Women’s Equality Day

An important mark on women’s history began 95 years ago. The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified on August 18, 1920, allowing women the right to vote after a decade long battle for equal rights. Tennessee became the the 36th state to ratify, the last state to help make the 19th Amendment official for women to vote. On Aug 26, 1920, women achieved the right to vote in the US, putting it into effect.

Today, we celebrate women’s equality day “(…and a day to reflect on how far we still have to go — in the spirit of those women who protested and organized for a fundamental right nearly a century ago, we must do more to ensure equality for all women).”

While a win in 1920 was a big accomplishment, the fight for women’s equality is still occuring. Women’s equality is just as important now as it was 95 years ago. Women today are still struggling to gain respect and acceptance.

The inequality among women and men today is visible, and women find it difficult to overcome it when gender stereotypes are enhanced by society. Some of these stereotypes today include the lack of gender diversity in STEM careers. 95 years ago, the voices of women weren’t even acknowledged. With the rejection of their opinions, there was no chance of women even close to becoming scientists. Gender stereotypes create discrimination for women in the workforce. According to Wired, the STEM wage gap between men and women in the U.S. is almost $16,000 per year. 45 percent of women are also more likely than men to leave their careers due to what they consider is a hostile work environment. On average in 2010, full-time working women only made 77 cents to every dollar a man earned.

In this photo released by China’s Xinhua news agency, China’s first female astronaut Liu Yang waves as she comes out of the re-entry capsule of Shenzhou-9 spacecraft in Siziwang Banner of north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region Friday, June 29, 2012. Liu and two other crew members emerged smiling from the capsule that returned safely to earth Friday from a 13-day mission to an orbiting module that is a prototype for a future space station. (AP Photo/Xinhua, Wang Jianmin)

In February of 2013, President Barack Obama said, “One of the things that I really strongly believe in is that we need to have more girls interested in math, science, and engineering. We’ve got half the population that is way underrepresented in those fields and that means that we’ve got a whole bunch of talent not being encouraged the way they need to.”

Suffragists like Alice Paul of the National Women’s Party, who was present for the ceremony of the 19th Amendment to Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucrieta Mott, who organized the Seneca Falls Convention, were symbols of women rights. They fought for women equality during different times, and they continue to be an important part of history.

U.S. Army First Lt. Shaye Haver, center, and Capt. Kristen Griest, right, pose for photos with other female West Point alumni after an Army Ranger school graduation ceremony, Friday, Aug. 21, 2015, at Fort Benning, Ga. (John Bazemore, AP)

Looking back, we have come a long way of creating historical change for women. Many ask and say, “Why continue to fight?” or “Other countries are dealing with far worst women rights issues.” We fight because gender inequality still exists everywhere, and the women seeking for change 95 years ago is shaking their voices at why women still have to bear through it. We fight because without the courage to voice our own opinions and ideas, we wouldn’t have women scientists, women military captains, women artists, women activists (the list goes on) today!