August 12, 2015
Women’s Equality Day will be celebrated August 26. Women’s Equality Day commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment while also calling attention to women’s continuing efforts towards full equality.
Rep. Bella Abzug (D-NY), a leader in the women’s rights movement, introduced a Congressional Resolution in 1971 designating August 26 as “Women’s Equality Day” to draw attention to women’s on-going pursuit of equality. The date was symbolically selected as the anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment, which secured women the right to vote. The resolution requests that the President issue an annual proclamation to commemorate Women’s Equality Day as a reminder that women continue to face inequality and discrimination. Organizations, museums, groups, and local governments across the country will hold Women’s Equality Day events.
National Women’s History Museum will celebrate Women’s Equality Day when it kicks off its “In their Footsteps: Counting Down to 100 Years of Women’s Suffrage” initiative in August 2015. Activities over the next five years will include a monthly walking tour, educational curriculum, in-depth historical content, on-line exhibits, and live programming. Visit www.NWHM.org to learn more.
Passage of the 19th Amendment culminated a 72-year struggle that began with the first major women’s rights conference at Seneca Falls, New York, in 1848. Over the ensuring years, thousands of women and men campaigned for women’s voting rights through rallies, the media, demonstrations, and political lobbying. Women voting rights activists were the first group to picket the White House. The suffrage amendment passed the US Congress in June 1919 and became law after the 36th state legislature, Tennessee, ratified it in August 1920.