Happy Women’s Equality Day Everyone!

What is Women’s Equality Day?

First celebrated in 1973, Women’s Equality Day is celebrated every August 26th in the United States. It marks the date when the 19th amendment – which says that the government cannot deny someone the right to vote based on gender – was passed. Importantly, this right to vote only applied to caucasian women, as Native American women were barred from voting until the late 50s, and.many Black women were still unable to vote until the 60s

Why do We Still Need to Celebrate This Holiday?

The ability to vote is a pretty important right that we may take for granted, and it’s not something that’s set in stone across the country. Only two states (Maine and Vermont) allow federal inmates as well as parolees to vote, while many other states have different rules about when convicted felons can have their right to vote back. In Virginia, those convicted of a federal crime are permanently disenfranchised!

When it comes to women’s rights in general, it’s also important to know that the Equal Rights Amendment – first brought to congress in 1923 – has still not been passed.  Simply stating that ‘Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex,’ many people just assume it’s already part of the constitution. 

While it unfortunately isn’t, it is very close. It first passed the House in 1971 and Congress in 1972, the Equal Rights Amendment has been ratified by 37 states – it needs just one more state to ratify it.

So what can you do? If you live in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, or Virginia, then contact your state representative to let them know you want your state to be the one finally enacts the ERA!

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