Women’s Equality DayWomen’s Equality Day reminds the 19th Amendment of the US Constitution, which grants women the right to vote. The amendment was first introduced in 1878. In 1971, the US Congress designated August 26 as Women’s Equality Day.

The History of Women’s Equality Day

At the behest of Rep. Bela Abzug (D-NY), in 1971 and after passage in 1973, the US Congress designated August 26 as “Women’s Equality Day“. This date was chosen for the 1920 certification of the 19th amendment of the Constitution. , Giving women the right to vote.




The 19th Amendment of the US Constitution guarantees women the right to vote, is passed by Congress and sent to states for ratification. The women’s suffrage movement was founded in the mid-19th century by women who became politically active through their work in abolitionist and abstinence movements.





It has been argued that they demonstrated that gender equality was achievable and how to achieve it. In broader society, the movement towards gender equality began in the late 19th century with the suffrage movement in Western cultures, which sought to allow women to vote and hold elected office.

1909 The first National Women’s Day in America was celebrated on 28 February. … 1913–1914 International Women’s Day also became a mechanism for opposition to the First World War. As part of the peace movement, Russian women celebrated their first International Women’s Day on the last Sunday of February.

Why is August 26 known as Women’s Equality Day?

Women's Equality Day
Women’s Equality Day




The simple answer to this is that even when a constitutional amendment has been ratified unless it has been ratified by the right government official. In 1920, that officer was secretary of the American state of Bainbridge Colby. Colby Washington on August 26, 1920 d. C. Signing a proclamation behind closed doors at 8 am in his home, ending the vote struggle that began a century ago.




The New York Times ran the story about the document’s signature on its front page and noted the lack of pomp for the historic event.

Colby was told by women’s franchise leaders Alice Paul and Carrie Chapman Cott to allow groups in Colby’s office to sign the document and film the event. Instead, Colby told reporters that “through the announcement of its ratification by the required thirty-six states, the franchise’s impact was more significant than feeding film cameras.”



The Times reported that Colby was concerned about the rivalry between Paul and Kat and refrained from a public view on the signing.

“As I am not interested in any friction or collision that may develop into a long struggle for ratification of the amendment, I have contented myself with performing in a simple manner on duty under the law.”



A package of documents from the state of Tennessee reached Washington by train at around 4 a.m., including official ratification documents from the state legislature.

How the 36th state ratified the Tennessee amendment on August 18, 1920, was a story in itself. Congress passed the proposed amendment a year ago and was supported by President Woodrow Wilson.



By the mid-1920s, 35 states had voted to ratify the amendment, but four other states – Connecticut, Vermont, North Carolina and Florida – refused to consider the proposal for various reasons, while the remaining states Voted to amend the amendment. Was rejected outright.

Therefore, Tennessee became a battleground to achieve the necessary three-fourths amendment of the states. 24-year-old MLA Harry T. Byron was determined to vote against the amendment, but at the insistence of his mother changed her vote on the floor of the Tennessee Statehouse, assuring ratification of the 19th Amendment.

Nevertheless, even after Bern’s decisive vote, anti-suffrage legislators tried their best to repeat the previous vote.

In 1971, Representative Bella Abzug supported a bill in the US Congress to designate August 26 as “Women’s Equality Day”. The bill states that “the President is authorized and requests to issue a proclamation annually in memory of that day in 1920. Women of America were first given the right to vote.”



As a footnote, the amendment certification process has changed since 1920. Now, the United States Archives, which heads the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), is responsible for finalizing the ratification process.



Back in 1920, Secretary Colby’s lawyer reviewed the documents from Tennessee. Today, the NARA Office of the Federal Register reviewed the documents and wrote the proclamation for signing to the United States Archives.

Section 106 (b) of the United States Code states the finality of the process:

“The reason for publishing the amendment in the archives of the United States shall be accompanied by a certificate thereof, specifying the states by which the same may have been adopted, and has become valid for all intents and purposes. The United States. Constitution of America. ”

Women’s Equality Day

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