History of the League of Women Voters

The LWV of the United States grew out of the women’s suffrage movement and was organized in 1920 by Carrie Chapman Catt. The League’s first goal was to teach women how to exercise their newly won right to vote.

The League’s concern for such issues as child welfare and world peace led members to study these issues and to act to limit child labor and to promote free trade. Political action based on knowledge gained through study became the foundation of the League’s diverse agenda. At the same the League has become known as a source of impartial information about candidates and the voting process.

The Massachusetts League is an active state League composed of many local Leagues. From its beginning in 1920, LWVM worked to secure the right of women to serve on juries, a battle that took 30 years of struggle. In the 1960s LWVM led the effort to cut the size of the Massachusetts house of Representatives and supported other constitutional changes. The League continues to promote open government and citizen participation and to lobby on issues that is has studied.