Today, August 26th, was designated by Congress back in 1971 as Women’s Equality Day. This day commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution granting women the right to vote in 1920. This passage assured women the same rights and privileges are available to all citizens regardless of their gender.
The desire for the right to vote and equality started back in the 1830’s when Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Staton, abolitionists, suffragists and leaders in reform went to London to attend an World Anti-Slavery Convention. They were denied access to the convention. Once back in the United States, these brave women, along with other leading figures in the women’s movement made plans of their own. On July 19th and 20th 1848 the first woman’s rights convention was held in Seneca Falls, New York. 200 women attended the first day and it was open to men on the second.
This marked the beginning of a powerful movement. Two weeks after the first, another convention drew more women. This led to annual events that focused on the growing suffrage movement. After years of perseverance, the 19th Amendment was passed in 1920, granting American women the constitutionally protected right to vote!
Take a moment today to commemorate the great women from yesterday and those who continue to fight for equality across the globe. Their hard work is witness to the world of what women and men can achieve!