During the 20th century, women in the United States rejected the idea of limitations. Many began to loudly demand equality in pay, voting rights, and more. The decision to fight did not suddenly appear. Strong women around the world had already voiced their displeasure over established gender roles. The bravery of the first women to speak out inspired new generations that took the fight even further. Here are three examples of movements from the 20th century that broadened the possibilities for all women.

The Suffragette Movement

Women left the kitchen and marched through the streets despite the threats of arrests and violence during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Women’s suffrage, or the right to vote, finally became official in 1920. Voting rights allowed women to have a say in who represented their needs locally and in Washington. The change also boosted the chances of female candidates who wanted a share of the control over the world where they lived.

The Now Organization

The National Organization for Women (NOW) started in 1966. NOW shone a light on issues like domestic abuse, reproductive rights, and more. Domestic abuse, reproductive rights, and many other causes were brought to the attention of the public due to the efforts of NOW. The group worked around the country to encourage equality for women at educational facilities, workplaces, and more.

The Combahee River Collective

During the late 20th century, what was known as the third movement of feminism took place. During this movement, the Combahee River Collective came to the forefront. The group of black feminists took on the same fights many women’s rights advocates had struggled with previously while also encouraging equality and freedom for everyone. The Collective battled as strongly for racial equality, rights for the LGBTQ community, and to stop class oppression.


The fight for equality continues into the 21st century. Some people and organizations continue to attempt to roll back women’s rights. Feminists and many others remain steadfast in their determination to not allow this to happen. Groups like NOW and the Combahee River Collective continue their work as many others arrive to continue and expand on previous work.