NEW CUMBERLAND, Pennsylvania, Aug. 26, 2016 —
Each year, since 1971, August 26 has been designated and celebrated in the United States as Women’s Equality Day.
Instituted by Representative Bella Abzug of New York, the date commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment, the Woman Suffrage Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which granted women the right to vote on the same basis as men. Lesser known, but still as important, the date also commemorates the 1970 Women’s Strike for Equality which was held on August 26 on the 50th anniversary of the passage of woman suffrage.
This year marks the 96th anniversary of Women’s Equality Day. While the vast majority of women in the U.S. have been born with the automatic right to vote upon their 18th birthday, this was not always the case. It is important to remember the women suffragists, who fought persistently to give the right to their daughters and granddaughters.
Officially introduced in 1878, the 19th amendment was overruled. Suffragists formed the National Woman’s Party in 1916, they organized rally’s and picketed the White house. The act finally passed in Congress in 1920 after much action taken by these courageous women. Fifty-one years later in 1971, August 26 was first recognized as National Women’s Equality Day.
Each year, as we approach this day, we all need to look back on all that women have endured through the years to make each day better for our children. It is also important to recognize, while much progress has been made in our country over the last 100 years, around the world there are many still living without the rights some of us take for granted.