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Legislative Women’s Legislative Timeline Published

The following is a press release about the new Minnesota Women’s Legislative Timeline from the Legislative Reference Library

Timeline shows key laws passed for women since suffrage in 1920.

On June 15, 2011, the Legislative Reference Library of the State of Minnesota and the Office on the Economic Status of Women published an interactive online historical timeline. The timeline looks at the history of legislation affecting women enacted in Minnesota since the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920. The state laws featured on the timeline show the legislative progression of women’s rights in Minnesota since women earned the right to vote.

Funded by a grant from the Minnesota Historical and Cultural Grants Program, this timeline is the culmination of research into the types of laws that were significant milestones for women in the state of Minnesota. Resources included the Legislative Reference Library, Office on the Economic Status of Women archives, Minnesota Historical Society, interviews, surveys and commentary from historians and leaders who have worked on women’s issues in Minnesota.

Of the many fascinating insights into women’s history in Minnesota, the timeline shows that after a flurry of post-suffrage legislation in the 1920s, women’s legislative issues in Minnesota receded during the years before and after World War II, only to resurface with marked strength in the post-Civil Rights years of the 1970s and 1980s. One key component of the timeline project was determining which laws to feature. Said project co-director Amy Brenengen, “We were able to choose from over one hundred relevant laws during this time period, and highlight some key milestones. We got excellent feedback from the academic and women’s rights communities and touched on areas ranging from economics to health to female jurors! It’s an important reminder of the incremental but vital steps taken by the state of Minnesota to ensure fair treatment of women across a wide spectrum of issues.”

The project was spearheaded by Robbie LaFleur, Director of the Legislative Reference Library, and Amy Brenengen, former Director of the Office on the Economic Status of Women. Project staff included Mary McGreevy, Elizabeth Lincoln, Mike Schatz, and Jennifer Schwope.

The public is invited to view the timeline at www.leg.state.mn.us/lrl/womenstimeline, and to share your feedback.

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