Women’s Equality Day commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, granting the right to vote to women. The amendment was first introduced in 1878. In 1971, the U.S. Congress designated August 26 as Women’s Equality Day.
At the behest of Rep. Bella Abzug (D-NY), in 1971 the U.S. Congress designated August 26 as “Women’s Equality Day.”
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. Workplaces, libraries, organizations, and public facilities now participate with Women’s Equality Day programs, displays, video showings, or other activities.
Women’s Equality Day commemorates 26th August 1920 when votes to women officially became part of the US constitution. This day marks a turning point in the history of the struggle for equal treatment of women and women’s rights.
In 1920, the day stood for the result of 72 years of campaigning by a huge civil rights movement for women. Prior to movements like these, even respected thinkers such as Rousseau and Kant believed that woman’s inferior status in society was completely logical and reasonable; women were ‘beautiful’ and ‘not fit for serious employment’.
Over the last century, great women have proved these views wrong as the world has witnessed just what women are capable of achieving, from the likes of Rosa Parks and Eleanor Roosevelt fighting for civil rights and equality to great scientists such as Marie Curie, Rosalind Franklin and Jane Goodall. The last century has shown more than ever what both women and men are capable of achieving, given the opportunity.
Today, women’s equality has grown to mean much more than just sharing the right to the vote. Many organizations work to provide women across the globe with equal opportunities to education and employment, pushing against suppression and violence towards women and against the discrimination and stereotyping which still occur in every society.