Last week we celebrated the 96th anniversary of the passing of the 19th Amendment: Women’s Right to Vote. What a change that must’ve been. What a success, after years of fighting. I love those days when we get to look back at a historic event and celebrate. Celebrate progress, celebrate the achievements and strength of the movement back then and celebrate the impact the moment has had on today’s society.
Yet, sometimes we aren’t sharing the full story. The celebration glosses over telling the whole story of the struggle. While we celebrate women gaining the right to vote, we forget that women of color weren’t included in that initial right. We relish the fact that women exercise their right to vote at a greater percentage than men. But, we still have a large group of women who can’t vote. Women who have the right taken from them because of incarceration. Women whose work and family commitments don’t allow them to take the time to stand in line to vote. The many attacks on voting rights recently.
And, there is still something lingering over us—where is our equality? There is that pesky gender wage gap, almost every year we are battling anti-choice legislation, women in male dominated career fields have low retention, and women continue to be portrayed one-dimensionally in media, etc. etc.
This Friday (August 26th) is another day of celebration, but also a call to action. Women’s Equality Day. The major goal is to call for the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, guaranteeing women their rights under the Constitution. Also, use the day to call attention to various aspects of our current fight and push the agenda forward. We can use this day to discuss all the areas needed to reach equality. We can share the whole story and make sure we’re focusing on including the voices of marginalized groups that weren’t included in the past. We can focus on collective impact. No matter if more women in politics, reproductive justice, pay equity, affordable child care, raising the minimum wage, anti-gender violence or some other topic is your passion—we can bring them all forward. Celebrate the achievements of the past and keep it moving forward.
Come celebrate Women’s Equality Day with us this Friday and add your voice to the collective impact.
Friday, August 26th