Skip to content

Women’s Equality Day: Women Are Still Fighting for Equality

August 26, 2019

Inspiration and Monday Motivation for Women Entrepreneurs, Women in Business, Females in the USA

Today in the beautiful city of Saratoga Springs, women will gather from around the state to discuss women’s equality just like they did in 1869, 1870 and 1971 when this city hosted 3 New York State Suffrage Conventions. According to historians, without these vital conventions the Suffrage movement wouldn’t have gained momentum.

For some quick herstory: The 19th Amendment was first introduced in 1878 and eventually passed in the USA provided voting rights to women. In 1971 at the request of Representative Bella Abzug, the US Congress designated August 26th as Women’s Equality Day to commemorate this significant modification to the constitution. Now this date has become an international celebration and women across the world celebrate this day to call attention to women’s continuing efforts toward full equality.

Last year as I participated at a special event in Rochester produced by Sharon Nelson, Founder of Crewomen.org, I was inspired once again by our foremother’s work and hardship in gaining my right to vote today. It is part of our history that shouldn’t be forgotten or discussed because women still don’t have equality compared to men. One speaker encouraged the women in the room to rally for the passage of the ERA (Equal Rights Amendment). The ERA calls for absolute equality stating, “Men and women shall have equal rights throughout the United States and every place subject to its jurisdiction.”

I wanted to honor our foremothers by sharing information today about the ERA from http://www.AlicePaul.org about the progress and importance of getting it passed:

•There are two movements to pass the ERA. The traditional route would require the ERA to be voted on again, requiring the amendment’s passage by two-thirds of each house of Congress and then ratification by 38 states. An alternative strategy would maintain the legal viability of the existing 35 state ratifications and attempt to gain three more state ratifications to complete the process and make the ERA the 28th Amendment to the Constitution.

    Some points to consider:

•The 19th Amendment, granting women suffrage is the only mention of the word “woman” in the U.S. Constitution. Furthermore, the only right guaranteed to women by federal law is the right to vote.

•According to the American Association of University Women (AAUW), among full-time, year-round workers, women earn 77% of what men earn. This disparity increases even more for African American and Hispanic women. Additionally, women are half as likely to receive a pension, and those that do receive almost half as much. Social Security still defines women as dependents and therefore women who have been in the workforce for decades still receive lower payments.

•The most important effect of the ERA would be the clarification of the status of sex discrimination for the courts, the decisions of which still demonstrate confusion regarding such claims. For the first time, “sex” would be a suspect classification, like race, and would require the same level of “strict scrutiny” and have to meet the same high level of justification – a “necessary” relation to a “compelling” state interest – as the classification of race.

•The ERA would not make all single-sex institutions unconstitutional – only those whose aim is to perpetuate the historic dominance of one sex over the other. Single-sex institutions that work to overcome past discrimination are currently constitutional and are likely to remain so.

•The 14th Amendment, providing an equal protection clause to all U.S. citizens, was not originally intended to apply to women, as it predates the 19th Amendment. As proof of this, Susan B. Anthony voted in the 1872 presidential election, was arrested two weeks later, and was convicted the following year for illegal voting. At her trial, she attempted to use the 14th Amendment to defend her actions, but the judge ruled that the amendment did not apply to her because she was a woman.

•The Equal Rights Amendment would prevent a rollback of the legal advances women have gained. It is important to remember that as governments change from conservative to liberal, citizens, neither male nor female, should not be subject to lose their right to vote, their right to free speech, or any other of their constitutional rights due to a change of political opinion.

•The ERA does not add new laws to the U.S. Constitution; it only guarantees the rights currently within it. Issues like abortion, same-sex marriage, unisex bathrooms, and the female draft exist separately from the ERA and would not become law upon the ERA’s passage.

•The ERA is an amendment for both men and women – it is not just a woman’s issue. Issues of custody, employment, and fair wages are important to both sexes and an Equal Rights Amendment would guarantee equal legal rights without regard to sex.

•The ERA would affirm the purpose that began with the writing of the U.S. Constitution, the basic human right of constitutional protection.

For more information on the Equal Rights Amendment, visit www.equalrightsamendment.org. To learn more about CREWomen.org, visit their website.

I hope today’s blog post reminds you that women’s work is not done in securing total equality in America today. Women must continue to talk about and support the efforts of our foremothers and sisters today to get the ERA passed so women are equal to men under law. As actress Emma Watson said, “It is time we see gender as a spectrum instead of two sets of ideals.”

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: