Today is Women’s Equality Day, a commemoration of the adoption of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution, which granted women the right to vote.
The day was officially recognized by Congress in 1973 after a push from New York Rep. Bella Abzug, who was then working to pass another landmark amendment for women, one that didn’t make it into the Constitution: the Equal Rights Amendment.
The history of Women’s Equality Day thus mirrors our push for equality itself—groundbreaking steps forward, met with backlash that halts our progress. But not for long.
And at the center of this movement is a tension: between White women who saw equality with White men as the ultimate goal—and who often engaged in racist practices to get it—and Black women and other women of color, who worked just as hard to break ground for women but knew they would also have to fight their White sisters for full equality.
This year, 100 years after women won the right to vote, we can be proud of the progress we’ve made to reconcile the movement for gender equality with the movement for racial equality. But we can’t get complacent. This work is far from over.
WomenCount is doing our part in this work. This summer, we’ve been creating and promoting slates that support candidates of color, especially Black women. To celebrate Women’s Equality Day, can you chip in $5 or more to any or all of these slates?
Kamala’s (On) The Ticket
Our slate supporting the presidential ticket
Support Black Women
The most-competitive federal races
Shirley’s List National
The most-competitive state legislative races
Shirley’s List California
Local California races—our OG Shirley’s List
And two state legislative slates:
The most obvious progress we’re celebrating for the 100th anniversary of suffrage: For the first time ever, a Black, multi-racial woman has a place on a presidential ticket!
A record number of Black women are also running for Congressional office in 2020, according to the Center for American Women and Politics: 130 total, including 98 Democrats and 32 Republicans, 117 in the House and 13 in the Senate.
But there are also glaring racial disparities in political representation. Again, the most obvious: Kamala is only the second Black woman to sit in the US Senate, and if she’s elected vice president and her seat isn’t filled by a Black woman, there will be NO Black women serving in the Senate next year.
This problem won’t fix itself. We have to, as our slates say, feed the pipeline: Get more women in state and local offices, then in Congress, and eventually, into the White House.
Chip in to any or all of these slates to help us do that: Kamala’s (On) The Ticket, Support Black Women, Shirley’s List National, Shirley’s List California, Feed the Pipeline – AAPI Women in CA, Feed the Pipeline – Latina Candidates in CA.