Women’s Equality Day

In 1971, Representative Bella Abzug championed a bill in the U.S. Congress to designate August 26 as “Women’s Equality Day.” We are grateful for the movement in a positive direction but we still have a lot of work to do. Learn more about the importance of this holiday by using the link below! #WomensEqualityDay


Facts:

  • The 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote nationally on August 18, 1920, 
  • Betty Friedan and the National Organization for Women organized a nationwide Women’s Strike for Equality. Women across the political spectrum joined together to demand equal opportunities in employment and education, as well as 24-hour childcare centers. This was the largest protest for gender equality in United States history. There were demonstrations and rallies in more than 90 major cities and small towns across the country and over 100,000 women participated, including 50,000 who marched down Fifth Avenue in New York City.
  • A package of documents from the state of Tennessee had arrived by train in Washington around 4 a.m. It included the official ratification document from the state legislature.
  • Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the amendment on August 18, 1920, was a story in itself. Congress had passed the proposed amendment a year earlier, and it was supported by President Woodrow Wilson.
  • By the middle of 1920, 35 states had voted to ratify the amendment, but four other states—Connecticut, Vermont, North Carolina and Florida – refused to consider the resolution for numerous reasons
  • It was not official until it has been certified by the correct government official. In 1920, that official was U.S. Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby. On August 26, 1920, Colby signed a proclamation behind closed doors at 8 a.m. at his own house in Washington, D.C, ending a struggle for the vote that started a century earlier.
  • In 1971, Representative Bella Abzug championed a bill in the U.S. Congress to designate August 26 as “Women’s Equality Day.” The bill says that “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.”
  • Part of the bill reads that Women’s Equality Day is a symbol of women’s continued fight for equal rights and that the United States commends and supports them. It decreed that the President is authorized and requested to issue a proclamation annually in commemoration of woman suffrage and the 1970 Strike for Equality. Women today continue to draw on the history of these brave and determined women.

How to observe:

  • Learn more about this holiday
  • Sign petitions
  • Share with others so they can learn too!
  • See if your local communities are celebrating and if there’s an event you can attend

Videos


Additional Resources:


Activities

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I’m excited to share that today is #WomensEqualityDay and in 1971 women took one giant step forward making a difference for thousands of women to come and make changes in the courtroom, offices, surgery rooms, and more. See how you can learn more about the importance of sharing about this holiday! @SpOlympicsMD

Today I learned that in 1971 – 100,000 women joined together to demand equal opportunities in employment and education, as well as 24-hour childcare centers. Learn more about the importance of #WomensEqualityDay and share why these changes are important. @SpOlympicsMD

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