Women’s Equality Day commemorates the day the 19th Amendment, which officially granted women the right to vote, was certified to the Constitution on August 26, 1920. The holiday began in 1971, when Congress officially declared August 26 a celebration of women’s suffrage.
According to the National Women’s History Project, the holiday declaration said the 19th Amendment “culminated a 72-year, non-violent campaign to extend the right to vote to women, as symbol of the continued fight for equal rights.”
The 19th Amendment was a considerable victory for women’s suffrage. The movement started picking up speed in the late 19th century, particularly after the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention organized by abolitionists Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. In 1872, Susan B. Anthony and Sojourner Truth both tried to vote, but were both turned away. The suffragettes kept fighting for the votes for decades, and even marched on both New York and Washington, D.C. in 1912 and 1913. Finally, after 113 years of being denied the right to vote, the 19th Amendment constitutionally protected a woman’s right to vote.
Though the amendment granted suffrage to all women on paper, women of color were still disenfranchised and barred from voting. In 1922, the Supreme Court ruled that people of Japanese descent couldn’t become citizens, thus they could not vote. State laws across the country barred Native Americans from voting, and unjust barriers like literacy tests made it nearly impossible for thousands of African Americans to vote. So while the 19th Amendment was a step in the right direction, true and universal suffrage wasn’t guaranteed for everyone until 1965, when the Voting Rights Act passed Congress.
Women’s Equality Day is an excellent way to celebrate all the progress we’ve made as a country, but it’s also a way to remember how far we still have to go. While we’ve made massive strides at the ballot box, restrictive practices like gerrymandering and voter identification laws make it hard for people of color and poor citizens to vote. Outside the voting booth, the gender pay gap, the lack of paid maternity leave, and the struggle for reproductive rights continue to affect women’s daily lives. So on August 26, take a moment to appreciate all the work it took to make Women’s Equality Day a reality. You can always call your congress people to tell them that women’s equality should be a priority, but also remember that the fight for equal rights is far from over
Letter from the President
In June the 46th National Federation of Democratic Women Annual Convention held in beautiful downtown Atlanta, Georgia was a great affair rich with civil and human rights history and highlighted by a myriad of informative, inspiring speeches and presentations. Attended by conventioneers from 24 states, guests networked and exchanged ideas and strategies with new friends from across the nation.
Thank you very much for the support from the volunteers and committee members that worked tirelessly for months at the local and state levels. They dedicated countless hours and talents to help make this convention a success.
GFDW has made new friends and strengthened relationships across the nation. We truly hope all attendees enjoyed the hospitality and had positive takeaways. We look forward to exciting partnerships as WE collectively “Expand Possibilities and Define the Future” for Democratic Women across this great nation.
Kathy Adams, Chair
President, Georgia Federation of Democratic Women
Join our Committees where we research legislative priorities, and create one sheet documents and messaging points on issues relevant to women, children and families. We create campaigns to advocate for or against good and not so good legislation and educate Georgia’s voters at local levels about candidates and issues on the ballot and their impact. If you are interested in joining a committee to lend your expertise or to lend a hand because you are passionate about an issue, contact the following person for committee meeting information. The work we do now will help turn Georgia blue!
Education Committee – Bette Holland – firstname.lastname@example.org
Healthcare Committee – Alaina Reeves – email@example.com
Transportation Committee – Andrea Stephens – firstname.lastname@example.org
Climate Change – Bette Holland – email@example.com
Contact our 3rd VP Amealia Miller firstname.lastname@example.org or any of the officers for information and guidance on starting new chapters. They will be glad to assist.
The coalition which formed during the fight against Amendment 1 in 2015 and 2016 is still working and fighting for public education now with the name The Coalition for Public Education. They worked last January through March in the Georgia State Legislature to do what they could to stop or at least revise the bill authored by Kevin Tanner of Dawsonville under the guidance/insistence of Gov. Nathan Deal. Although they could not stop the bill they did manage some concessions. The bill, HB 338 Created “turnaround” schools in schools with low scores on the CCRPI. The Coalition has been watching and attending meetings of the advisory council which was formed to devise the workings of this bill. They feel that it will probably not be ready until the Fall of 2018. In the meantime, challenged schools have the opportunity to try to bring up their scores and be exempt from this bill. The coalition is continuing to push for extra financing for the schools that will be caught up in this scheme.
There will be a tax credit available this fall created by HB 237 which will allow up to $5 million to go into a fund for these schools. Be on the lookout for information on this in November and then sign up for this tax credit. You would pay in advance with your own money into the fund, but then get the full tax credit when you file your return in 2018.
This winter in the Georgia State legislature we should be on the lookout for assaults on the Teacher Retirement System and an increase the tax credits/vouchers. The Coalition will send out information on this during the session.
CLIMATE CHANGE COMMITTEE
The Climate Change Committee is in formation and more information will be available in the coming months. There are some exciting things happening in our cities and counties, without the support of our Federal Government. You can become involved!
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