Women's Equality Day, observed on August 26 every year in the US, is commemorated to celebrate the 1920 adoption of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which prohibits states and the federal government from denying the right to vote to the citizens of the US on the basis of sex. It was first celebrated in 1973.
The day was first celebrated in 1920 when Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby signed the proclamation granting American women the constitutional right to vote.
Following a nationwide Women's Strike for Equality in 1970 and 1973, as the Equal Rights Amendment debate continued, Congresswoman Bella Abzug from New York, introduced a resolution to designate August 26 as Women's Equality Day.
Notably, the Women's Strike for Equality, first celebrated on August 26, 1970, celebrated the 50th anniversary of the passing of the Nineteenth Amendment, which effectively gave American women the right to vote. The rally was sponsored by the National Organization for Women (NOW) and saw 50,000 women gather for the protest in New York City alone. Notably, the strike also advocated for other new wave feminist goals like political rights and social equality in relationships such as marriage.
On August 16, 1973, Congress approved that August 26 would be designated as Women's Equality Day and on the same day, President Richard
Nixon issued Proclamation 4236 for Women's Equality Day, which began, in part: "The struggle for women's suffrage, however, was only the first step toward full and equal participation of women in our Nation's life." He went on to add, "In recent years, we have made other giant strides by attacking sex discrimination through our laws and by paving new avenues to equal economic opportunity for women. Today, in virtually every sector of our society, women are making important contributions to the quality of American life. And yet, much still remains to be done"
The day sees several organisations dedicated to women's rights hold seminars, workshops to address the issues faced by women in the country.