Everything About Women’s Equality Day
Every year on 26th August, Americans celebrate Women’s Equality Day. This day marks the end of women’s struggles and is celebrated as a day of their victory.
Women's Equality Day was introduced by Bella Abzug and was first celebrated in 1971.
Bella Abzug (1920–1998) was an American politician, lawyer, public figure, writer, news commentator and feminist with Russian roots, her parents shifted to America. In 1970, Bella became the first Jewish woman elected to the American Congress (1971-1976).
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Women’s Equality Day History
Well, there is a long women’s day history about how this day came into existence.
On Women's Equality Day, it is natural to look back on the long way that American women have gone through in the struggle for equal social and political freedom for men and women.
However, the work towards Women's Equality began in the middle of the 19th century.
The adoption of this amendment was the culmination of the mass movement of women for women’s rights, which lasted for many decades in a row. But it took many years to achieve the realization of this law in practice, so that all women, regardless of color or race, can fully enjoy their rights.
Conventionally, researchers divide the history of feminism in the United States and in the world into three waves. The first of these also called the struggle of the century, ended with the adoption of the 19th amendment. However, its sources are found far beyond the centenary period, since the first attempts of women to defend their rights, primarily to be protected from physical violence, and equality in the sphere of work and education were made in the XVII century.
History has preserved many names of women pioneers on this path. Here are some of them.
In the 1630s – 1640s, two friends, Ann Hutchinson, and Mary Dreyer, consistently took on the joint training of women and men under the roof of their homes. Both paid the price: Anna died in exile, Mary, who took over her case, was executed.
In 1776, the wife of the second president of the United States, Abigail Smith Adams, in a letter appealed to her husband to include women's rights in the country's constitution. In case of refusal, she threatened her spouse with a female riot: “We will have to raise an Uprising in which we will not be bound by Laws in which we do not have the right to vote,” she wrote. Then John Adams only laughed at the words of his wife, who, however, hailed his followers at the dawn of the 20th century.
In 1848, Elizabeth Cadie Stanton contrasted her own Declaration of Independence - the Declaration of Feelings. After rewriting the original document, she called for it to give women the right to vote in elections, equal access to work and education similar to men. By this time, however, women were already sharing the same duties; they were paying taxes, without being, however, endowed with almost no rights. For example, the inheritance of real estate without the need to marry.
In 1849, women received the right to practice medicine. The first woman to receive a medical degree in the United States was Elizabeth Blackwell.
In 1870, the 15th amendment to the US Constitution was adopted, prohibiting the restriction of citizens in active electoral law on the basis of race, color or those who were in slavery in the past.
Women expected that their rights would also be taken into account by this amendment. When this did not happen, a split began in American society — all the attention of the activists was focused on the struggle to obtain voting rights. It was at this time that the front of the struggle, which had lasted by that time for more than a century, was headed by suffragists. Although the term itself, which became so widespread and safely survived to our days, appeared in the 19th century. Literally, the word Suffragist is translated as “the right to vote”.
And in 1920, almost 150 years after the warnings of Abigail Adams to her spouse, Suffragists achieved victory: On August 18, 1920, the 19th constitutional amendment was adopted in the United States, giving women the right to vote. Despite the fact that not all the demands of women were taken into account, this first major victory led to the fact that the heat of the feminist struggle in society was significantly reduced - up to the second wave, which rose in the middle of the XX century.
What Is The World’s State For Women Today?
Unfortunately, in some countries, women still have to face such extreme violations of human rights. In many countries, including Arab and Muslim, women have still not achieved equality.
Today, the United States, in collaboration with the Arab states, is busy promoting the ideals of freedom in the Middle East, including the fundamental rights of women. The United States funds training courses for women in Government and public organizations. Programs cover Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Algeria, and Morocco.
Therefore, by celebrating Women's Equality Day, the US government and US specialized organizations continue to actively advocate for women's rights around the world.
This holiday also serves as a reminder that the struggle of women for full equality in America and other countries of the world continues to this day.
In all countries of the world, women's work in the family and at work is a necessary component of society. Women are not only employed in almost all professions along with men but often also carry most of the housework and childcare on their shoulder. And at the same time, society, politicians, and historians do not always appreciate their work. Women are most often subjected to ill-treatment and exploitation, and they are deprived of basic human rights.
Women's Equality Day reminds Americans that the United States is slowly but surely moving to implement the ideals of equality and justice. Celebrating Women's Equality Day, the US government and specialized organizations continue to actively advocate for the rights of women around the world. Because to this day in some countries, the civil rights of women continue to be violated. The position of organizations for the protection of women's rights is that women have the right to respect, to be independent in making vital decisions, to equality in taking part in public activities, etc.
The celebration of this day is a gentle reminder that there is a lot to be done for the empowerment of women in all spheres of life across the globe.