The Women Equality Day is celebrated on 26 August every year in America. This day is celebrated to commemorate the day on which women of USA got the right to vote. The Nineteenth Amendment that was passed on this day in 1920 prohibits any US state and the federal government from denying the right to vote to any American citizen on the basis of sex. This amendment marked American women’s advancements towards equality with men. Through this article, we will understand the story behind the origin, purpose and significance of Women’s Equality Day.
History of Women’s Equality Day
The Nineteenth Amendment adopted in 1920 in the United States Constitution proclaimed the constitutional right to vote for women. But despite having constitutional rights women in the US were not getting equal treatment like men. The constitution has a section that talks about equal working hours and payments for females like men. But, there were some prestigious universities including Harvard that did not admit females for higher education. This created fewer job opportunities for women. They were only subjected to have jobs like secretary, teacher, nurse, and babysitter.
Then in 1970, with the Women’s Strike for Equality, people celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment. Later in 1972, that time President, Richard Nixon issued a Proclamation that designated August 26, 1972 as a Women’s Rights Day. It was the first official proclamation made for Women’s Equality Day. Then on August 16, 1973, once again a resolution to designate August 26 as Women’s Equality Day was represented and the US Congress passed this resolution that guarantees the right to vote for women.
Why do we celebrate Women’s Equality Day?
Women are that section of society that always was deprived of equal rights as compared to their male counterparts whether it is in the social, political, economical or educational field. Women’s Equality Day marks the struggles and fights of women and some men to get equal treatment for females. This day commemorates the passage of women’s suffrage and reminds us of all the heroic women and the hurdles they had overcome. The day also memorizes the resilience and resolve of women despite facing violence and discrimination in order to propel the women’s movement. Former US President’s wife Michelle Obama once said that ‘The struggle for women’s suffrage was long. But generations of women knew that our vote was our voice.’
Teachings and Importance of Women’s Equality Day
Women’s Equality Day also called gender equality day as it observes equal rights for both genders. This day makes women of different countries understand that they have equal importance in society in comparison with males. This day encourages them to take part in several activities like getting an education, working in diverse fields, etc. so that they will get to know that they are no less than males. The equality day for women also tries to change the mentality of those people who oppose the exposure of women in society.
If we compare our present situation from a few years back, we can differentiate that the status of women in our society has risen. Earlier, in India, women were forced to get married when they had barely turned into teen-age. However, now females are the ones who are taking financial and other responsibilities apart from taking care of household chores. Women like Kalpana Chawla who went to space and girls like PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, Sania Mirza are creating history in the sports field. The works, which society assumed, that are to be meant for only males are now also bieng carried out by females with the same or even better efficiency.
What do we learn from this day?
Though the Women’s Equality Day was started in the US where American females got the right to vote, this day is now often observed across the world to encourage and spread awareness about women’s empowerment. We know that this day was started in 1972 and since that year, proclamation related to August 26 or Women’s Equality Day has been issued by every President of the US.
In 2016, then President Barack Obama proclaimed about this day that stated, “Today, as we celebrate the anniversary of this hard-won achievement and pay tribute to the trailblazers and suffragists who moved us closer to a more just and prosperous future, we resolve to protect this constitutional right and pledge to continue fighting for equality for women and girls”. His message in the proclamation also motivated people of different countries that fight for equal rights for both men and women.
Celebration of Women’s Equality Day 2021
At a global level, purple is a colour that symbolizes women’s equality because it signifies justice and dignity. People celebrate this day by wearing anything purple to denote the importance of gender equality. It could be a wristband, top, ribbon, scarf, etc. of purple colour. On Women’s Equality Day 2020, people were not able to celebrate it by going outside because of restrictions imposed due to pandemics. Likewise, this year too people took social media to celebrate the day because of the same unfavourable condition. Several social media platforms are floating with thousands of posts congratulating or wishing people for the day. People are also celebrating the day in a number of different ways. On Women’s Equality Day, people pay tributes to the amazing women that have made a huge contribution to the movement and brought a difference in society.
Women’s equality day celebrates the progress of the women and their upliftment. This day also spreads the information about the struggles and movements initiated by women. For years, women have been facing stigma, stereotypes, and violence. However, the condition of women is getting better by the time. However, there are many regions across the globe where motivation and efforts are still needed to make women stand in a single line with men. The Women Equality day calls for an equal, discrimination-free, violence-free and unbiased future for the women.
Women’s Equality Day 2021: FAQs
Q1. What does Women’s Equality Day 2021 commemorate?
Ans. This day commemorates the adoption of the 19th Amendment in the United States Constitution that granted women the right to vote.
Q2. When was Women’s Equality day declared official?
Ans. In 1972, on 26 August, a proclamation was passed that made Women’s Equality day an official day to celebrate equality for women.
Q3. What is National Equality Day?
Ans. The US celebrates 26 August as National Equality Day every year.
Q4. What is the colour for gender equality?
Ans. Purple is the colour for gender equality.
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