.

Who's ready for a wild weekend? Pace yourself.

Image: Fox sitting in snow yawning at Yellowstone National Park. NPS/Bob Fuhrmann

Timeline photos
01/26/2023

Timeline photos

Bison in the alpine? At nearly 8,000 ft above sea level?!

While bison are an iconic species of the Great Plains, a recent discovery in Glacier National Park's high alpine environment changed how we understand these animals and the people who interacted with them.

Find out how bison teeth helped paint a picture of the past and help us support future conservation efforts in this story: https://www.nps.gov/articles/000/bison-roamed-the-mountains-too.htm

Photos from Harry S Truman National Historic Site's post
01/25/2023

Photos from Harry S Truman National Historic Site's post

Red-tailed hawk: "I’m not an eagle, but I play one on TV.⁣"⁣Did you hear that? Must’ve been a soaring bald eagle! Wait. ...
01/25/2023

Red-tailed hawk: "I’m not an eagle, but I play one on TV.⁣"

Did you hear that? Must’ve been a soaring bald eagle! Wait. You say the loud screech associated with a bald eagle may belong to a different bird? True story.

Whether on a hike or watching a bald eagle soar across your TV screen, you're most likely hearing the call of the red-tailed hawk. The smaller hawk has a mightier voice than its larger cousin. Our eagle friend usually goes with a series of high-pitched whistling or piping notes, while the hawk makes the familiar hoarse, screaming kee-eeeee-arr! Do it with us. ⁣KEE-EEEEEe-ARR!!!! Now that everyone in the house is awake, go tell them about the red-tailed hawk.

What's a bird call that you know instantly who it belongs to?

Image: Young red-tailed hawk stares at camera at Colonial National Historical Park, VA. NPS/Linda Williams⁣

Photos from Capulin Volcano National Monument's post
01/24/2023

Photos from Capulin Volcano National Monument's post

Photos from Reconstruction Era National Historical Park's post
01/23/2023

Photos from Reconstruction Era National Historical Park's post

01/22/2023

Ever wonder what these black, palm-sized leathery cases are that sometimes wash up on Gateway beaches?

Sometimes known as “mermaid’s purse,” these pouches are the egg cases of skates, a wide, flat fish that resemble rays. Each species of skate has differently shaped egg cases. These egg cases are probably from the Little Skate (Leucoraja erinacea), a skate commonly found along the Jersey shore.

Skates lay eggs year-round, so these egg cases can be found at any time of the year along Gateway’s beaches. Each egg case has four “horns” on each corner, which help anchor the case to seaweed on the bottom of the sea floor, as well as facilitate with gas and waste exchange of the growing skate embryo. When the skate embryo has finished developing, the pouch opens on one end, and the skate emerges. Most of the time, the egg cases you find washed up on shore are empty.

The egg cases pictured above were found on Sandy Hook after the Christmas Eve flooding, most likely washed ashore by the rough surf and tall waves.

NPS image: 4 black, leathery egg cases lying in the sand

LT

Photos from Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area's post
01/22/2023

Photos from Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area's post

I believe I can fly….Aww, nuts!!!Flying squirrels are found in many national parks. But this is a rock squirrel. Althoug...
01/21/2023

I believe I can fly….

Aww, nuts!!!

Flying squirrels are found in many national parks. But this is a rock squirrel. Although the rock squirrel belongs to the ground squirrel family, it can be seen reaching for the sky by climbing boulders, rocks, and trees. Although they may look cute and come right up to you, please remember that squirrels are wild animals—don't feed them, and keep your distance—because they can bite, usually from the front, or “bitey end.”

Image: A rock squirrel attempting to sploot but ending up with a splat at Carlsbad Caverns National Park, NM. NPS/Anthony Mazzucco

Just horsing around...
01/20/2023

Just horsing around...

Have an “itch” to travel? Come on over to Assateague Island!

Make sure to stop into the National Seashore visitor center to check out the exhibits, aquariums, and bookstore before grabbing a map and heading out to explore!

The Maryland District visitor center is open daily from 9am-4pm and the Tom’s Cove visitor center is open Fridays through Mondays from 9am-4pm.

NPS Photos: C. Cook

Cool story, Poe.On this day in 1809, Edgar Allan Poe, notable writer, poet, editor, and literary critic best known for h...
01/19/2023

Cool story, Poe.

On this day in 1809, Edgar Allan Poe, notable writer, poet, editor, and literary critic best known for his poetry and short stories, particularly his tales of mystery and the macabre, was born in Boston, Massachusetts. Poe lived in several places where he left his mark, including Richmond, Virginia, Baltimore, Maryland, and New York City. Have you visited a site connected to Poe?

The Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site in Philadelphia preserves the home once rented by Poe. The site is managed part of Independence NHP, Edgar Allan Poe NHS & Thaddeus Kosciuszko NM. Though he lived in many houses over several years in Philadelphia (1838 to 1844), it is the only one which still survives. While living in Philadelphia, Poe published some of his most well-known works, including "The Tell-Tale Heart," "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," and "The Gold-Bug." What’s your favorite literary work written by Poe?

Are you an avid reader? Did you know the National Park Service preserves the work and world of many great writers, poets, and storytellers? Explore the places and stories that inspired their most-notable works at: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/literature

Epilogue: Did you know Poe enlisted in the US Army in 1827? During his time with the Army, he was assigned several different posts, including Fort Moultrie and Fortress Monroe which today are managed by the National Parks Service as Fort Sumter and Fort Moultrie National Historical Park and Fort Monroe National Monument.

Image: The home once rented by American author Edgar Allan Poe, located at 532 N. 7th Street, in the Spring Garden neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

01/19/2023
Photos from Yosemite National Park's post
01/19/2023

Photos from Yosemite National Park's post

01/18/2023

📣 If you’re interested in biology, fisheries, aquaculture, ecology, or environmental science, this new Fish and Feathers program might interest you! The program is funded by the National Park Service (NPS) and administered by Environment for the Americas! Interns will focus on supporting, implementing, and possibly leading community outreach programs that focus on fishing and birding activities. The overall goal is to increase diverse community engagement with NPS partners during the program and in years to come.

Through this program, interns will get to:
✅ Reach out to local communities to increase engagement in fishing and birdwatching
✅ Understand regulations regarding fishing and ethical birding and communicate this information to program participants
✅ Lead and/or support the implementation of fishing and birding program
✅ Manage and maintain program equipment

Apply by Monday, February 6th to work as a Fish and Feathers intern at national parks, such as Niobrara National Scenic River, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, New River Gorge National Park and Preserve, Indiana Dunes National Park, Upper Delaware Scenic & Recreational River, Cane River Creole National Historical Park, Lewis and Clark National Historical Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, Everglades National Park, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park, American Memorial Park, Gateway National Recreation Area, Grand Portage National Monument, Big Thicket National Preserve, War in the Pacific National Historical Park, and Bandelier National Monument ➡️ https://environmentamericas.org/diversity-internships/available-internships/

📸 Courtesy of Environment for the Americas - Fish and Feathers program flyer

When you leave a bag of potatoes in the pantry for a month…The walrus spends almost its entire life in the sea, primaril...
01/17/2023

When you leave a bag of potatoes in the pantry for a month…

The walrus spends almost its entire life in the sea, primarily relying on sea ice for resting spots. Several adaptations help them with this aquatic lifestyle. Air pouches located in their upper necks keep them afloat when they are sleeping. Their head is small in comparison with its heavy body, and the upper lip is thick and fleshy with a stiff moustache made up of bristles which are important sensory
organs. Although there are other teeth in the upper jaw, it is the greatly enlarged canine teeth, called tusks, that give the walrus its distinctive “spout-like” appearance. Spudtacular!

Image: A group of walrus with long tusks at Bering Land Bridge National Preserve, AK.

Address

144 Constitution Avenue NE
Washington D.C., DC
20002

The site is located a short walk from Metro. From the Orange/Blue/Silver lines, use the Capitol South station; from the Red line, use Union Station.

General information

Welcome to the Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument (BEPA) Facebook community. We hope to bring you current and historic information about your national park, and that our fans feel comfortable sharing information and experiences about BEPA with one another. While this is an open forum, it is also family-friendly. Please keep your comments and wall posts appropriate for all ages. Be considerate of other fans' opinions. In addition to keeping it family friendly, we ask that you follow our posting guidelines below. If you do not comply, your message will be removed and we may find it necessary to disable your page access. We do not allow graphic, obscene, explicit or racial comments or submissions, nor do we allow comments that are abusive, hateful or intended to defame anyone or any organization. We do not allow solicitations or advertisements. This includes promotion or endorsement of any financial, commercial, political or non-governmental agency. Such posts and/or links are subject to deletion. People who continue to post such content and/or links may be subject to page participation restrictions and/or removal from the page. We do not allow comments that suggest or encourage illegal activity. You are responsible for your comments, your username and any information provided.

Alerts

Be the first to know and let us send you an email when Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Contact The Business

Send a message to Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument:

Videos


Comments

"All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights."

Today is Human Rights Day, the anniversary of the ratification of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 1948. Eleanor Roosevelt, who chaired the committee tasked with drafting the document, is remembered for her deft negotiations throughout the process. But if not for the diligent women on the Sub-commission on the Status of Women, as well as other delegates to the committee, the declaration might not have addressed issues of women's equality.

