Education for women brought about many changes and reforms during the progressive era because women gained the voice in society, were able to work more and participate in elections. Therefore, women were noticed by the government and hence able to make changes to reforms that would benefit women.
The first effect of education for women is the increase in participation in social reform. Educated women were the force behind the reforms of the Progressive Era. Some of the reforms that interested women were those focused on immigration, family issues, women rights, and children. Women wanted to end child labor and hence promoted prohibition laws. Furthermore, educated women focused on building houses for immigrants, teach them the American culture and language, and help them in looking for employment. Additionally, women championed for the right to vote which led to the passing of the 19th Amendment. On the other hand, educated women wanted alcohol to be prohibited because alcohol ruined family stability, and contributed to domestic violence. The 18th Amendment was later passed and it prohibited the manufacture, sale, and transportation of alcohol.
The Women Suffrage Movement was formed as a result of education and exposure the women received. The pioneers of the movement were Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Stanton. They formed the first New York Women’s Temperance Society in 1852 and championed for the enactment of the 19th Amendment in the United States Constitution in 1920.
Women groups such as the General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC)and the National Association of Colored Women (NACW) were formed to address the urbanization and industrialization crises, and problems faced by the African Americans respectively. On the other hand, the National Congress of Mothers was later formed in 1897 to address issues and challenges experienced in families, and the role of women in solving the problems. Women became proactive as a result of education and took a center stage in addressing most of the issues.
Educated women saw the need for networking and collaboration in addressing some of the problems. Seeing the effects of industrialization and urbanization, women of the progressive era looked for counterparts in Europe who experienced the same problems, came together, and sought a solution. Houses for middle-class, immigrants and unemployed were constructed for the identified population. Later on, the project spread throughout the country because there was a need for better living standards.