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Women's Equality Day: Celebrating Progress, Embracing Equality, and Empowering Change

Women equality

By Carolyn F.


Women's Equality Day is a holiday celebrated in the United States every year on August 26th to commemorate the 1920 adoption of the 19th amendment to the US Constitution.  The date was selected as it denotes the day in 1920 when Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby signed the original proclamation.  Fifty one years after the passing of the amendment, the holiday was first celebrated in 1971; it was then made official as a holiday by Congress in 1973.  Beyond just being a designated US Holiday, it is also re-proclaimed every year by the acting US President to re-emphasize the importance of the day and what it stands for.  The observance of Women's Equality Day not only commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment, but also calls attention to women's continuing efforts toward full equality.
On Women's Equality Day, we honor the movement for universal suffrage that led to the 19th Amendment, celebrate the progress of women over the years, and renew our commitment to advancing gender equity.  With the ratification of the 19th Amendment, millions of women across the country were finally able to make their voices heard in US elections.  Yet, many women of color who helped lead the universal suffrage movement were effectively denied those rights until the Voting Rights Act passed 45 years later.  In addition, women are less likely to have time to vote in-person with increased caregiving demands and a disproportionate share of low-wage, inflexible work.

On Women's Equality Day, we celebrate the trailblazers who fought to deliver a better future for America's women while recognizing the abundance of work that still remains to ensure that everyone can fully participate in our governmental processes.
Women in Leadership encourages you to take time on August 26th to reflect on what the day means to you and how you can continue to support marginalized groups in their fight for equality.  In addition, the holiday is a great time to catch up on some US History!  See the following article from the History Channel on 7 key influential women in America who fought for the right to vote.

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