In 1971, Congress officially declared August 26 as Women's Equality Day, to commemorate the 19th Amendment — giving women the right to vote — that was added to the U.S. Constitution on August 18, 1920, according to National Women's History Project. Although, it should be noted that the amendment was first introduced in 1878. Yes, it took 42 years for the U.S. government to finally see that no one should be denied the right to vote based on their gender.
According to the joint resolution by Congress in 1971, "NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, that August 26th of each year is designated as Women’s Equality Day, and the President is authorized and requested to issue a proclamation annually in commemoration of that day in 1920, on which the women of America were first given the right to vote, and that day in 1970, on which a nationwide demonstration for women’s rights took place."
While we celebrate Women's Equality Day, it's important to recognize that not all women were given the right to vote. Aside from white women, women were still discriminated against. And Black and brown women in the South were barred from voting because of Jim Crow laws. Regardless, our fight for gender equality may be far from over, this year marks the centennial anniversary of women winning the right to vote, we can't possibly let the day pass without not just honoring its importance, but honoring the women who fought for us to have this right, those amazing suffragists who worked tirelessly for decades.
Here are nine productive ways to spend Women's Equality Day.