100 Years of Voting!
Women were granted the right to vote with the 19th Amendment to the U. S. Constitution ratified in 1920. That victory came after over 100 years of fighting lead by strong American women, called suffragettes, who were tired of being overlooked. Those women risked their lives for the right to cast their vote and no doubt expected many changes that have been slow to come, such as improved healthcare and personal freedom of choice.
Today women have twenty-five percent of the seats in Congress. Considering that women are 50.5 percent of the U. S. population that is not enough. The fight is not over for women and we need to support one another in our daily lives as well as in the voting booth. How much longer should women wait for equal pay and recognition? No longer!
To know the full story of women’s suffrage, see “Iron Jawed Angels” free on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOrD0tH_WaM
“The abolition and suffrage movements progressed when united and were damaged by division; we should remember that.” Gloria Steinem
Photos by Pixabay
Since the “Year of the Woman” 1992, 1993, 1994, etc., at least one woman has remained in a position of power, Ruth Bader Ginsberg. We owe tribute to her. She deserves all the recognition and honor that has been bestowed upon her to this point and more. This eighty-one year old may look frail, but I see her as strong as steel. Ginsberg is not the only woman who has served on the Supreme Court or even the first. She is not the longest serving Justice, either, but she was appointed in 1993, almost twenty-five years ago and she serves with strength and dignity.
Is it possible that the so-called “me too” movement currently sweeping the US will be the turning point for women? Is it likely that women will finally be treated with equity? I want to be optimistic, but I am not, at this point, even hopeful. What will it take? I do not know, but I do know what is at stake.
At stake is every inch of progress made to date. At stake are healthcare and childcare and the overall economic stability of women and their families. In 2016 the pay gap for women was 20%! According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research if progress continues at the rate of the past fifty years it will be 2059 before there is pay equity between women and men. For women of color, it will be well into the next century. https://iwpr.org/issue/employment-education-economic-change/pay-equity-discrimination/
What is the answer? If only it were that simple, but there are many changes that must be made and while men are important to this cause and their support is essential, it is women who must step up.
- Run for office
- Vote in each election
- Expect (demand) more
- Educate girls
- We might begin by recognizing their strength and intellect ahead of their appearance
- Support other women politically, in business and personally.
These are a few things that come to mind at the moment but there are many more. Let’s not be afraid of the fight. The suffragettes endured real physical pain for the right to vote and if you aren’t sure about that, I challenge you to see the 2004 movie, “Iron Jawed Angels” now available free on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOrD0tH_WaM
If you have not seen this movie, please watch it, show it to your daughters and your granddaughters. While we’re at it, let’s include the men and boys. We all need to know this history.
“Paradoxically, the most constructive thing women can do is to write, for in the act of writing we deny our muteness and begin to eliminate some of the difficulties that have been put upon us.” Dale Spender
Whether we write, speak or teach . . . . No matter how we lead, the important thing is that we be not mute!
Theme photo in title by Pixabay