"I knew then and I know now when it comes to justice, there is no easy way to get it."
— Claudette Colvin
Women’s Equality Day commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, granting the right to vote to women for the first time as a result of the women’s suffrage movement in the country. The amendment was first introduced in 1878.
In 1971, the U.S. Congress designated August 26 as Women’s Equality Day.
The women’s suffrage movement was a decades-long fight to win the right to vote for women in the United States. It took activists and reformers nearly 100 years to win that right, and the campaign was not easy and gruelling many times: Disagreements over strategy threatened to cripple the movement more than once.
Before actions like these, even respected thinkers such as Rousseau and Kant believed that women's inferior status in society was wholly sensible, realistic, acceptable and reasonable, women were only 'beautiful' and 'not fit for serious employment'.
Over the last century, many great women have proved these views wrong. The world has witnessed just what women are capable of achieving. For instance, Rosa Parks and Eleanor Roosevelt fought for civil rights and equality, and great scientists such as Rosalind Franklin, Marie Curie, and Jane Goodall have shown more than ever what both women and men can achieve, given the opportunity.
So, this historic day marks the beginning of a formation of a new society with a brand-new concept of egalitarianism where there will be no discrimination or suppression on the basis of gender. Ensuring equal political rights and representation, equal opportunities to education and employment, eradicating the stereotyping of women in the patriarchal society, granting freedom, dignity, respect and choice to live on their own terms with no restriction whatsoever. It’s the struggle of those women who have fought in the past because of which we have a voice of our own, it’s their solidarity that gives us the power to make our voices heard and rebel & revolt.
Though it’s a long way to go, there is still a wage gap between the genders, the existence of less political, social, economic power for women and gender-based discrimination still so prevalent, women aren’t done fighting for equal rights.
Ever since then, every year, the president reads a proclamation, noting the amazing work of trailblazers in this movement. In 2016, President Barack Obama said the following: “Today, as we celebrate the anniversary of this hard-won achievement and pay tribute to the trailblazers and suffragists who moved us closer to a more just and prosperous future, we resolve to protect this constitutional right and pledge to continue fighting for equality for women and girls”.
- Sharma, V. (2020, July 6). Women’s Equality Day 2020 - Women’s Equality Day History, Significance and Women’s Equality Day Celebrations. Retrieved from: https://latestnews.fresherslive.com/about/womens-equality-day
- Women’s Equality Day. Retrieved from: https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/womens-equality-day/
- Women’s Equality Day Resources. Retrieved from: https://nationalwomenshistoryalliance.org/resources/commemorations/womens-equality-day/10-ideas-for-womens-equality-day/
- Women’s Equality Day. Retrieved from: https://nationaltoday.com/womens-equality-day/#:~:text=%20Women%E2%80%99s%20Equality%20Day%20Activities%20%201%20Thank,Do%20your%20part%20to%20honor%20their...%20More