Today, June 4th, is the on hundredth anniversary of the nineteenth Amendment which gave women the right to vote. This was a major step for women to participate as equal human beings in the function of decision making and government. Increasing women’s ability to participate without barriers in the democratic process is still needed, and is an important part of BPW’s mission to support and empower women politically.
The National Organization for Women has released an article recognizing the date and its significance, which BPW would like to share with members (From NOW):
“One hundred years ago, on June 4th, 1919, Congress passed the Nineteenth Amendment and sent it off to the states for ratification. The amendment is brief, simply stating: ‘The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.’
This hundredth year anniversary only marks the anniversary of the amendment’s passage. Women were still deprived of the right to vote as it took another year for the states to actually ratify the Nineteenth Amendment and even longer for it to be enforced. However, this day marks a milestone in the long struggle for women’s suffrage; a struggle that began in Seneca Falls in 1848 and one that is still a struggle for minority groups to this day.
As NOW celebrates this important anniversary, we recognize that not all women gained their right to vote at the same time. Black women faced Jim Crow laws and voter suppression efforts until the Voting Rights Act of 1965 enforced voter’s rights. Native American women were not considered citizens until 1924, and had to fight state by state for the right to vote, with New Mexico being the final state to guarantee their voting rights in 1962.
During this anniversary, NOW recognizes the significance of the right to vote. NOW works tirelessly with our grassroots activists to protect voting rights and to help citizens exercise their right to vote.”
To learn more about how NOW advocates for women, click here.