Women’s Equality Day commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits the states and the federal government from denying the right to vote to citizens of the United States on the basis of sex and granting women the constitutional right to vote. In 1971, and again in 1973, Congresswoman Bella Abzug of New York introduced a resolution to designate August 26 as Women’s Equality Day which was approved by Congress (H.J. Res. 52) on August 16, 1973. H.J. Res. 52 stated that “August 26 would be designated as Women’s Equality Day and that “the President is authorized and requested to issue a proclamation in commemoration of that day in 1920 on which the women in American were first guaranteed the right to vote”.1
Even though there have been many important strides made in the struggle for full and equal participation by women, there is still much work to be done. We can stand on the shoulders of those who have been the trailblazers and continue the fight for equal rights for women as we near the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment.
- Text of Public Law 93-105, authorizing the designation of Women’s Equality Day (pdf). August 16, 1973.