On December 10, 1869, women’s suffrage was approved in Wyoming, United States.
Thus, this rural territory, which would later become a State, was the first in history in which this right was maintained continuously until today.
In October of that year, the Wyoming territorial legislature approved a series of measures in favor of women: they were allowed to attend political meetings, equal pay was guaranteed for teachers regardless of their gender, and married women were allowed to keep their jobs. property rights, separate from those of their husbands.
At that time, Wyoming had a white population of six men for every woman. Native Americans did not count as citizens, but minorities such as African Americans and workers of Chinese origin who had arrived to build the railroad did.
One of the reasons for granting rights to women was racial: it was hoped that by expanding their rights, more white women would come to town to stay and live.
Wyoming had a Republican governor, John Campbell, but the House of Representatives was dominated by Democrats. The Democrats’ political strategy was that women would vote for them for having supported their cause, and that the governor would not pay the political cost of denying them equal rights.
Another argument was the loss of population. Major economic activities, such as gold mining, were in decline. It was necessary to attract immigrants with positive news and create new families to encourage an increase in birth rates.
The rule was proposed by Democrat William Bright, president of the legislature’s council. Once approved it was called Council. The law allowed not only the right to vote, but also the right to stand for election and hold office. In the elections for territorial representative in Congress, in September 1870, around a thousand women exercised their right to vote. Women’s suffrage, contrary to expectations, opted for the Republicans.
On December 10, 1869, women’s suffrage was approved in Wyoming, United States, the first place where that right is preserved to this day.
Script by Eduardo Santachita and voiceover by Pita Fortín.
by Radio Profile