100 years of the right to vote


Welcome to Women of the Century, a commemoration of the 19th Amendment, a major step toward the universal right to vote in the United States.

Here you will find interviews with trailblazing American women, stories that cover the suffrage movement’s victories and shortcomings, augmented reality experiences that bring alive aspects of the suffragists’ struggles and triumphs, videos that show the amazing work women are doing in our communities and much more. Many names you will know, some you will not. All have something to teach us.

Our hope is that this project inspires women, girls and their supporters to work toward a better America for the next century.

Women of the Century didn’t succeed despite adversity, but often because of it. We offer a representative list of 100 women who’ve made an impact on our culture, our communities, and our country over the past 100 years. These women are imperfect, empowering and important. Explore our list.



Civil rights


Arts & Literature and Media

Science & Medicine and Education

Business, Nonprofits & Philanthropy

Learn about notable suffragists Carrie Chapman Catt, Mary Church Terrell and Elizabeth Cady Stanton in our augmented reality experience, “Heroes of Women’s Suffrage.” Listen to key passages from their speeches as the scenes come to life, animated in a graphic novel format. Download the latest version of the USA TODAY app on your Android or iOS AR-capable device. Open the app, and look for Augmented Reality in Sections at the bottom of your screen. 

Heroes of women's suffrage

Heroes of women’s suffrage
Staff Report

Female entrepreneurs clear balances for 30 college seniors

Womankind, USA Today

Womankind, a new video series from the Humankind franchise, will showcase the untold stories of everyday women who are doing incredible things. The women of Womankind are entrepreneurs, small business owners, children, mentors, volunteers, teachers, pilots, mothers, friends, grandmothers. They are changing the world one act, one business, one relationship at a time. 

The USA TODAY Network is also recognizing influential women in each state, territory and Washington, D.C. These women imagined and created. They protested and they fought. Ultimately, they transformed our country. In all, we’re amplifying the accomplishments of more than 500 diverse, ground-breaking, brave, thoughtful women. 

Hattie McDaniel and Helen Keller are two of more than 500 women featured on the Women of the Century list.

Hattie McDaniel and Helen Keller are two of more than 500 women featured on the Women of the Century list.
Illustration: Veronica Bravo, USA TODAY

One hundred years ago, as a groundswell of momentum pushed toward giving women the right to vote, the South decried the idea. In the fight for the 19th Amendment, suffragists saw Tennessee as their last hope. As tensions mounted and personal frictions split the movement, the country turned to Tennessee to decide. Read the story.

Women march for the right to vote in this Nashville parade.

Women march for the right to vote in this Nashville parade.
Photo illustration by Andrea Brunty/USA TODAY Network

The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ratified by 36 states and made law in 1920, finally gave women in the United States the right to vote, though women of color would still face barriers to voting for decades to come. It was not an easy road. Take a look back at some of the highlights, milestones, disappointments and victories of the women’s suffrage movement. Explore the timeline.

Women's suffrage march on New York's Fifth Ave.

Women’s suffrage march on New York’s Fifth Ave.

It’s impossible to pick a perfect list. A handful of women just barely missed the cutoff for Women of the Century, including Madam CJ Walker, the first female self-made millionaire in the U.S. She paved the way for hundreds of other female entrepreneurs. Read the story. Did we miss a woman you think should be on our list? We’d like to hear from you.

Madam CJ Walker (Sarah Breedlove), the first female self-made millionaire in the world, poses for a portrait circa 1914.

Madam CJ Walker (Sarah Breedlove), the first female self-made millionaire in the world, poses for a portrait circa 1914.
Michael Ochs Archives

The dominant narrative about the women’s suffrage movement is framed through the experiences of white women, but African American women played a major role in obtaining the right to vote, even though many of them would not truly enjoy the right themselves to the same extent until decades later. Read the story.

Ida B. Wells

Ida B. Wells
Photo: Library of Congress, Illustration: Veronica Bravo, USA TODAY

Rita Moreno moved to New York from Puerto Rico at 5, later becoming the first Latina to win an Oscar. Known for her role as Anita in “West Side Story,” she is one of just 16 people to win an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony. She talks about bravery (still hard), her journey (not over) and the importance of listening (we must do better). Read the Q&A.

Rita Moreno

Rita Moreno
Photo: Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP, Illustration: USA TODAY Network

Women of the Century: Recognizing the accomplishments of women from the last 100 years


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