August 26, 2022
Women's Equality Day commemorates the signing of the 19th Amendment, granting women the right to vote. This special day is also used as a platform to raise awareness of the issues women still face today.
In the early 19th century, most American women could not inherit property or even make half of a man’s wages. It was around this period that many women started to demand more rights. The 19th Amendment to the Constitution was first introduced in 1878 but was rejected, as it failed to gain any traction. During this time, there was widespread opposition to the women’s suffrage movement for more than 40 years. It was not until World War I that the 19th Amendment and women’s suffrage started gaining momentum in Congress. Women across America made such an outstanding contribution to the war, their calls for suffrage became impossible to ignore. Women’s rights groups also pointed out the hypocrisy of fighting for democracy in Europe while denying it to half of the American citizens at home.
Congress passed the 19th Amendment in 1919 as a result of the long and hard work put in by the women’s suffrage movement, led by suffragists such as Susan B. Anthony and Cady Stanton.
To remind us of the struggles of the past, present, and future, Congress designated August 26th as Women’s Equality Day in 1971.