Who We Are
The Illinois Federation of Republican Women is the largest all-volunteer Republican women’s organization in Illinois. We are a grassroots organization organized into nine regions and 41 clubs. We are united by Republican philosophy and are dedicated to electing Republican candidates to local, state and national office. Additionally, IFRW provides leadership training, assistance in running for office, opportunities to meet political leaders and elected officials, networking opportunities, information about local, state and national issues and involvement in campaigns and elections.
A Brief History
The Illinois Federation affiliated with the NFRW in 1940. According to state history, “In 1891, the women in Illinois had been granted the right to vote in school elections, and to these women that meant political action. In 1896, a group of Illinois feminists felt that the time had come for action and advertised in the newspapers for a mass meeting of women to be held in Springfield just before the regular state convention.” The call stated it was for the purpose of “perfecting a women’s Republican club” and selecting a woman candidate for university trustee.
The Yellow Rose
The significance of the Yellow Rose in the IFRW logo is an interesting story. It represents the victory won by the women’s suffrage movement. Women’s suffrage was not unique to the United States, but rather originated in France in the 1780’s and 1790’s.
The seed for the first Women’s Rights Convention was planted in 1840 when Elizabeth Cady Stanton met Lucretia Mott at the World Anti-Slavery Convention in London. In 1851, Stanton met Susan B. Anthony and the two joined in the long struggle to secure the vote for women. In June of 1919, after years of struggle, the United States Senate approved the 19th Amendment.
In August of 1920, the 19th Amendment was one state shy of ratification when it came up for a vote in Tennessee. Women of all backgrounds, race and social class descended on Nashville to lobby for passage of the amendment. They were all united under one symbol – they wore a yellow rose. The opposition wore a red rose. The 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote, passed by one vote.