UNITED STATES. Women’s Equality Day is observed every year on 26 August. This event is widely known as an anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment within the US which allowed women to vote. This amendment appeared for the first time in 1878. Previously, it had been only celebrated within the US. It is now considered as a global celebration. The day draws attention towards women’s continuous efforts towards full equality.
Beginning of a revolution
The World Anti-Slavery Convention was held at Exeter Hall in London, on 12 Jun 1840. It had been seen that several women weren’t given access to the convention. Thus, this convention planted the seeds for a women’s right movement. Women’s rights activist Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Staton and various other activists came together to initiate the primary women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York. The event was held at Wesleyan Chapel on July 19-20, 1848. Around 200 women came on the first day of the convention. Next day of the convention was opened for men as well. But, only a couple of men attended the event.
Success of the convention
At the convention, 12 resolutions were presented by the leaders. As per the resolutions, the leaders demanded that women should be equal to men socially, economically, representatively and legally. The 12 resolutions presented were approved directly, apart from the ninth resolution, which was the right to vote. The leaders feared that a lot of women would withdraw their support. However, with the support of Frederick Douglass, the ninth resolution was also passed.
Bella Abzug and her efforts towards women’s rights
Bella Abzug, an American lawyer and a frontrunner of the women’s movement presented a bill on 30 July 30 1971. Consistent with that bill, 26 August was designated as Women’s Equality Day. The road to success wasn’t easy. Several rallies, celebrations and political debates filled the country on 26 August. In 1973, Congress passed a resolution that declared 26 August as Women’s Equality Day.
Women given the right to vote
The amendment was first introduced in 1878. It had been only in 1920 that Bainbridge Colby who was the co-founder of US Progressive Party signed a proclamation. The struggle faced by women for the proper to vote finally came to an end by this decision.
In 1971, The Congress finally designated 26 August Women’s Equality Day. The 19th Amendment gave women the chance to vote nationally on August 18, 1920. But, if the amendment was approved on August 18, 1920, then why Women’s Equality Day is widely known on 26th August? A constitutional amendment which is approved isn’t made official until it’s been certified by the right government official.
Celebration in the time of COVID – 19
The Women’s Equality Centennial Celebration is organized by YWCA Evansville, Women’s Equality Day Committee, and Stepping Up. However, this year’s celebration has been pushed to August 2021. This year’s celebration was supposed to mark exactly 100 years since the acceptance of the 19th Amendment, which extended the right to vote to women.
Dr. Mae C. Jemison, former NASA astronaut, was slated to offer the keynote speech at this year’s luncheon. Jemison was the first woman of colour to visit space. She spent nearly eight days in space as a mission specialist on the shuttle Endeavour in 1992. Because of the cancellation of the event, she is going to be the guest speaker at next year’s celebration.