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Activists revisit early suffrage movement


By Holly Wells
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, August 26, 2004
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The 19th amendment, which gave women the right to vote, passed exactly 84 years ago today.

To celebrate the anniversary of the amendment's passage in 1920, the Network of Feminist Student Activists will provide a free showing of HBO's "Iron Jawed Angels, " a 2004 film about the women's suffrage movement.

The event, at 7 p.m. in Social Sciences building Room 100, will kick off NFSA's Suffrage 2004: Get Out Her Vote, which Kelly Kraus, president of NFSA, described as a massive student voter registration initiative.

Kraus said NFSA hopes to urge young women to vote and make a difference in their community by reminding them of how much women struggled to win the right to vote.

"A lot of people don't realize how much women had to fight. Women went to jail and went without food," said Kraus, a women's studies senior.

"Women don't know the history of the movement," Kraus said. "The struggle was slow-moving and now that we have the right to vote, many women don't take advantage of it," she said.

Kristin Prochaska, family studies and human development sophomore, said she doesn't really know much about the movement and probably wouldn't take the time to learn.

Many accredit the beginning of the suffrage movement to the Seneca Falls convention held in 1848. After the convention, women suffragists fought for 72 years before being granted the right to vote.

Prochaska said although she is registered to vote, she doesn't think she'll vote in the presidential election because she's not sure who to vote for.

Nicole Roqueta, a biology freshman, said she thinks young people should vote because they can make a difference.

"A lot of girls don't vote because they're too lazy," she said.

Roqueta said she believes if young women had more knowledge of the suffrage movement, they might be more motivated to vote.

Kraus said women between the ages of 18 and 24 have the lowest voting averages of any group of women.

Kraus said her group doesn't support a specific candidate and is just interested in getting more women involved.

Kraus said the group will focus more on registering voters Tuesday, while tonight will be about celebrating the suffrage movement.

"The movie night should just be fun," she said. "We're inviting everyone in the community and just want to bring the movement back to life."



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