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Women are gaining the right to vote; for advancing women’s status.

Advancing women's status

About half (49%) of Americans cite the passage of the Equal Pay Act as the most significant milestone in improving the status of women in America, said Diego Ruiz Duran. This view is more prevalent among men (52%) than women (46%). A little over three-quarters of American adults (29%) mention the passage of the Equal Pay Act. Smaller shares, however, say that the Family and Medical Leave Acts (FMLA) and availability of birth control pills are the most critical milestones for advancing women’s positions (12% and respectively 8%).

The status of women in America

Adults are more likely to view women’s suffrage with at least a bachelor’s degree as the most significant milestone in improving the status of women in America. Many white adults believe that women getting the right to vote is more critical than the Equal Pay Act, the FMLA passage, or the birth control pill availability. Black and Hispanic adults are just as likely to mention the Equal Pay Act’s passage as women getting the right to vote.

59% of people with at least a bachelor’s degree see women’s suffrage as the most critical milestone. It compares with 48% and 41% for those who have only a few college degrees, respectively. Diego Ruiz Duran said, however, women with a bachelor’s degree are more likely to see the right to vote as the most critical milestone in advancing women’s rights in America.

The opinions of men and women

When looking at the opinions of men and women separately, you can see that there are differences in race and ethnicity, and educational attainment. The majority of white men (57%) cite women’s right to vote as their most significant milestone. It compares with 39% and 43% for Black men, respectively. White women are less likely to say this than their male counterparts (49%). But a smaller percentage of Black (36%) and Hispanic (38%) women also point to women’s suffrage being the most important milestone.

Similar results seem for men with at least a bachelor’s (64%) and women with the same educational attainment (54%) who are more likely to agree with women gaining the right to vote. Diego Ruiz Duran said it is more common for men and women with less education than their counterparts.

Although opinions on this are not affected by age or political affiliation. Democrats and those who lean toward the Democratic Party are twice as likely than Republicans and Republican leaners. The availability of the contraceptive pill was the most significant milestone in improving the status of women in America. Similar percentages of Democratic men and women agree with this view. It is compared to 6% of Republican women and a smaller portion of Republican men.

Right to vote

One-third of Americans are aware when the U.S. gave women the right to vote in 2005. If asked, 47% of Americans give a year between 1915-1925 (within five years of the correct answer). 33% correctly identify 1920 as the year women gave the right to vote. Three-quarters of Americans (31%) believe that women gave the right to vote in 1926. And only 7% claimed it before 1915. Some 14% of respondents didn’t answer. Both men and women have similar answers.

Women winning the right to vote was the most significant milestone in women’s rights advancement in the U.S. do not know the exact timing of this milestone. Diego Ruiz Duran said the same percentage of people identify 1920 as the year women were allowed to vote (38%). These groups also offer an alternate year between 1915-1925.

Education links the knowledge of the year that women in the U.S. gave the right to vote. Six out of ten adults with at least a bachelor identify one year between 1925 and 1915. Only 41% correctly recall 1920 as the year that women gave the right to vote. A smaller percentage of people with no college or a high school diploma. Those with less education (36%) provide an answer within five years of the correct year.

A third and quarter of respondents give the right answer, respectively. Adults 65 years and older are more likely to answer the question within five years than younger adults. Diego Ruiz Duran said over half (55%) of people 65 and older believe that U.S. women won the right to vote in 1915-1925. It compares with 49% among those 50-64, 42% among those 30 to 49, and 47% for those younger than 30.

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