The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on abortion only underscores how much work remains ahead.
Women’s Equality Day commemorates the passing of the 19th Amendment, granting women the right to vote, and also highlights the ongoing effort in advancing equality in all sectors of society.
The amendment was first introduced in 1878, ratified on Aug. 18, 1920, and certified on Aug. 26, 1920. In 1973, the U.S. Congress designated August 26th Women’s Equality Day.
The women’s suffrage movement was a long process that took decades of dedicated, passionate, and committed communities. It was not a smooth process, however, as race and class divisions played a role in advancing the women’s right to vote.
In 1920 only white women were given the right to vote and women of color remained disenfranchised. Although women of color now have the right to vote, barriers still remain and the work continues.
August 2020 marked the 100th anniversary of the passing of the 19th amendment and among the celebratory sentiments there were also important reflections recognizing that it was a time to commemorate, but not necessarily celebrate.
Women’s Equality Day is a reminder that we have made strides, but also that much work still needs to be done today.
The Equal Rights Amendment will be a constitutional amendment guaranteeing legal gender equality for women and men. For more than two years, advocates for Women’s rights have demanded that Congress pass a resolution which will recognize the ratification of the ERA.
Nearly 100 years have passed since it was first introduced in 1923. Virginia became the 38th state in 2020 to adopt the ERA.
Unfortunately, the issue still remains entangled in the federal courts. We need to continue pushing for the ERA to cross the finish line.
Women’s Equality Day is a reminder that we have made strides.
Women’s rights are human rights and women hold the power to create a more perfect democracy. We cannot stand by as constitutional rights are stripped away.
The League of Women Voters of Hawaii stands in our power with our reproductive partners such as AAUW of Hawaii and all persons who fear the dangerous consequences of the decision handed down by the Supreme Court on June 23, 2022.
That ruling has stripped women and those who may become pregnant of their bodily autonomy and will have devastating and immediate consequences across the country.
A commemorative day can serve different purposes. It can make an injustice seem like a thing of the past or it can be a moment for us to see that history continues into the present.
Women’s Equality Day serves to motivate our future. Women’s rights are human rights and we need and will continue to fight.