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Happy Women's Equality Day - TODAY

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ramonegirl
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Happy Women's Equality Day - TODAY

I would have posted this earlier, but I was out of town this weekend...

http://www.teenwire.com/infocus/2004/if-20040824p085-women.php

Sometimes people are down on August as the month with no holidays. But there's a lot to celebrate on August 26. It's Women's Equality Day — the anniversary of the day that, 84 years ago, women earned the right to vote.

In some ways, women and men are still on unequal ground. For instance, women who work full time only make 77 cents for every dollar men make. Nevertheless, the right to vote gives women a true voice in the U.S. government. "It's the most powerful tool in a democracy," says Angi, 19. It's just amazing that it took so long!

The Story of Suffrage

The right to vote is also called suffrage, and the women who fought for their voting rights are called suffragists. You might have heard some of their names in history class — Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, and Lucretia Mott were just a few. Originally involved in the anti-slavery movement, they got together at the first Women's Rights Convention in 1848 in Seneca Falls, NY. The suffragists wanted all kinds of rights for women, but they believed that voting was the most important and would lead to other rights.

It wasn't easy. Many people thought that women weren't as smart as men, and that their husbands should speak for them. They also worried that families would fall apart if women started to get involved in the political process. The suffragists had to take some extreme actions — including getting arrested and going on hunger strikes — to call attention to their cause.

During the fight for women's suffrage in the U.S., 16 other countries, including Finland, Germany, and Poland, granted women the right to vote. It wasn't until 1920 that the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution, also called the Susan B. Anthony amendment, was approved — or ratified — by all the states. That means it took 72 years after Seneca Falls for women to finally get the right to vote! The good news is that now, adult women can vote in the U.S. and in almost every country in which adult men can vote.

After about 50 more years passed — in 1971, to be exact — Congresswoman Bella Azbug, a Democrat from New York, introduced a bill to make August 26 Women's Equality Day.

How to Mark the Day

The most important thing you can do to celebrate Women's Equality Day is to take advantage of the rights that the suffragists fought for. This is true whether you're a girl or a guy. "Voting is a privilege and a right," says Adam, 13. "If you're old enough to vote, you should take advantage of the freedoms that we have."

If you're 18 or older, or will be by the time of the next national election in November, make sure you're registered to vote. It's easy — you can even do it online at Declare Yourself.

Even if you're under 18, you can still celebrate Women's Equality Day — and you can still make a difference! First off, educate yourself about the candidates and learn more about the issues that are important to you. Then talk to your parents, your older friends, and your sisters and brothers about why it's so important to vote. Make your voice heard by writing letters to the editor of your local newspaper or volunteering with an organization working on issue you care about.

You could also take some time to think about the women who fought for the right to vote — and about the feminists — women and men — who are still fighting for the rights of girls and women everywhere. If you are close to a women's history museum, such as the Women's Museum in Dallas or the International Women's Air and Space Museum in Cleveland, stop by for a visit. Click here to find a women's museum near you!

Finally, say extra special thank you to the women who are your teachers, principals, coaches, mothers, and aunts. Chances are they worked hard to get where they are, and they're helping the next generation of women achieve their goals.

naivete
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Happy Women's Equality Day - TODAY

Lets also not forget though that not ALL women received the right to vote, only white women. It would be 3-4 decades after that point that native american women received the right to vote and were recognized as people.

Earth_moves
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Happy Women's Equality Day - TODAY

Good Post Heather!

I wish I would have read it sooner!!!

And that's something I didn't know, Naivete..... thanks for the info!!!!!

Britt
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Happy Women's Equality Day - TODAY

HECK YEAH. My daughter has a rad birthday!
Naivete, I didn't know that either... I thought it was all women. I guess you really do learn something new every day..

naivete
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Happy Women's Equality Day - TODAY

I dunno what the exact date is in the US, nor do I have the non-laziness to look it up right now, but I know in Canada native women didn't get the right to vote until the 70s, a full 40 years after all white women got the right to vote.

Amy Rox
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Happy Women's Equality Day - TODAY

i was also excited to give birth on this day, britt! my sophia turned 3 yesterday (august 26)! i have to admit i felt a wee bit special when i found out my daughter's birthday was the same day as the initial women's suffrage anniversary.

thanks for posting this heather.

thenewgurl
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Happy Women's Equality Day - TODAY

Yes, and "African Americans" didn't actually get to vote until Congress passed the Voting Rights Act of 1965! That was only after Dr. King led a march from Salma to Montgomery with 30,000 people demanding equal voting rights! Sure, before that blacks "had" the right to vote, but authorities continued not to enforce these rights. If they wanted to vote they were taxed and give a literacy test (something they did not to do to whites). In many places if a black person actually went the the polls, they were turned away, beaten, or even killed for trying to exercise their constitutional right!

naivete
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Happy Women's Equality Day - TODAY

Word.

I think it's good to recognize progress such as white women getting the right to vote but I think it's good to keep in mind too, that usually feminists celebrate that right without caring that women of color were completely excluded, it's a white victory. Another reminder about how white centred feminism as a movement is, and how it's good to keep that in check.

As Carl Schurz said, "If you want to be free, there is but on way; it is to guarantee an equally full measure of liberty to all your neighbors. There is no other."

Now ask yourself, is it a day of freedom for women if still so many of your fellow women were oppressed and not given the same right?

ramonegirl
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Happy Women's Equality Day - TODAY

Yes, naivete.

I know in the USA, women in ALL states (some states passed laws for women to vote before this time) got the right to vote in 1920 by the 19th amendment and Native American women got the right to vote in America by the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 (not posting that name for offense - but that is what the act was named).

A lot of WOC also didn't agree with feminist movements because they tended to aim at middle to upper class white women, Barbara Smith co-founded the Combahee River Collective ... which was a Black feminist group that confronted racism and homophobia within women's, gays and Black movements.

And another amazing women, Alice Walker coined the term, womanism in contrast to feminism because like I mentioned above - a lot of women in the feminist movement, especially in the 60s and 70s ... were aimed at upper to middle class white women. And sadly, still sometimes seems to be aimed that way.