All of these achievements can be traced, in part, back to that victory in 1920. Women used their power at the ballot box to help elect congressmen and women who, over the decades, introduced and passed legislation advancing equal rights and financial equality for women. Yet today only 143 women currently hold elected office4 in Congress, a mere 38 women are CEOs of Fortune 500 companies5 and the wage gap still persists. Clearly, more work needs to be done.
“The suffragettes wouldn’t give up, and today’s activists can take inspiration from them,” says Kirstin Hill, Chief Operating Officer of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management. “There’s still a long way to go in the journey toward full gender equality, and Merrill and Bank of America are committed to helping women achieve it.” Visit ml.com/women to explore Merrill’s resources for women and learn more about its commitment to helping them manage their financial lives.
The timeline above highlights six key legislative moments of the last century that have strengthened the financial security of women, including an update on one battle — for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment — still being waged in the halls of Congress. Laws can be changed, after all, but constitutional amendments enshrine the principles they prescribe.