Congresswoman Bella Abzug's leadership helped establish Women's Equality Day.
Today, August 26, 2016, is Women’s Equality Day, marking the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution giving women the right to vote. It's a day to remember how far we've come—and how far we have to go.
Here's the House Joint Resolution 1 proposing the 19th amendment to the states.
Women’s Equality Day began on August 26, 1970 when more than 50,000 women marched down Fifth Avenue in New York City in a show of feminist strength and a celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the enactment of the Nineteenth Amendment.
A year later, led by Congresswoman Bella Abzug, Women’s Equality Day was proclaimed in a joint resolution from Congress.
U.S. President Barack Obama just issued a proclamation stating the federal government’s “resolve to protect this constitutional right and pledge to continue fighting for equality for women and girls.” Since 1980, more women than men have turned out to vote in U.S. elections, but women still hold only 19.3 percent of seats in the House of Representatives and 20 percent in the U.S. Senate.
Today we celebrate the power of the women's equality movement and how far we've come with this article by leading suffragist Belle Case LaFollette from our archives of August, 1920.
by Belle LaFollette
Susan B. Anthony's prediction is verified. The women of the United States may vote in 1920.
On August 18 the State Legislature of Tennessee ratified the constitutional amendment which declares that the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged on account of sex.
Tennessee was the thirty-sixth state, making the necessary two-thirds to complete ratification.
And now the 17 million women of the United States are fully enfranchised.
The limitation to women's full participation in government on an equal footing with men is removed. For the first time in American history, women may vote in every state in the Union for candidates for all offices: local, state and national, and women may hold any office now held by men, whether appointive or elective.
The United States is among the last of the great world powers to grant the vote to women. England, Russia, Germany, Norway, Sweden and Denmark all preceded us.
Now that the United States has fully enfranchised women, other laggard nations are likely to follow.
It means that the women of the world are to share equally with men in the world's political privileges and responsibilities.
The State of Wisconsin was the first to ratify the Susan B. Anthony Amendment.
Wisconsin will be among the first to participate in an election of state and national importance.
The Wisconsin primary of September 7 comes just twenty days after the ratification of the federal amendment.
There is no time for organization for a special campaign on the part of the women of the state. Each women voter is invested with a special personal responsibility.
Ruth Conniff is editor-in-chief of the Progressive Magazine.