On August 26, 1920, 72 years of suffragists’ activism across the nation culminated into the adoption of the 19th Amendment. The Amendment granted voting rights to a larger population than any other act of legislation in American history, and people wondered what might come next.
The first presidential election after the Amendment’s adoption quickly revealed that women were not a monolith and would not vote in a bloc. The election also resulted in a lower voter turnout than anticipated, which spurred women across the country into action. Beyond the ballot box, the 19th Amendment had opened new avenues of political power and influence for women. Twenty women’s organizations, including GFWC, quickly joined forces to form the Women’s Joint Congressional Committee (WJCC). The WJCC helped to advocate for policy that would improve the lives of women and children. The coalition, which represented twenty million women, helped to pass legislation such as the Sheppard-Towner Maternity and Infancy Act.