Hansa Mehta from India insisted that the language of the first sentence be changed from "All men" to "All human beings." Bodgil Begrup of Denmark similarly advocated for language throughout the document, ensuring that it reads "all" or "everyone" instead of "all men." Minerva Bernardino of the Dominican Republic lobbied for the inclusion of "the equality of men and women" in the preamble. Other women championed the inclusion of equal rights in marriage, equal pay for equal work, and gender equality.

Learn more about the women who shaped the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: https://www.un.org/en/observances/human-rights-day/women-who-shaped-the-universal-declaration
A huge crowd gathered outside the Belasco Theatre on Lafayette Square December 9, 1917, to catch a glimpse of the famous suffragists of the National Woman's Party. Inside, 97 women who had recently been imprisoned for picketing the White House processed to the stage while an orchestra played "La Marseilles," the French revolutionary anthem. Each of the suffrage prisoners received a "Jailed for Freedom" pin in recognition of their sacrifice in support of women's right to vote. Many of the women were notably weak. They had only recently been released from prison, and some were still recovering from hunger strikes and forced feedings. Over the past few months, mobs had formed in the same area to attack the demonstrators. But the people swarming the theater that evening were enthusiastic. The NWP reported that they raised $86,000 that night to continue the suffrage fight.

Photo: Jailed for Freedom pin awarded to suffragist Betsy Graves Reyneau on display at the Belmont-Paul museum.
The number 144 in the stained-glass fan window above our front door is the street address. We can't help but notice, though, that the time from the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 until the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920 is -- 144 years. Coincidence?

When the window was added in the 1880s, the house stood at 144 B Street, Northeast. The street was renamed Constitution Avenue in 1931. Find other National Park Service sites along Constitution Avenue and around the DC Area: https://www.nps.gov/state/dc/index.htm
Happy Thanksgiving!

We at the Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument wish you a holiday filled with joy and equality.

Image: Alice Paul at the head of the table during a dinner at the World Woman's Party headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland in 1941.
One of the early federal legislators who supported woman suffrage was Charles Curtis. A descendant of Kaw Chief White Plume and Osage Chief Pawhuska, Curtis spent his early years being raised by his maternal grandmother on the Kaw Indian Reservation. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives for Kansas in 1892 and became a U.S. Senator in 1906. He served as Republican Whip from 1915-1924 and as Senate Majority Leader from 1924-1929.

Among his legislative priorities during his Senate tenure were constitutional amendments for women's equality. He was a key supporter of the through its passage in 1919 and ratification in 1920. In 1923, he introduced Alice Paul's Equal Rights Amendment in the Senate for the first time.

In 1929, Charles Curtis became the first person of American Indian ancestry to hold the second highest office in the nation when he was elected Vice President of the United States.
Learn more in this article from the Herbert Hoover National Historic Site: https://www.nps.gov/articles/000/charles-curtis-the-first-american-indian-us-vice-president.htm
Alice Paul signs the charter for the World Woman's Party November 20, 1938.

After the ratification of the in 1920, many American suffragists turned their attention to international work for women's equality. But old animosities over suffrage tactics were still brewing. In 1926, the National Woman's Party was denied affiliate status in the International Woman Suffrage Alliance (IWSA). Alice Paul's long-time nemesis, Carrie Chapman Catt, threatened that the U.S. League of Women Voters would withdraw financial support of the IWSA if the NWP was admitted. After that rejection, Alice Paul and Alva Belmont looked for other ways to remain involved in the work of women's equality around the world.

They formed the World Woman's Party with the intention of being in the vanguard of the cause of equal rights. Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the WWP pressed the League of Nations to support gender equality. World War II forced the WWP to leave Europe in 1941, but it continued to operate until 1954. Learn more in this article from our friends at the Alice Paul Institute: https://www.alicepaul.org/what-happened-to-the-wwp/
"That women shall no longer be barred from any occupation, but every occupation open to men shall be open to women, and restrictions upon the hours, conditions, and remuneration of labor shall apply alike to both s*xes."

When the National Woman's Party issued the Declaration of Principles in November 1922 , they were clear about their position on the issue that was dividing the women's movement : Protective Labor Legislation. Women in the labor movement who had successfully lobbied for laws restricting working hours and shifts for women and girls in the labor force feared that "equal rights" would mean a return to the oppressive and dangerous conditions that working women had previously endured. Feminists like Alice Paul were resolute; to them, protection was just another word for discrimination. Treating women differently in the workplace was another way to exploit their labor, they believed.

The caption for this photo of two young workers in the Globe Cotton Mill in Augusta, Georgia in 1909 says that the woman on the left is pregnant, and notes that "these women work until the day of childbirth." National Child Labor Committee collection, Library of Congress. Lewis Wickes Hine, photographer.
It's American Education Week!

