What were the effects of Progressivism on women?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The most important impact of the Progressive Era on women was that they gained the right to vote during that era.  Women gained the right to vote in 1920, just at the end of the Progressive Era.  Progressives wanted women to have the right to vote because they believed that women would tend to vote for the sorts of reforms that Progressives advocated.

Another impact on women was that the Progressive Era saw the first government regulations that were meant to protect working women.  For example, there were laws passed that set maximum hours that women could work.  Though we would see such laws as patronizing and sexist today (because they were based on the assumption that women were too weak to work longer hours), the laws did affect women.

Finally, the Progressive movement did have an impact on many poorer and immigrant women.  This impact came about through the settlement house movement.  This aspect of Progressivism was instrumental in helping poorer women improve the quality of life enjoyed by themselves and their families.