White Rectangle

Celebrating Women’s Equality Day

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Adam Willett
  • 152nd Airlift Wing

The observance recognizing Women's Equality Day was established by Joint Resolution of Congress in 1971. Women's Equality Day is observed on the 26th day of August and commemorates the 1920 passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which gave women the right to vote. The observance has grown to include focusing attention on women's continued efforts toward gaining full equality.

Women’s Equality Day celebrates the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution which guarantees all American women the right to vote. The Amendment changed Federal law and the face of the American electorate forever.

It is important to note that the drive to win the vote was a broad and diverse effort. There was a strong suffrage movement in many Black communities, but Black women, particularly in the South, were barred from voting for decades after 1920. It wasn’t until passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965, that their rights were finally upheld.

Additionally, the voting rights of Native American women were not recognized until 1924. For Chinese American women, it was 1943, and for Japanese and other Asian American women it was 1952. And for Hawaiian women, it wasn’t until 1959 when Hawaii became a state.

Women’s Equality Day gives us an opportunity to reflect on the many benefits of true equality and the role of women in our public life.

Women in public service and government have long served this nation by working to clear barriers, enforce laws, implement new ideas, and change people’s attitudes.

It is a day that calls us to action— to renew our commitment to the principles of equity and equal opportunity that define who we are as Americans.

Today we are reminded we all have the opportunity—and the responsibility—to create a society that gives both men and women equal voice. A century after ratification, it is clear that though the Nineteenth Amendment did not perfect American democracy, it advanced gender equality in important ways.

If you would like more information on how to celebrate diversity in your work area please visit www.deomi.org or contact the 152nd Equal Opportunity Office in Building 56 Room 9B, call 788-4649, or email Master Sgt. Adam Willett, EO Practitioner, adam.willett@us.af.mil.