Women’s Equality Day is celebrated in the United States annually on August 26. The day commemorates the decision to give women official voting right in the USA in 1920 after a long struggle. An amendment known as the Nineteenth Amendment was made to the US constitution in 1920 to give equal voting rights to women. By the mid-920, 35 of the 50 states in the USA had voted in favour of the legislation for voting rights for women. However, the ratification needed 3/4thor 36 favour votes to be passed by the federal government.
Four states- Connecticut, Vermont, North Carolina and Florida had refused to consider this resolution citing various reasons. The remaining states had rejected the amendment altogether.
The amendment was now dependent on the vote of Tennessee which eventually became the 36th state to ratify the amendment on August 18, 1920. But the Women’s Equality Day is marked six days later than this, on August 26. This is because even if a constitutional amendment has been ratified, it is not official until it has been certified by the specific government officials which in this case was done on August 26, 1920.
U.S. Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby was the official who was supposed to certify this amendment. He signed the proclamation on August 26, 1920, from his own home in Washington D.C. Hence, the day came to be celebrated on this date.
Women’s Equality Day 2022: Theme
The theme for this year’s Women’s Equality Day is similar to that of the previous year. While last year’s theme focused on ‘hard won’ universal suffrage, this year the theme is elaborated to ‘hard-won not done’. The hard-won part focused on the rights that were achieved after a lot of effort while the ‘not done’ part this year signals that gender equality is not yet achieved.