While today was apparently National Dog Day and you probably saw many unwarranted photos of other people’s dogs (I know I did), let me clue you in on another reason why today is significant.
It is the 95th anniversary of the adoption of the 19th Amendment into the Constitution of the United States, thus granting women the right to vote. It reads:
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex….Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
This achievement came as the culmination of decades of work by suffragettes including Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Susan B. Anthony, and Carrie Chapman Catt. These women fought against great amounts of adversity to achieve voting equality with men, sometimes resorting to acts of civil disobedience to get their message across.
We, as women, owe a great deal to these historical heroes for the way our lives are lived today. Do you all realize that votes for women set off a domino effect of equalization between the sexes? In the early decades of the 20th century, women increasingly began to hold jobs and receive educations, granting them more independence in their lives. By mid-century, it became relatively common to see women in the workplace.
Are women completely equal and independent today? No. Women continuously make only 77 cents to a man’s dollar. But our lives are far more equal and independent than the women of a century ago. I am constantly thankful for my education and my job. But most of all, I value my right to vote. I have a say in my government and the policies lawmakers create, affecting the country I live in. This can’t be said for every country in the world, and in many cultures women’s rights are severely restricted to the point of complete silence. **With this in mind, ladies, really consider going to the voting booth next year when electing our next president. It’s so important to let your voice be heard in our political process when others across the world cannot.
Be smart. Be informed. Do good.