Yesterday, statements were released, sentiments were shared and social media celebrations occurred (via sharing) recognizing “Women’s Equality Day.” At women reVamped, we also believe that women’s equality and ultimate agency in controlling their existence in this world is of the utmost importance. So yesterday we were pleased to see that there are people in this world who publicly support that notion; we welcome your support. The reason we welcome your support is because we cannot celebrate an unrealized dream. To say women achieved equality on August 26, 1920 is to erase the past and current disenfranchisement of women across the United States. Since there has been criticism over our decision not to celebrate an occasion that isn’t real we thought this would be a productive teachable moment for those who follow our work.
On August 20, 1920 white women were granted the right to vote and yet even still their right to vote was not readily embraced nor actively empowered.
Women of Color did not achieve voting rights until August 6, 1965 when the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was signed into law. This, of course, being a landmark victory and yet to this day is challenged with legislative maneuvers seeking to suppress the voting rights of minority voters; coupled with the blatant disregard for the legislation in the first place at the local level.
Women still make up just about 20-25% of elected officials at the state and federal level; even though they surpass them in eligible voters.
Out of the 9 Supreme Court Justices, who occasionally make decisions that specifically affect women, only 3 are women.
In addition to the aforementioned items, there’s this:
#progress to the tune of negative 23 cents.
So no, we are not celebrating a sentiment that suggests women are better off in circumstances that are reflective of an attitude that seeks to give women the perception of equality while still removing the acquisition of authentic and sustained power.
So next time you celebrate women’s equality we want you to think about the following: are you making the same wage as your male counterparts, are women of color still being disparately victimized by systems of power and did your health insurance cover your birth control last month?
We welcome you to join us in creating equity — because that’s more sustainable.
Your think-tank friends,