Spotlight on History
Fight for Women’s Rights
The LDMA is commemorating the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage with a look back at the fight for women’s rights in Louisiana. On August 18, 1920, the 19th amendment was officially adopted, granting women the right to vote in the United States. While a major milestone, many women in Louisiana found other issues to fight for in the 20th century, including the repeal of the head and master law and the attempted ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. Watch coverage from LPB’s Louisiana: The State We’re In on these issues from the 1970s and 1980s, as well as a recent report on the state of women’s rights in Louisiana.
In this clip from LPB’s Louisiana: A History, learn more about the efforts of New Orleans suffragists in helping women gain the right to vote in 1920.
Watch LPB’s first report on the attempted repeal of the nation’s oldest Head and Master Law, which allowed a husband to make community property decisions without his wife’s consent.
See LPB’s first report on the Equal Rights Amendment debate in Louisiana, including a speech by national ERA opponent Phyllis Schlafly.
View a report on Selina Martin’s case challenging the constitutionality of Louisiana’s head and master law before the United States Supreme Court.
Watch a report on the community property law for married couples that took effect in 1980 and replaced the head and master law.
See a report on the heated debate and defeat of the Equal Rights Amendment in the Louisiana Legislature.
View interviews with two Louisiana women impacted by the head and master law, as well as Sylvia Roberts, the general counsel for the NOW Legal Defense Fund.
Watch a report on the final defeat of the equal rights amendment in the Louisiana Legislature before the ratification deadline enacted by Congress.
See a panel discussion on the findings of a nationwide survey ranking Louisiana as the worst state for women’s rights.