Hats off to New York’s “Shero” Rep. Bella Abzug (D-NY) for pushing the U.S. Congress in 1971 to designate August 26 as “Women’s Equality Day.” This date commemorates the 1920 certification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote. The formal beginning of the fight for suffrage was in 1848 at the world’s first women’s rights convention, in Seneca Falls, New York. New York granted women the vote in 1917 making this our Centennial year.
While we celebrate Women’s Equality Day and the achievements it honors, we cannot forget that the 19th Amendment, while professing to grant all women the right to vote, did not functionally afford women of color, and Black women in particular, universal suffrage. It was not until the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that truly secured this right for all women.
The fight continues to ensure all citizens have access to the voting booth. Make sure you are registered and vote this November 7th!