Friday, January 25, 2013

Maud Wood Park

 Born this day in 1871: Maud Wood Park (1871–1955), feminist and social reformer whose lobbying efforts were instrumental in securing passage of the 19th Amendment

Park was born Maud May Wood in Boston, Massachusetts. She was educated at Radcliffe College where she was in a minority of two as a supporter of suffrage (her sister suffragist was Inez Haynes Gillmore). She joined the Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association, becoming its chair in 1900. That same year she served as a delegate to the meeting of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. In 1901 established the College Equal Suffrage League to help draw young, educated women into the cause. After extensive lecturing and touring (a tactic she used throughout her career), Park had inspired the generation of chapters in 30 states. These banded together to form the College Equal Suffrage Association. Also in 1901 Park became executive secretary of the Boston Equal Suffrage Association for Good Government, an organization dedicated to suffrage and reform efforts of particular interest to women.

In 1916 Park became the head of the congressional committee of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. In this role she organized an army of lobbyists to help push the suffrage amendment through Congress. Her lobbyists kept close tabs on members’ positions on suffrage and had to keep them interested in the cause—Congress had vowed to legislate on nothing not related to world war.

After passage of the 19th Amendment, Park became the first president of the League of Women Voters, formed in 1920. In 1924 she organized the Women’s Joint Congressional Committee, lobbying for the passage of the Sheppard-Towner Act of 1921. This act authorized federal aid to states for maternity, child health, and welfare programs. It was the first social welfare program funded at the federal level. The committee also secured the passage of the Cable Act of 1922, which granted independent citizenship to married women.

I welcome your feedback! React, comment, subscribe below.

No comments:

Post a Comment