43 years and counting…

Women’s Equality Day is August 26th

Women’s Equality Day will be 43 years old this year when we celebrate it on Tuesday, August 26th!  But as we are marking this day, let’s pause for a moment and put context around it.

We know that in 1920, women earned the right to vote. That was 72 years after the Seneca Falls Convention and the ratification of the Declaration of Sentiments.

In 1963, President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act. That took 43 years.

In 1971, Representative Bella Abzug got Congress to establish Women’s Equality Day.  That took 51 years from the passage of the 19th Amendment… from 1920 to 1971.

In 2009, President Barak Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.

  • That was 38 years from the establishment of Women’s Equality Day.
  • That was 46 years from the time President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act in 1963.
  • That was 89 years from the passage of the 19th Amendment.

Does it feel like a long time to you?

  • 72 years to get the vote.
  • 51 years to get a day to commemorate that day (and to remind us we have work to do)
  • 43 years to force at least SOME equity pay

AND STILL

  • The wage gap stagnates at 77%.    
  • It will take ANOTHER 43 years until we reach pay equity in the year 2057 (according to current estimates)
  • It will be the END OF THIS CENTURY before women have equal representation in the U.S. Congress

If you don’t like these estimates, here are four things you can do.

1. Be informed — pay attention.  Get on a list to find out about issues affecting women.

2. Contact your elected officials.Yes, your one voice does make a difference! Letters, emails, phone calls…they all count, more than you realize.  And don’t forget your local city council or county commission.

3. Share the her-story with the younger generation.  Younger women often have no idea how different things are today, nor how far we have still to go.

4. Share a link to this post. Bring other women into the conversation.

Don’t wait another 43 years. Stand in your power. Ask for what you want.  And let’s make change now.

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