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Women's History Month Symposium Examines Women's Suffrage

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/womens-history-month-symposium-examines-womens-suffrage_10254.mp3

In honor of Women’s History Month this March, Missouri State University is hosting a series of events that highlight women and women’s history. KSMU’s Emma Wilson looks into one symposium that will explore one of our most fundamental civil rights.

The year is 1920 and for the first time, American women are casting their ballots in the presidential election, over 70 years after the first Women’s Rights Convention in the U.S. Those 70 years saw the genesis of the women’s movement and countless women fighting for everything from employment to custody rights, but especially voting rights. An upcoming event sponsored by the Missouri State Gerontology department will celebrate those women with a symposium called “How Women Suffragettes Got Us the Vote and What We Do with It Now.”

“I will be impersonating Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who has come back for this event.”

Dr. Carol Gosselink is a professor in the Gerontology Department and is organizing this event. She says that in the beginning of the program they will focus on the early history of the women’s suffrage movement, highlighting two important catalysts of the landmark 19th amendment: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. She says that her impersonation of Stanton will bring in a new—or rather—old perspective.

“To share what she knew. To see what the world now has, as far as women’s rights. Because we see this as much more than the civil right to vote, it is about opening up opportunities for women in all areas of life.”

Following the conversation about suffragist history, there will be an intergenerational panel of women discussing the women’s movement of the past two hundred years and sharing views on a woman’s right to vote. April Hoover is a student at MSU and is assisting Gosselink with the symposium. She says that the women on the panel will try to put themselves in the shoes of their suffragist forebears.

“So you have three different snapshots of the perceptions in what it actually meant for them to be able to make that difference.”

This symposium will take place next Wednesday, March the 23rd at 5:00 pm in the Plaster Student Union Theater on the Missouri State University campus.

For KSMU news, I’m Emma Wilson.