WASHINGTON — The League of Women Voters of the United States and a local board game designer are excited to kick off Women’s History Month with the launch of a new board game highlighting the women’s suffrage movement.
Votes for Women, designed by Tory Brown and published by Fort Circle Games, recounts the story of how suffragists won the right to vote in 1920 through the 19th Amendment. The card-driven game detailing events from Seneca Falls, New York, to the ratification of the 19th Amendment features period artwork and historical documents.
The League of Women Voters was officially founded in Chicago in 1920, just six months before the 19th amendment was ratified and women won the vote. The League began as a "mighty political experiment" designed to help 20 million women fulfill their new responsibilities as voters.
"Women had to fight to win the right to vote, and particularly today, when democracy is under threat, we look for new ways of sharing our history and the importance of voting with the next generation of voters," said Virginia Kase Solomón, CEO of the League of Women Voters of the US. “Votes for Women is an engaging way to share those lessons as we strive to protect every American’s freedom to vote.”
The 19th Amendment was a major milestone in American history and an incredible accomplishment for a social movement; however, it did not guarantee all women the right to vote. The amendment notably enabled states to exclude Black women, especially in the South, and allowed the federal government to deny other women of color citizenship.
Founded in 2017, Fort Circle Games designs board games based on historical events. Fort Circle Games is based in Washington, DC, and is named after the network of fortifications that defended the city during the Civil War.
"Games have a unique way of entertaining and educating us at the same time and of reaching new audiences, so history feels real and relevant, said Tory Brown, designer of Votes for Women. “My game about the American Women's Suffrage movement is intended to inspire and mobilize new generations to find their place in our fierce effort to defend and protect democracy. I’m honored to stand alongside the League of Women Voters and their incredible legacy."
The game, Votes for Women, can be purchased for $75 (including shipping) at www.votesforwomen.com. The League of Women Voters receives a donation for each game published.
The Latest from the League
In a time of great cynicism about politics and apathy among voters, Suffragette serves as a good reminder to look back and remember what life was like for those once excluded from the political process.
In honor of League of Women Voters’ Day on February 14 – and that lesser known holiday, Valentine’s Day – here are seven vintage suffrage Valentines to remind us of the importance of the vote, both in 1920 and today.
Last week a major exhibit on the fight for the 19th Amendment opened at the National Archives in Washington, DC. I was honored to get a sneak peek of the display at the opening reception for the exhibit, Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote.