In the nearly one hundred years since gaining the right to vote, women have made enormous strides toward achieving greater equality. Trailblazing women including Rosa Parks, Dolores Huerta, Aung Sang Suu Kyi and Pat Summitt–to name a few–have inspired millions to follow in their footsteps and achieve greatness.
Today marks the 96th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote, and on August 26th we will commemorate Women’s Equality Day,acknowledging the incorporation of the 19th Amendment into the U.S. Constitution.
While the 19th Amendment was an important milestone, much work remains to be done: women are still paid less than men, sexual assault and violence remain cultural impediments in our homes and on our college campuses, and women’s reproductive freedom is threatened daily. We must continue to push for equality and work to end discrimination, suppression and violence toward women.
Equal pay for women is especially significant in the fight for gender equality, particularly since minority women are paid even less than their white female counterparts. In California, African American women make 63 cents for every dollar paid to white men. August 23rd marks African American Equal Pay Day, the date into the year that African American women must work, on average, to make what a white man made the year before. And on November 1st, we will recognize Latina Equal Pay Day, which marks the number of days into the new year that Latinas need to work to make what white men were paid the previous year: over 200 days on average. Pay gaps put many minority women below the federal poverty level, preventing these women from affording basic necessities for themselves and their families, which forces them to sacrifice numerous opportunities.
CWLC is committed to continuing the fight for equality and economic security for women and girls. We thank the incredibly strong and purposeful women who sacrificed so much and whose shoulders we stand on today as we continue to march toward true equality. Thank you for joining CWLC and our ongoing fight for justice for women and girls!