Rights for Women: The Suffrage Movement and Its Leaders

Maud Younger (1870-1936)

Maud Younger lobbied for woman suffrage, protective legislation for working-class women, and the ERA, shirking conformity and seeking bold reforms. As a young woman Younger stopped at the New York City College Settlement to experience the life of a working-class woman; although she was only going to stay a week, this wealthy young woman stayed for five years, got a job as a waitress, and became involved in trade unions. People jokingly called her the “millionaire waitress,” yet took her seriously enough to elect her president of the local Waitresses’ Union in California.

Back in California she successfully lobbied for an eight-hour day and organized a woman’s suffrage campaign in 1911. These successes lead to her involvement with Alice Paul and the Congressional Union. Younger spoke throughout the country on behalf of woman suffrage and even got arrested while petitioning Wilson’s White House. She pressured Congress for both labor reform and woman suffrage at the same time. Following the passage of the nineteenth amendment, Younger switched her attention solely to the ERA. For the rest of her life, Younger lobbied and organized for women’s equality insisting that it would not impede any existing protective legislation.

Younger
Maud Younger, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division (LC-DIG-ggbain-12751)

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