Women’s Equality Day in the USA

August 26, 2017

This year Women’s Equality Day is supposed to celebrate the anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States that was adopted on the 26th of August, 1920.

The purpose of the amendment was to give women the right of voting for the first time. As a matter of fact, it was allowed thanks to the women’s suffrage movement that was in the country.

A Long Journey That Lasted 40 Years

This amendment is considered to be the greatest landmark in the movement for women’s rights in the United States. Actually, California Senator Aaron A. Sargent was the one who decided to introduce it in the Congress in 1878. He did this at the behest of such two suffragists as Elizabeth Cady Stanton as well as Susan B. Anthony. Due to this fact, people often name the first draft of the amendment as the Anthony Amendment since it was Susan B. Anthony who voted in the Presidential elections in 1872 and, as a result, got arrested.

Women Were Arrested If They Voted

The journey of getting the right to vote for women appeared to be a long one. According to the 14th Amendment in 1868, only male citizens of the USA were allowed to vote. In 1879, the 15th Amendment was passed. It was stated in it that the central or any other state government should be prohibited from refusing to grant an American citizen the voting right depending on his/her color, race. In spite of this, it was forbidden in almost all states for women to vote. Thus, they frequently were arrested when they made an attempt to throw in their ballots.

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Opposition

Since opposition that regarded voting by women was really great and widespread, the amendment wasn’t adopted until 1914. In fact, two-thirds of the Congress, in 1919, made up their mind to vote in favor of the amendment. Consequently, this document was sent to the states to be ratified.

Celebration of Equality

In 1971 the Congress gave a resolution marking the occasion every year, therefore, this is the year when Women’s Equality Day was celebrated for the first time. Bella Abzug, Representative and feminist, made this proposal. The main purpose of this holiday was raising awareness regarding how gender equality is important in society and recognizing the persevere toil of the women in the suffrage movement.

During this day, women’s rights organizations, groups that work in the sphere of voting rights prefer celebrating this significant holiday by arranging different conferences, seminars as well as workshops that are focused on the most widespread concerns, issues, and aspects that lots of women face nowadays in our country. Frankly speaking, schools, educators try to take advantage of an opportunity to explain to students how long and how difficult was this women’s right movement in order to get basic human rights.

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