How Did Life Change for American Women in the 1920s?

In the 1920s, American women had more jobs, gained the right to vote and revolutionized their societal roles. They challenged traditional Victorian ideals of how women should act.

According to Victorian morals, women should marry early and start a family, uphold morality and daintiness, dress elegantly and limit themselves to the home. Flappers were a rebellion against these gender roles. Females cut their hair, wore makeup, danced to jazz music, smoked and drank, and began expressing sexuality.

In 1920, the 19th Amendment granted middle and upper-class women the right to vote. They formed the National Women’s Party and pushed for an Equal Rights Amendment. Many women refused to surrender their jobs in factories, offices and hospitals after men returned from World War I. Women got jobs in sales and stenography, and the number of working women increased from 7 million to 11 million from 1919 to 1929.