Equal access to education has always been an important aspect of the ongoing struggle for equality. In 1922, the National Woman's Party included this resolution in their platform document, the Declaration of Principles:

"That women shall no longer be denied equal educational opportunities with men, but the same opportunities shall be given to both s*xes in all schools, colleges and universities which are supported in any way by public funds."

It would be another 50 years before Title IX of the Equal Education Act of 1972 codified this demand into law.
Learn more about the National Woman's Party and their political activism for women's equality in this lesson plan: https://www.nps.gov/teachers/classrooms/alicepaul-womans-place-in-this-house.htm
Photo: Belle LaFollette, the first woman to graduate from the University of Wisconsin Law School, pictured with her fellow students in 1885. Library of Congress
"That women shall no longer be the governed half of society but shall participate equally with men in the direction of life."

In November 1922, Alice Paul and the National Woman's Party issued their "Declaration of Principles," a list of focus areas in the ongoing struggle for equality. One hundred years later, what progress has been made?

Image: Elmer Andrews Bushnell cartoon published in the New York Times in August 1920. Library of Congress. Cartoon shows a young woman carrying buckets on a yoke, looking up at ladder ascending up to the sky, with bottom rungs labeled "Slavery," "House Drudgery," and "Shop Work." Top rungs labeled "Equal Suffrage," "Wage Equity," and "Presidency."
In November 1922, , the National Woman's Party issued its Declaration of Principles. Taking their inspiration from the Declaration of Sentiments signed in 1848 at the Seneca Falls Women's Rights Convention, the NWP made a list of the ways that women were still treated unequally more than seven decades later. It begins:

"WHEREAS, Women today, although enfranchised are still in every way subordinate to men before the law, in government, in educational opportunities, in the professions, in the church, in industry, and in the home."

They resolved to continue the work for full equality, including "that women shall no longer be regarded and shall no longer regard themselves as inferior to men, but the equality of the s*xes shall be recognized."

What is the status of women's equality today, one hundred years later? What would you list on your declaration?
"I arose on the 12th of November, in the year of our Lord 1815, and have spent a great part of my life in elucidating this question."

The question Elizabeth Cady Stanton pondered from the time she was a child--the issue that motivated her life as a women's rights advocate and founding mother of the suffrage movement--was the definition of the "woman's sphere." What should women be allowed to do and be?

After decades of challenging restrictions placed on women in American society, Stanton addressed a gathering of suffragists with her answer on November 12, 1895, her 80th birthday. Using examples from history, literature, religious tradition, and legal reasoning, she supported her conclusion that there is (or at least should be) no distinction between the spheres of men and women.

"The question is no longer the sphere of a whole s*x, but of each individual," she argued. "Women are now in the trades and professions, everywhere in the world of work. They have shown their capacity as students in the sciences, their skill as mariners before the mast, their courage as rescuers in life boats. They are close on the heels of man in the arts, sciences, and literature; in their knowledge and understanding of the vital questions of the hour, and in the every-day, practical duties of life. Like man, woman's sphere is the whole universe of matter and mind, to do whatever she can..."

She called on her audience to stand up for their rights, using the word "demand" over and over. Among her demands was an amendment to the United States Constitution protecting women's right to vote. It would be another 25 years before that demand was realized. With the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920, women across the country were finally able to enter the sphere of electoral politics. Elizabeth Cady Stanton did not live to see this part of her vision become reality; she died in 1902.

In the 120 years since Stanton's death, the sphere for women has expanded. But Elizabeth Cady Stanton imagined a time of true equality, when every person's contribution would be valued. Stanton predicted that one day "we shall see the dawn of a new day in women's emancipation" and "then will the great organ of humanity be played on all its keys."

Learn more about the life of Elizabeth Cady Stanton in this article by Lori D. Ginzburg: https://home.nps.gov/articles/000/-all-men-and-women-are-created-equal-the-life-of-elizabeth-cady-stanton.htm
Photo: Bust of Elizabeth Cady Stanton by Adelaide Johnson on display at the Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument. NPS Photo
x

Other Government Organizations in Washington D.C. (show all)

Hart Senate Office Building Senate Judiciary Committee Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee – Democrats Senate Judiciary Committee Republicans Dirksen Senate Office Building Senado de los Estados Unidos Tribunal Supremo de Estados Unidos Cour supreme des Etats-Unis Amerika Birleşik Devletleri Senatosu Suprema Corte americana USA:s högsta domstol Oberster Gerichtshof der Vereinigten Staaten Hooggerechtshof van de Verenigde Staten Az Amerikai Egyesült Államok Legfelsőbb Bírósága Cour suprême des États-Unis