Happy Women’s Equality Day!

I say then that justice is not fulfilled so long as woman is unequal before the law. Frances E.W. Harper 1866

 

“I say then that justice is not fulfilled so long as woman is unequal before the law.” -Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, 1866

We celebrate Women’s Equality Day each year to commemorate the day the Nineteenth Amendment was certified: August 26, 1920. The 19th Amendment states, “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”

The 19th Amendment was a vital step toward equality for all women, but many women of color, including suffragist Frances E.W. Harper, continued to wait to become fully equal before the law due to racially discriminatory laws.

Many would argue that women are still unequal before the law.  Suffragist Alice Paul originally proposed the Equal Rights Amendment, which has yet to be ratified.  At present, the unratified amendment reads “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”

To learn about when other states ratified the Nineteenth Amendment, see When did your state ratify the Nineteenth Amendment? 

To learn when American women across the United States were enfranchised, before or after the Nineteenth Amendment, see When did women in your state get the right to vote?

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April Young Bennett

April Young Bennett is the author of the Ask a Suffragist book series, host of the Religious Feminism Podcast and a writer for the Exponent II. For more information about April, see aprilyoungb.com

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Happy Women's Equality Day!