I do not believe that women are better than men. We have not wrecked railroads, nor corrupted legislature, nor done many unholy things that men have done; but then we must remember that we have not had the chance.
Jane Addams (1860-1935), co-founder with Ellen Gates Starr, of Hull House, a social settlement serving the immigrants on Chicago's north side, became involved in the peace movement during the First World War.
Motivated by a strong conviction that women's suffrage was inextricably linked to the cause of international peace, she travelled to the Hague in 1915 where she served as the president of the first congress of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. While many were critical of her pacifism, she continued to call on women to use their influence to oppose militarism throughout the world.
Jane Addams was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1931.
Jane is portrayed as the selfless giver of ministrations to the poor, but few realize that she was a mover and shaker in the areas of labor reform (laws that governed working conditions for children and women), and was a charter member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
In 1893 a severe depression rocked the country. Hull House was serving over two thousand people a week. As charitable efforts increased, so too did political ones. Jane realized that there would be no end to poverty and need if laws were not changed. She directed her efforts at the root causes of poverty. The workers joined Jane to lobby the state of Illinois to examine laws governing child labor, the factory inspection system, and the juvenile justice system. They worked for legislation to protect immigrants from exploitation, limit the working hours of women, mandate schooling for children, recognize labor unions, and provide for industrial safety.
All this led to the right to vote for women. Addams worked for Chicago municipal suffrage and became first vice-president of the National American Women Suffrage Association in 1911. She campaigned nationwide for Theodore Roosevelt and the Progressive Party in 1912.
Read more about this remarkable woman here, here, and here.