A Lady Has the Floor

A Lady Has the Floor

Are women not worth the same as men? Belva Lockwood spent her whole life asking that question. She had big dreams and didn't let anyone stand in her way—not her father, her law school, or even the U.S. Supreme Court. She fought for equality for women in the classroom, in the courtroom, and in politics. In her quest for fairness and parity, Lockwood ran for President of the United States, becoming the first woman on the ballot. 

Belva began in the classroom, giving her female students the same opportunities as the boys for speaking up before the whole school. She changed laws to bring equality to the classrooms across New York, and she didn't stop there. Moving to Washington, D.C., Belva fought for a woman's right to speak up in courtrooms. In 1884, she ran for president even though women would not secure the right to vote for another 36 years. She was the first woman on the ballot, first before the Supreme Court, and first to pedal around the nation's capitol on a bicycle. Belva Lockwood was truly a woman ahead of her time.