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Women's Equality Day

What is Women’s Equality Day?

At the behest of Rep. Bella Abzug (D-NY), in 1971 the U.S. Congress designated August 26 as “Women’s Equality Day.” The date was selected to commemorate the 1920 passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote. This was the culmination of a massive, peaceful civil rights movement by women that had its formal beginnings in 1848 at the world’s first women’s rights convention, in Seneca Falls, New York.

The observance of Women’s Equality Day not only commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment, but also calls attention to women’s continuing efforts toward full equality. Workplaces, libraries, organizations, and public facilities now participate with Women’s Equality Day programs, displays, video showings, or other activities.

What can I do to celebrate/commemorate this day?

Joint Resolution of Congress, 1971 Designating August 26 of each year as Women’s Equality Day

WHEREAS, the women of the United States have been treated as second-class citizens and have not been entitled the full rights and privileges, public or private, legal or institutional, which are available to male citizens of the United States; and

WHEREAS, the women of the United States have united to assure that these rights and privileges are available to all citizens equally regardless of sex; and

WHEREAS, the women of the United States have designated August 26, the anniversary date of the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, as symbol of the continued fight for equal rights: and

WHEREAS, the women of United States are to be commended and supported in their organizations and activities,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, that August 26th of each year is designated as Women’s Equality Day, and the President is authorized and requested to issue a proclamation annually in commemoration of that day in 1920, on which the women of America were first given the right to vote, and that day in 1970, on which a nationwide demonstration for women’s rights took place

White House Proclamations

  • Click here for the White House Proclamations in recognition of Women’s Equality Day from Barack Obama 2009 and 2010.
  • Click here for the White House Proclamations in recognition of Women’s Equality Day from George W. Bush 2001-2008.
  • Click here for the White House Proclamations in recognition of Women’s Equality Day from William J. Clinton 1993-2000.

Women Suffrage March Pennsylvania Ave 1913
Pennsylvania Ave., Washington DC
March 3, 1913

Bella Abzug Speech at National Womens Conference
Congresswoman Barbara Jordan Speaking at the National Women's Conference (1977) with Bella Abzug (right) and then
First Lady Rosalynn Carter (far right)

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