National Women’s Equality Day: Celebrating a Century of Progress

Hello, everyone! It is that time of the year again when we pause to recognize the remarkable journey of women in the United States towards achieving equality. I’m talking about National Women’s Equality Day, and trust me, it’s not just any ordinary day. On August 26th we celebrate a pivotal moment in history when women were granted the right to vote thanks to the 19th Amendment to the Constitution passed in 1920. So, grab your cup of coffee & join me as we dive into the inspiring story of this day. #WomensEqualityDay

Women's Equality Day
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The Birth of a Movement: Seneca Falls Convention

Let’s roll the clock back to 1840, shall we? Picture this: London, the World Anti-Slavery Convention. Several determined women found themselves denied access to the convention floor. Sound’s like a recipe for change right? Indeed, it was. Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Martha Wright, Mary Ann McClintock, and Jane Hunt, these names may not be as familiar as they should be, but they’re the trailblazers we owe this movement to.

During that convention, the spark ignited. Plans for the first women’s rights convention were set into motion, and Seneca Falls, New York, became its birthplace. Fast forward to July 19-20, 1848, and you’ve got Wesleyan Chapel packed with 200 women on day one. The second day was a game changer they opened the convention to men, and some brave souls took the opportunity.

One of the resolutions they presented during this historic event still resonates today “Resolved, that it is the duty of the women of this country to secure to themselves their sacred right to the elective franchise” This bold statement set the tone for what was to come.

The Right to Vote: A Long & Winding Road

Now, let’s talk about the real game changers Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. In 1869 they joined forces to create the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA). Their goal? To make sure women got the right to vote.

This was no easy journey. It took nearly ten years of relentless persistence and lobbying for the NWSA to introduce an amendment in 1878. Even then it faced hurdles and debates, eventually making it to the floor of Congress in 1886 only to be defeated.

Disheartened? Not these determined women. They kept passing the baton to new generations and as more states joined the union they began including women’s voting rights in their constitutions. Civil disobedience became a powerful tool in their arsenal. And gradually, with women inching closer to equality, Congress finally passed the 19th Amendment to the Constitution.

Women's Equality Day
Source: FreePik

National Women’s Equality Day: A Modern Celebration

Now, let’s fast forward to the modern era. On July 30, 1971, Rep. Bella Abzug (D-NY) presented a bill that designated August 26th as Women’s Equality Day. That year the nation erupted in rallies celebrations and political debates on August 26th. By 1973, Congress made it official by passing a joint resolution, declaring that August 26th should be observed as Women’s Equality Day every year.

And here we are, my friends, in the 21st century, where every president declares this day as Women’s Equality Day, commemorating the certification of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution. It is a day to reflect on the progress we have made and the road that still lies ahead in achieving full equality for women.

So, as you go about your day on August 26th take a moment to appreciate the remarkable journey of these brave women who fought tirelessly for a cause they believed in. National Women’s Equality Day is not just about the past it’s a celebration of the present and a reminder of the work we must continue to do for a more equitable future. Cheers to progress, my friends! #WomensEqualityDay

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