March is Women’s History Month. Did you know that Methodist women were significantly involved in the fight for women’s suffrage? Next year, we will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution that prohibited the denial of the right to vote on the basis of sex. The NC Conference Media Center offers books and DVDs on the suffrage movement and the history of Methodist women who fulfilled their call to ministry and justice.
Request These Resources
You may borrow any of these resources for use at your church or at home. We can mail them to you! Simply fill out the Resource Request Form, or contact the Media Center with any questions. The NC Conference Media Center is open to anyone involved with the North Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church, free of charge.
DVDs on Women’s Suffrage
Bishop Ward recommends this award-winning PBS documentary on Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, leaders of the women’s suffrage movement. Not for Ourselves Alone chronicles their pioneering efforts to gain the right to vote for women, something neither would see in their lifetimes. The film is 3 hours divided into segments.
Another, slightly shorter option is One Woman, One Vote that gives a larger overview of the women’s suffrage movement through the passing of the 19th amendment. This 2-hour documentary explores the motivations behind the crusaders and their opposition.
The Stories of Methodist Women
What was ministry like for United Methodist women in the 18th century? In Spirituality and Social Responsibility: Vocational Vision of Women in the United Methodist Tradition, read the stories of this diverse group of women who lived into their callings despite barriers such as racism and sexism.
The United Methodist Church elected its first African American woman as bishop in 1984, the first major American denomination to do so. Her name is Leontine Current Kelly, and Breaking Barriers: An African American Family & the Methodist Story tells of her journey along with the experiences of African Americans in the United Methodist Church.
Anna Howard Shaw was one of the first women to be ordained in the Methodist Church, and her ordination was challenged. She was also a staunch supporter of women’s suffrage, even serving as president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association.
Sojourner Truth was a freedom fighter for blacks and for women. She was also a Methodist. This biography explores her transformative life and its effect on those who encountered her, as well as the legacy that remains today.
Frances Willard, founder of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, fought for women’s suffrage and other social justice issues for workers and women. In 1888, she was one of 5 women elected as delegates to General Conference, but they were replaced by male reserves. She wrote A Wheel Within a Wheel after she took up bicycle-riding at the age of 53.
Timeline of Women’s Suffrage
The NC Conference Commission on the Status and Role of Women has published online a very informative pictorial timeline of women’s suffrage. It is an excellent resource to share that gives an overview of the major events and the United Methodist connection.
UMC Women in Leadership
UMC.org offers many articles and resources on the history of women in leadership in the Methodist Church.
For additional resources for women available to borrow from the NC Conference Media Center, view the following pathfinders in our online catalog: