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Women's Suffrage Biographies

Biographies of Key Women Who Worked for Woman Suffrage


Included here: key biographies of women who worked for women's right to vote -- and a few anti's. Note: while the media, especially in Britain, called many of these women suffragettes, the more correct term historically is suffragists. And while the struggle for the right of women to vote is often called women's suffrage, at the time the cause was called woman suffrage.

Individuals are included in alphabetical order; if you're new to the topic, be sure to check out these key figures: Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, the Pankhursts, Millicent Garret Fawcett, Alice Paul, and Carrie Chapman Catt.

Jane Addams

American social worker and suffragist Jane Addams
Hulton Archive/Archive Photos/Getty Images
Jane Addams' major contribution to history is her founding of Hull-House and her role in the settlement house movement and the beginnings of social work -- but she also worked for woman suffrage, women's rights, and peace.

Elizabeth Garrett Anderson

Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, a British activist in the late 19th and early 20th century for women's suffrage, was also the first physician woman in Great Britain.

Susan B. Anthony

Susan B. Anthony
Courtesy Library of Congress
With Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony was the best-known figure through most of the international and American suffrage movement. Of the partnership, Anthony was more the public speaker and activist.

Barbara Bodichon

A women's rights advocate in 19th century, Barbara Bodichon wrote influential pamphlets and publications as well as helping win married women's property rights.

Olympia Brown

One of the earliest women ordained as a minister, Olympia Brown was also a popular and effective speaker for the woman suffrage movement. She eventually retired from active congregational ministry to focus on her suffrage work.

Lucy Burns

A co-worker and partner in activism with Alice Paul, Lucy Burns learned about suffrage work in the United Kingdom, organizing in England and Scotland before returning to her native United States and bringing the more militant tactics home with her.

Carrie Chapman Catt

Carrie Chapman Catt
Adapted from public domain image
Alice Paul's counterpart at the National American Woman Suffrage Association during the latter years of the suffrage movement, Carrie Chapman Catt promoted more traditional political organizing which was also important to the victory. She went on to found the League of Women Voters.

Emily Davies

Part of the less-militant wing of the British suffrage movement, Emily Davies is also known as the founder of Girton College.

Abigail Scott Duniway

Abigail Scott Duniway
Courtesy of the Library of Congress. Modifications © 2003 Jone Lewis. Licensed to About.com.
She fought for suffrage in the Pacific Northwest, contributing to wins in Idaho, Washington and her home state of Oregon.

Millicent Garrett Fawcett

Millicent Fawcett
© 2008 Clipart.com
In the British campaign for woman suffrage, Millicent Garrett Fawcett was known for her "constitutional" approach: a more peaceful, rational strategy, in contrast to the more militant and confrontational strategy of the Pankhursts.
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