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Kansas Museum of History - Upward to Equality

Upward to Equality: Kansas Women Fight to Vote

A special exhibit at the Kansas Museum of History

March 20, 2020 - December 31, 2020

Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the courageous women who made it possible.

For Kansas women the path toward suffrage was incremental. Women began working for voting rights as they fought to keep Kansas free from slavery. Women like Clarina Nichols brought the topics of women's rights into the constitutional conventions. They ensured that Kansas women had opportunities other women in the nation did not. From the time Kansas was admitted as the 34th state, women had the right to vote in school board elections.

Women's organizations continued to push for the vote. When they gained the right to vote in municipal elections, Kansas elected the first woman mayor in the nation, and all women city councils.

The road to full suffrage brought women in partnership with political groups and organizations that shared both common and competing goals. It was an experience of successes, failures, and eventually the success that made Kansas the eighth state to provide full voting rights for women.