Celebrating Women’s Equality Day

August 26, 2009

U.S. postage stamp commemorating passage of the 19th AmendmentToday, August 26, 2009, is Women’s Equality Day. This day marks the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution 89 years ago and celebrates the women’s suffrage movement that led up to the amendment’s passage. AAUW and some of our branches are celebrating Women’s Equality Day by hosting fun activities to raise public awareness about women’s equality, what it means for women and their families, and how to build on our past progress to finally attain it.

For example, Kathy Banfield Shaw, the president of AAUW of Michigan, is scheduled to speak at her local library today in order to share stories of women suffragists. The AAUW Benicia/Vallejo (CA) Branch is hosting an exhibit highlighting the suffrage movement. The AAUW Alameda (CA) Branch is working in conjunction with other women’s and library groups to host a screening of Iron Jawed Angels in celebration of Women’s Equality Day. What is your group doing to commemorate this day? Please share your story and leave a comment about your event.

While Women’s Equality Day is about celebration and raising public awareness of this historic accomplishment, it is still a significant way to humbly recognize that the work for women’s equality is not yet finished.

Even though we have the right to vote, women are underrepresented in public office. AAUW’s Executive Director, Linda D. Hallman, CAE, tackles this issue head on with her call to action on More magazine’s blog. As she so astutely contends:

Though we make up more than 50 percent of the U.S. population, we hold only 17 percent of the seats in Congress. That’s staggeringly low, and I know we can do better. We need to mobilize our mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, and maybe even ourselves, to run for office. It’s never too late or too early. (Click here to read More of Linda’s guest blog post.)

Today, of all days, should be the most inspirational day to motivate women leaders everywhere — at all levels — to run for office. We owe it to the women who fought before us, to the generations of women to come, and, most importantly, to ourselves.

By:   |   August 26, 2009

2 Comments

  1. Lisa Goodnight says:

    Thanks for writing this post. Love the stamp. Don’t remember that one. Here’s a link to more stories about this very important day day
    http://www.ncrw.org/ncrwbigfive/?page_id=20

  2. Katherine,
    Thanks for mentioning my presentation…always fun to see your own name in print! A good friend of mine read from a Susan B. Anthony speech and I told stories of the collaboration and friendship of Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. I also told stories about Alice Paul and Carrie Chapmann Catt. Good questions from the audience that included my Mom (87 years young). Also screened bits of “Iron Jawed Angels” in order to give people a taste of what they can find in their own library. Well received I believe. Here’s to our foremothers…may we gain insight and strength from their struggles and courage.

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