Women’s Equality Day 2022: History, Significance And Theme — All You Need To Know

Women’s Equality Day 2022: History, Significance And Theme — All You Need To Know

Women’s Equality Day 2022: While many of us are aware of International Women’s Day, which is celebrated every year on March 8, Women’s Equality Day remains a lesser-known day, as it is mainly celebrated in the US. Women’s Equality Day is celebrated in the US on August 26 as the government that day had ratified the legislation allowing voting rights to women. While International Women’s Day is celebrated to acknowledge the contributions of women in private and public life, Women’s Equality Day is specifically celebrated for achieving universal suffrage.

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Women’s Equality Day History

In the United States, the legislation to allow voting rights to women was passed in 35 of the 50 states of the country by the mid of 1920. For the federal government to ratify the constitutional amendment, the legislation was to be ratified by at least three fourth, that is 36, of the total states.

Out of the remaining 15 states, four – Connecticut, Vermont, North Carolina and Florida – had denied accepting the amendment due to various reasons while the remaining states, except Tennessee, openly rejected the idea. So, all hopes of the supporters of universal suffrage relied on Tennessee.

While it was expected that the amendment would fall in the state assembly by one vote, it actually passed as one of the legislators switched in favour of the amendment at the request of her mother.

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How August 26 Came Into Picture

That was how the required three-fourth majority was secured for the amendment to be finally ratified by the federal government. While Tennessee passed the legislation on August 18, Washington DC officially ratified the amendment on August 26, enacting it the whole of the country.

It was only in 1971 that a US lawmaker Bella Abzug presented a bill in Congress to celebrate August 26 as Women’s Equality Day as on “that day in 1920…the women of America were first given the right to vote.”

Women’s Equality Day 2022 Theme

It is interesting to note that this year’s theme of Women’s Equality Day is similar to the previous year, that is “Hard Won…Not Done”. Last year, “Hard Won” universal suffrage was in focus. And this year, the fact that gender equality is “Not Done” is the focus.

However, women in America won voting rights in 1920 the movement still continues, now expanding to diverse communities, including LGBTQIA+, Black women, women of colour, Indigenous peoples etc.