Tomorrow is Women’s Equality Day. Each year on August 26th, the U.S. commemorates the day that women won the right to vote. On one hand, it seems crazy to imagine a time when a woman wasn’t allowed to walk into a polling place and cast her vote, but on the other hand, I can see it.
The suffragettes fought hard for this right, spending 42 years marching, protesting and advocating for women’s rights. Forty. Two. Years.
Their tireless efforts paid off when the 19th Amendment was passed, and while this was in fact a huge victory for women, it really only impacted white women. Women of color had to continue fighting for their rights for an additional 45 years until the Voting Rights Act of 1965 passed, addressing voter discrimination against minorities, including women of color. Women from marginalized communities continue to face inequalities today with lack of access and opportunity. It is so important to recognize that every woman’s experience is unique depending on her story, but the one thing that is consistent regardless of who we are or where we come from is that we all deserve equal rights.
As we celebrate this day we are reminded how important it is to advocate for gender equality and women’s rights. It is unbelievable that here we are in 2023, and women are still fighting for our rights. Women deal with inequalities in many facets of life – you would be hard-pressed to meet a woman who has not experienced some form of gender discrimination. In the office, women continue to fight for things like equal pay, paid maternity leave and safe workplace conditions – free from sexual harassment and gender biases. Now, women have to fight for control over their own bodies and the medications we have access to as well. We’re in this fight for our daughters and their futures too, realizing more than ever that nothing is sacred.
The thing about women is we are unwavering and committed to what we believe in. While our country might have taken a few steps back throughout the past couple of years, women will always push forward and fight for the rights we deserve. If it takes us 42 months or 42 more years, the glass ceiling will one day be shattered and the pieces will be swept away for good.