Women's Equality Day; not to be confused with International Women's Day, is an annual event that began in the United States on August 26th 1971. It marks the fight towards gender equality and the efforts from women throughout America to make this happen.
August 26th 1970 saw the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which granted women the right to vote in national or local elections by law. On this particular day, the National Organisation for Women asked women to participate in a demonstration for nationwide equal rights. The women marched for equal education and employment opportunities. According to Britannica, more than 100,000 women participated in the demonstrations and rallies in 90+ major cities across the country. This was the largest gender-equality protest in the history of the U.S.
The protests did not change anything immediately, however it drew a large amount of attention to the feminist movement. A year later in 1971, the United States Congress passed the Equal Rights Amendment. Every year since the demonstrations, 26th August has commemorated the efforts made by women throughout America to achieve equality.
Women’s Suffrage: Did you know?
Women were denied the right to vote across most of the world until the beginning of the 20th century. New Zealand was the first country to allow women to participate in elections in 1893, followed by Australia in 1902, Finland in 1906 and Norway in 1913. It wasn’t until 1918 that women aged 30 and over were given the right to vote in parliamentary elections in the United Kingdom after a long battle and many defeats.
The Representation of the People Act was finally passed by the House of Commons in 1917, followed by the House of Lords a year later. In 1928, the voting age for women was lowered to 21. Over the 20 years that followed, 28 countries across the world also granted equal voting rights for women and men, to include Russia, Germany, The United States, South Africa, Brazil, and Thailand.
Significant leaders of the suffrage movement in the UK include Emmeline Pankurst and her daughter Christabel Pankhurst, Millicent Fawcett and Emily Davison.
At Level 7 Beauty Hall, we are so grateful for these women and many others before us that fought to give us the opportunities that we have now.
What are you doing today to celebrate? Let us know on socials! @level7beautyhall
Sources: Britannica, Wikipedia, BL UK.