Women’s Equality Day commemorates the Nineteenth Amendment, which gave women in the United States the right to vote. The Nineteenth Amendment was first introduced in 1878, but was not granted until August 26, 1920. Today Women’s Equality Day serves as a symbol of the continuing fight for equal rights.
J. P. Laffont/Corbis Sygma
Betty Friedan, a founder of the National Organization for Women,
leads a march in Manhattan in 1970 for the Women's Strike for Equality.
Women’s Equality Day also commemorates the Women’s Strike for Equality, sponsored by the National Organization for Women (NOW), which took place on this day in 1970. The strike celebrated the 50th anniversary of the passing of the Nineteenth Amendment. It spotlighted issues current to the time (and still as important today): equal pay in the workforce, political rights for women, equality in relationships, abortion, and free childcare. The strike was organized by Betty Friedan, the author of Feminine Mystique. At 5pm (so that working women could attend) on August 26th tens of thousands of people gathered on Fifth Avenue in New York City. The protested ended in Bryant Park, behind the New York Public Library, with speeches by Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem, Bella Abzug, and Kate Millett. Protests were also held in Detroit, Pittsburgh, Washington D.C. Los Angeles, and Minneapolis.
Check out our Bookclub Kits featuring Valuing the Vote Kit. Also check out these books that celebrate women's rights!
Happy Women's Equality Day!
|Woman Rebel: The Margaret Sanger Story by Peter Bagge|
Seneca Falls and the Origins of the Women's Rights Movement by Sally G. McMillen
Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
Women of Hope: African Americans Who Made a Difference by Joyce Hansen