Today is Women’s Equality Day, a designation made in 1971 to commemorate the passage of the 19th Amendment that gave women the right to vote in 1920. The road to enfranchisement was a long, hard one with women rallying, marching, lecturing, writing and lobbying for over 100 years. Finally, in 1920 the 19th Amendment was ratified and guaranteed women the right to vote:
“The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”
This year marks the 90th Anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, but much work remains to be done. Though the number of women with college and professional degrees keeps rising, we’re not seeing that same rate of growth for women in power such as Fortune 500 companies and politics.
Since 1923, supporters have fought for the passage of an Equal Rights Amendment stating that women and men have equal rights under the law – yet that still has not been ratified by a sufficient number of states. The situation is bleaker if you look at the international scene where horrific things like female circumcision, breast ironing and stoning occur on a daily basis.
As we celebrate how far we’ve come today, we should acknowledge that it’s because of the sacrifices of the women that came before us. We need to continue to progress for our sisters, daughters and grandchildren. Hopefully in the future every day will be women’s equality day.
- Vote! Vote! Vote! Pretty Please
- Women Making History: The Generations Before Us
- In Conversation: Gloria Steinem and Suheir Hammad
- Alex & Chloe for the Human Rights Campaign
- Happy International Women’s Day 2013!