Clubs (Women's) in the West

Women's participation in voluntary associations is a major theme in American history. Denied equal involvement in political and economic affairs, women used volunteer work to contribute to their communities and to participate in American public life. Volunteerism gave women autonomy and self-reliance, as well as a means of self-improvement, continuing education, and social interaction. At the same time, women's welfare work helped ameliorate many social problems accompanying industrialization, urbanization, and immigration. Clubwomen also contributed to their communities' cultural life by organizing museums, libraries, art exhibits, and musical events. These activities, in turn, helped define and legitimate new professions for women, including social work, public health, and librarianship. Finally, female volunteerism originated and sustained the woman's suffrage movement, which culminated with the passage in 1920 ...

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