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Dia Internacional da Mulher: Há 100 anos, pelo Direito ao Voto

No Dia Internacional da Mulher, o No Feminino Negócios recorda imagens um momento marcante e inspirador para as mulheres de todo o mundo. Passado há 100 anos, está ainda bem presente na  memória colectiva de todas as mulheres que ainda hoje lutam pela plena igualdade de género . A  ideia de celebrar um dia da mulher começou a surgir nos primeiros anos do século XX, nos Estados Unidos e na Europa, no contexto das lutas de mulheres por melhores condições de vida e trabalho, bem como pelo direito de voto. O que se passou em Março de 1913 em Washington tornou-se decisivo para a afirmação da igualdade de género no pilar fundamental da democracia: o direito ao voto.

Há menos de um século, as mulheres nos Estados Unidos não tinham o direito de votar. Muitos grupos de mulheres corajosas empenharam-se ao nível estadual e local desde o final do século 19 em pról sufrágio feminino.

Em 1913, ocorreram os primeiros grandes esforços nacionais, começando com um desfile enorme em Washington DC, a3 de março – um dia antes da posse do presidente Woodrow Wilson.

Organizado por Alice Paul da Associação Nacional Americana pelo Sufrágio da Mulher, o desfile, que pedia uma emenda constitucional, contou com 8.000 manifestantes, incluindo nove bandas, quatro brigadas montadas, 20 carros alegóricos, e uma performance alegórica perto do edifício do Tesouro.

Embora o desfile tenha começado tarde, parecia estar a correr bem até  o percurso ao longo da Avenida Pensilvânia ter ficado impedido com dezenas de milhares de espectadores – a maioria homens na cidade para a tomada de posse presidencial. As manifestantes foram empurradas e ridicularizadas por muitos na multidão. Algumas tropeçaram, outras foram agredidas e a polícia parecia indiferente. Cem manifestantes tiveram de ser hospitalizadas, com os maus-tratos de que foram vitimas a ampliarem o impacto do evento – e a causa pela qual lutavam –  gerando audiências no Congresso e a perda de emprego do superintendente da polícia de Washington.

O que começou em 1913 levou mais de sete anos a ser concluído no Congresso. Em 1920, foi aprovada a 19ª  Emenda a garantir o voto para as mulheres.

German actress Hedwig Reicher wears the costume of “Columbia” with other suffrage pageant participants standing in background in front of the Treasury Building in Washington, D.C., on March 3, 1913. The performance was part of the larger Suffrage Parade of 1913. (Library of Congress)
Suffragist Alice Paul, in a 1913 photograph. Paul was born in New Jersey, earned an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, then traveled to England and became friends with members of the women’s suffrage movement there. She soon became very active herself, and, on returning to the United States soon after, joined the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA). Her first actions as part of NAWSA were to organize a massive parade in Washington, D.C. to promote a new constitutional amendment that would guarantee women’s right to vote in the U.S. (Library of Congress)
Cover of the program for the 1913 women’s suffrage procession. (Library of Congress)
Elizabeth Freeman of the New York State Suffrage Association, with horse and carriage, on her way to join the March 3, 1913 suffrage march in Washington, D.C. (Library of Congress)

Mrs. E.R. Smith practicing speechmaking from a covered platform before a small crowd, a ‘school for suffragette speakers’ in Union Square. (Library of Congress)

Suffragists on bus in New York City, part of the suffrage hike to Washington, D.C., which joined the March 3, 1913 National American Woman Suffrage Association parade. (Library of Congress)
March 3, 1913 photo at the Suffrage Parade, showing marchers (left to right) Mrs. Russell McLennan, Mrs. Althea Taft, Mrs. Lew Bridges, Mrs. Richard Coke Burleson, Alberta Hill and Miss F. Ragsdale. (Library of Congress)
The hike lead by “General” Rosalie Jones from New York to Washington, D.C., for the March 3, 1913 Suffrage parade. Photo taken in Newark, New Jersey on Broad Street, just north of West Kinney Street, on February 12, 1913. Rosalie Jones is walking behind the first car. (Library of Congress)
Suffragists hand out flyers advertising the upcoming parade, 1913. (Library of Congress)
Women suffrage hikers arriving in Washington, D.C., from New York, 1913. (Library of Congress)

At an open air meeting in Washington, D.C., in March of 1913, calling upon Congress to pass the national woman suffrage amendment. This photograph shows Mrs. John Rogers, sister-in-law of former Secretary of War, and a member of the Advisory Council of the Congressional Union for Women Suffrage, speaking in front of old Corcoran Art Gallery. (Library of Congress)
Lawyer Inez Milholland Boissevain prepares to lead the Suffrage Parade, on March 3, 1913. (Library of Congress)
Women suffragists at the head of the parade, marching down Pennsylvania Avenue, with the U.S. Capitol in background, on March 3, 1913. (Library of Congress)
Actress Margaret Vale Howe, a participant in the suffrage parade in Washington, D.C., in March of 1913. (Library of Congress)
Tableau presented by the Women’s Suffrage Association, on the U.S. Treasury building steps, on March 3, 1913. (Library of Congress)
Spectators crowd in on the passing Suffrage Parade on Pennsylvania Avenue, on March 3, 1913. (Library of Congress)
Pennsylvania Avenue, completely choked with spectators during the Suffrage Parade, on March 3, 1913. (Library of Congress)
“Home Makers,” part of the Women’s Suffrage Parade, on March 3, 1913. (Library of Congress)
Crowds press in on the parade route in Washington, D.C., on March 3, 1913. The stands and bunting were in place for the Inauguration of President Woodrow Wilson, scheduled for the following day. (Library of Congress)
Part of the 1913 Suffrage Parade. The signs read “In The Home”, and “Homemakers”. (Library of Congress)
The crowd converges on marchers, blocking the parade route during March 3, 1913, suffrage procession, in Washington, D.C. (Library of Congress)
This photo is captioned “Crowd breaking parade up at 9th St., March 3, 1913.” (Library of Congress)
The crowd surrounds and slows a Red Cross ambulance during the Women’s suffrage procession, on March 3, 1913. Dozens of marchers were injured during the march, shoved and tripped by spectators. (Library of Congress)
After the Parade: Mrs. John Boldt, Mrs. May Morgan, Miss Dock, and Miss Craft, suffrage hikers who took part in the suffrage hike from New York City to Washington, D.C., as well as the parade itself, on March 3, 1913. (Library of Congress)

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