OCTOBER 26, 1888–MARCH 22, 1963
Doris Stevens was born in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1888. She was a suffragist, social worker, writer, and legal advocate for women’s rights. She worked with the National American Woman Suffrage Association before joining the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage (later the National Woman’s Party, or NWP) in 1914.
Though she organized and picketed for women’s suffrage before 1920, the bulk of Stevens’ women’s rights work came after the 19th Amendment’s passage. Stevens was especially interested in the legal status of women all over the world, and she and Alice Paul put together a report on laws regarding women’s citizenship rights in every country. The report led to the creation of the Inter-American Commission of Women, and Stevens served as the organization’s first chairman in 1928. In 1929, Stevens started studying international law at Columbia University to help further her activism. She didn’t graduate, but she did become the first woman to join the American Institute of International Law.
In 1947, Stevens left the NWP after a falling out with Alice Paul and joined the Lucy Stone League. She spent the latter part of her career fighting for women’s studies to be recognized as a respected academic field. She died in 1963 at the age of 74.
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