To enter the Belmont Paul National Monument is to find yourself transported back to early 1900s America. A time when women in the United States were starting to find a voice and realizing their strength in numbers.
“Now the main story that we tell here is the fight for the 19th amendment.Simply, the second wave and talk about, you know, their role the role the National Woman’s Party in putting pressure on President Woodrow Wilson to actually come out in support of what’s eventually going to be the 19th amendment.”
The 19th amendment ratified on August 18th, 1920 granted women the right to vote, a right the women’s suffrage movement had fought decades to achieve. One of the National Women’s Party’s founders was feminist and women’s rights activist Alice Paul, together with the help of millionaire socialite Alva Belmont, who became a major funder of the organization.They set the stage for what would become a milestone in America’s continuing struggle for equality. Today their names have been immortalized and remembered by a new generation of fans.
“I just think Alice Paul’s on my heroes and so I think that it’s good to be reminded of her work and the party’s work.They were so radical and really successful.”
Situated on the corner of Constitution Avenue and 2nd Street the stately brick house served as the headquarters for the National Woman’s Party for 90 years.It was converted into a school and later preserved as a monument by the US National Park Service as a testament to the power of collective will.
“Oh definitely, it’s definitely worth visiting to learn a history of women getting the right to vote and all the struggles behind it.”
More than century later, the monument continues to inspire young women future leaders who aspire to the same goals as its founders, a seat at the table and equal pay for equal work.“Always hoping for equal, equal number of women maybe in the in Congress. And a female president.”It’s a goal many young women believe it’s not just possible but inevitable.Thanks in part to the vision of the women immortalized in this little-known building in the heart of Washington.
For Rio Tuasikal, Ariono Arifin VOA News