Woman's Day, May 27, 1916

Women's movement shaped Texas

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by Tom Wancho, Exhibit Planner

The early 20th century saw participation by Texas women in movements designed to improve the quality of life for all Texans. Printed pieces like these illustrate the issues being championed by women in the early 1900s.

The Woman’s Day broadside focuses on better education for women and their children, work efficiency, and a more cooperative spirit. What Every Woman Knows emphasizes that while women performed equal work at home, they were unequal in voting rights, and Think It Over lists the history of other states that had already given women the right to vote.

As a growing Texas became more urban, middle-class women sought to “network” and to educate themselves through organizations known as study clubs. By 1901, there were 132 member clubs across the state joined together as the Texas Federation of Women's Clubs. Their goals included working to build libraries, parks, and cleaner public areas, establishing health programs for mothers and children, and having laws enacted that restricted child labor. The Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) had its roots in these clubs.   

The Woman’s Club of San Antonio was especially effective in promoting women's rights. The results of their efforts included the placing of women on the local school board, the hiring of police women and matrons to work with female prisoners, and the formation of a juvenile court. By the end of 1912, 400 women populated their ranks and an Equal Franchise Society had been founded. Other Texas cities followed San Antonio’s lead, and in 1913, the Texas Equal Suffrage Association was founded. 

See this and other artifacts on the Interactive Texas Map

Woman's Day, May 27, 1916 Artifact from Rosenberg, Texas
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