Women's Suffrage and the Constitution: Chapter I, Reason 5

Updated February 28, 2017 | Infoplease Staff

5. Equal Status of Men and Women Voters Demands It.

Until the adoption of the Fourteenth Amendment the National Constitution did not discriminate against women but in Section 2 of that amendment provision was made whereby a penalty may be directed against any state which denies the right to vote to its male inhabitants possessed of the necessary qualifications as prescribed by nation and state. If the entire 48 states should severally enfranchise women their political status would still be inferior to that of men, since no provision for national protection in their right to vote would exist.

The women of eleven states are said to vote on equal terms with men. As a matter of fact they do not, since they not only lose their vote whenever they change their residence to any one of the 37 other states (except Illinois, where they lose only a portion of their privileges), but they enjoy no national protection in their right to vote. Women justly demand “Equal Rights for All and Special Privileges for None.“ Amendment to the National Constitution alone can give them an equal status. Equality of rights can never be secured through state by state enfranchisement.