Aug. 18 marked the 94th anniversary of the 19th Amendment’s ratification (amendment XIX) that established a rule across all states that would guarantee women’s voting rights. This was a big win for the women’s suffrage movement, which had been going on for decades. The movement began in 1848 in Seneca Falls, New York. There, hundreds of attendees were drawn by the convention’s call that touted "a convention to discuss the social, civil, and religious condition and rights of woman.” After the convention, supporters of the women’s suffrage movement worked diligently for 50 years in order to educate the public about the validity of their cause.
Many more conventions followed the Seneca Falls gathering and women’s suffrage activists such as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton pushed on despite closed ears in the political arena. Politicians didn’t seem to have time for the suffragist movement because at that time, women, as a group, were disenfranchised.
As time passed, more and more women and suffragist supporters gathered with the realization that women’s right to vote was something they needed to win. Small groups and intermittent conventions morphed into a mass movement around the early 1900s. With that consistent action, the victory was finally won: In 1920 the constitution was amended and ruled that “[t]he right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”
Every year, many cities across the nation host events to celebrate this big win in women’s rights history and the celebration doesn’t end on the 18th. Reported Press & Guide on Aug. 24, “[i]n 1971, a Joint Resolution of Congress designated that Aug. 26 of each year be known as Women’s Equality Day.”
We're celebrating Women's Equality Day with five wins of the women's suffrage movement and an invitation encouraging you and your communities to find ways to celebrate and to promote continued education in the realm of equal rights:
Movie screening of 'Iron Jawed Angels' in Kentucky
According to the Messenger Inquirer, a screening of the movie "Iron Jawed Angels" is scheduled to show Tuesday, Aug. 26 at 6 p.m. at the Owensboro Museum of Science and History in Kentucky. The movie is a true story that portrays a group of young lady activists who worked peacefully and effectively in their efforts to bring about change in the state of women’s rights and their additions to the women’s suffrage movement in the 1910s. The event is hosted by The Kentucky Commission on Women, the American Association of University Women, and the Owensboro Human Relations Commission.
Celebrating women of character, courage and commitment in Texas
The University of Texas at San Antonio hosts an event on Tuesday, Aug. 26 in line with this year’s national Women’s Equality Day theme, Celebrating Women of Character, Courage, and Commitment. The event begins at 5 p.m. and is hosted by Can We Talk, a coalition of over 65 women’s organization in San Antonio, Texas,that hosts events annually for Women’s Equality Day, Texas Women’s Independence Day, and Women’s History Month.
More movie screenings, talks, and celebrations in Michigan
Sault Ste. Marie Michigan’s League of Women Voters of Eastern Upper Peninsula celebrate the day by educating the public and registering them to vote on Tuesday. League members have been diligent about their work for months already, with elections coming up very quickly. They will be present at Lake Superior State University from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with the Secretary of State and the Lake Superior State University Student Government.
The organization will also host a screening of the film "Invisible War" at 7 p.m. at the LSSU campus library.
The Muskegon, Michigan community also comes together, rounding up women of all stripes; activists, politicians, people of faith, students, union workers and other interested parties to celebrate with a Women’s Equality Day dinner, organized by the Progressive Democractic Women’s Caucus. Guest speaker, State Representitive Rashida H. Tlaib, D-Detroit will speak and honors will be awarded.
Education, advocacy, fundraising and talks in Wisconsin
The Wisconsin Women’s Network, “a coalition of organizations and individuals advancing the status of women and girls in Wisconsin through communications, education, and advocacy,” hosts a day long fundraising event on Aug. 26 that brings in “powerful and inspiring women leaders” from all over Wisconsin. Entertainment will be provided, as well as appetizers and a silent auction.
Women take to the streets nationally to bring attention to equal rights issues
Reports WORD, a new grassroots organization that promotes women’s rights and equal rights for everyone, “women and their allies will take to the streets of Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City, Chicago and other cities across the country in defense of women's rights.” The group reports that there will be mass demonstrations in many cities nationwide which voice a continued need for attentiveness to equal rights issues. “We will mobilize thousands in the streets to show the world that there is a new women’s movement rising and we will not go back.” You can find out more about the organization and events at their Facebook page.