Have you ever wondered what is Women’s Equality Day and what it means? I did and the information that I uncovered was fascinating! So let’s begin. Women’s Equality Day is a US holiday that is celebrated on August 26th to commemorate the 1920 adoption of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution. The 19th Amendment prohibits the states and the federal government from denying the right to vote to citizens of the United States on the basis of sex. It was originally celebrated in 1971, and later designated by Congress in 1973, and is proclaimed each year by the President of the United States.
The events that contributed to the 19th amendment date back as far as 1848 with the Seneca Falls Convention led by Elizabeth Cady Stanton from upstate New York well through the 20th century with monumental events such as the 1913 Women’s Suffrage March in Washington, DC. The battle for women’s rights to vote was a long and difficult path, that was decades in the making with scores of women volunteers from organizations such as the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA) and the American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA) which later merged to become the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA). The NAWSA was later reestablished into the League of Women Voters in 1919. On May 21, 1919, the vote for the amendment passed the US House of Representatives by a margin of 309 to 89 followed by a later vote by the US Senate by a much closer vote of 56 to 25. In August of 1920, Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby officially added the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution. This action opened the doors for millions of women throughout the United States to lawfully exercise their right to vote. The PCMA Capital Chapter recognizes and salutes the contributions of so many unsung women that ultimately led to women’s right to vote and we celebrate August 26th as Women’s Equality Day!
Photo above is from the US Library of Congress: 1913 Women’s Suffrage March in Washington, DC.
Carson Edwards, Jr., MBA, CASE, CDMP | Global Account Executive, Marriott International