Breaking Barriers: Women in Congress
Explore these sample topics of women breaking barriers in Congress. For more, visit the Women in Congress exhibition.
"Women Must Be Empowered": The U.S. House of Representatives and the Nineteenth Amendment
An essay exploring how the House passed the Nineteenth Amendment.
Records regarding the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution.
Congress and the Women’s Suffrage Movement
A blog showing the slow progress of suffrage, through the institutional perspective of congressional records and how citizens and advocacy groups interacted with Congress.
A blog about Victoria Woodhull's testimony on women's suffrage before the House Judiciary Committee in 1871.
Suffragist Susan B. Anthony's Petition to the 43rd Congress
A historical highlight describing Susan B. Anthony's petition to the 43rd Congress (1873-1875) regarding a fine she received for illegal voting.
Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)
“A Changing of the Guard: Legislative Interests, 1955-1976”
An essay discussing the Equal Rights Amendment and the unique bond of cooperation that formed between women Members.
The Equal Rights Amendment
A historical highlight showcasing the successful discharge petition Representative Martha Griffiths used to release the ERA from the Judiciary Committee.
Equal Rights Amendment Records
House Records concerning the Equal Rights Amendment.
Oral History: Equal Rights Amendment
Representative Connie Morella discussing the ERA as her inspiration to run for Congress.
Oral History: Working Together for the ERA
Representative Elizabeth Holtzman describing the process of building congressional support to extend the ratification deadline for the ERA.
Oral History: The Equal Rights Act Discharge Petition: Part One and Part Two
House staffer Pat Kelly recalling her memories of Representative Martha Griffiths gathering signatures to move the ERA out of committee.
Featured U.S. Representatives
Jeannette Rankin of Montana
Representative Rankin was the first woman elected to Congress, one of the few suffragists elected to Congress, and the only Member of Congress to vote against U.S. participation in both World War I and World War II.
Edith Nourse Rogers of Massachusetts
Representative Rogers was a nursing volunteer and advocate for veterans across the country; elected after her husband, Representative John Jacob Rogers, died in 1925.
Patsy Mink of Hawaii
Representative Mink was the first woman of color and the second woman from Hawaii to serve in Congress.
Shirley Chisholm of New York
Representative Chisholm was the first African-American woman in Congress.
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida
Representative Ros-Lehtinen was the first Hispanic woman in Congress and Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee.
Featured Objects and Records