All you need to know about Women’s Equality Day

Women’s Equality Day is observed every year on 26th August. It is an annual event in the United States. This day marks American women’s advancements towards equality with men.

What is Women’s Equality Day?

Women’s Equality Day is a day that marks the advancements of American women towards equality with men. Many libraries, organizations, workplaces, and other institutions observe this day. Various events and programs take place that helps the citizens recognize women’s progress towards equality.

Which day marks Women’s Equality Day?

Women’s Equality Day is celebrated every year on 26th August to pay respect to the 1920 adoption of the Nineteenth Amendment (Amendment XIX) to the United States Constitution. This amendment prohibits the states and federal government from denying the right to vote to the citizens of the United States based on their gender.

History of this auspicious day

In 1920, the constitution chose this day as Women’s Equality Day. On this day that year, the Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby signed the proclamation which granted American women the constitutional right to vote. In 1970, there was a national Women’s Strike for Equality. In 1971 and 1973, the battles over the Equal Rights Amendment continued. Congresswoman Bella Abzug of New York made a resolution to establish 26th August as Women’s Equality Day.

August 26 1970 marked the 50th anniversary of the 19th amendment to the US Constitution. It granted women full freedom to vote. On that day, NOW (National Organization for Women) gathered women in a nationwide ‘strike for equality’. Many women hung two 40-feet banners from the crown of the Statue of Liberty. Others drew attention by stopping the sticker at the American Stock Exchange. More than a lakh women participated in rallies and demonstrations in 90 major cities and towns throughout the country. This was one of the largest gender-equality protests in the history of the United States.

What happened after 1971 to establish this very day?

In 1972, President Richard Nixon issued proclamation number 4147 which set August 26 as Women’s Rights Day. This was the first official proclamation of Women’s Equality Day. On 16th August 1973, Congress approved the proclamation that people would celebrate this day on 26th August. The Congress also requested the President to issue a decree to honor that day of 1920 which gave the American women the right to vote for the first time.

On the same day, President Richard Nixon issued decree number 4236 for this very special day. As of 2018, every president since Richard Nixon has issued a decree stating that 26th August would be celebrated as the day which celebrates equality of women in every sphere.

Barack Obama’s proclamation on this day

Barack Obama was the former US President. His decree read as follows, “Nearly one century ago, with boundless courage and relentless commitment, dedicated women who had marched, advocated, and organized for the right to cast a vote finally saw their efforts rewarded on August 26, 1920, when the 19th amendment was certified and the right to vote was secured. In the decades that followed, that precious right has bolstered generations of women and empowered them to stand up, speak out and steer the country they love in a more equal direction.”

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