Women’s Equality Day
Today is Women’s Equality Day. This day marks the anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote 94 years ago.
Thousands of women and their allies worked for decades to make that day in 1920 possible. It took years of lobbying and demonstrations, passing out pamphlet after pamphlet, publishing editorials and giving speeches to make it happen.
The right to vote was a great step in women gaining equality—many of today’s elected leaders are sticking up for women and their rights because women are a vocal constituency. But it’s not enough. The Equal Rights Amendment, written in 1921by Alice Paul and first proposed to Congress in 1923, has yet to be ratified—91 years later. And women still face a daunting gender pay gap, earning nationally only 77 percent of what men earn for comparable work.
So this Women’s Equality Day we can be proud of the women who worked hard to win us the vote but at the same time we must recognize that true equality for women is still a distant goal. We need to keep pressing Congress to pass laws, like the Paycheck Fairness Act, that will help enforce equal pay for equal work and create a more equal workplace for ourselves and our daughters. And we need to exercise our right to vote in the upcoming elections.