Today is Women’s Equality Day, a time of jubilation and reflection. For decades, women had to fight for the rights gifted to men long before, including the right to vote. While we still have a ways to go in this country, it’s great that some progress has been made. The women who stood up and fought for the rights enjoyed today did so with bravery and left behind a legacy that is still going strong more than 100 years later.
When Is Women’s Equality Day?
August 26 is Women’s Equality Day in the United States. Also known as Women’s Suffrage Day, National Women’s Equality Day is held every year to commemorate the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote in America.
Although the dates don’t connect on the exact historical date, August is used for celebrating this monumental occasion. On Women’s Equality Day, we take the time to reflect and celebrate progress while advocating for more equality as we continue to improve as a nation.
The Suffrage Movement
For almost a century, women in America fought for equality through the Women’s Suffrage Movement. Female citizens didn’t have the right to vote or do many of the other things granted by their male counterparts until the 19th Amendment was ratified.
This Amendment would allow women the right to vote in elections after decades of vocal opposition and protests. The 19th Amendment would be ratified on August 18, 1920.
First came voting rights in the West in 1910. Even as World War I broke out, slowing momentum, the Movement used the war to show that they were just as patriotic as men while filling in for the jobs left by troops who went to fight overseas.
Next came convincing the East and the South. Things got weird. Even kinda racist. But in the end, the Suffrage Movement produced the ability for women to vote, leading to over 8 million women voting on November 2, 1920, for the first time.
Women’s Equality Day continues to celebrate the brave women who stood up for themselves and others during this civil rights movement. Today, it’s a celebration of how far we’ve come as a country while also a reminder of how much further we have to go.
Seven Resources for Women Veterans
There are around 2 million women Veterans in the U.S. today. In honor of Women’s Equality Day, we wanted to highlight some of the many resources available to female Veterans. From the VA Women’s Center to various non-profits, here are some great options:
1. Center for Women Veterans (CWV)
For women Veterans, the Center for Women Veterans offers health care, benefits, services, and programs. The mission of the VA Center for Women Veterans is to advocate for cultural transformation and to raise awareness about the rights and responsibilities of women Veterans.
2. White Ribbon VA
The White Ribbon VA initiative was designed to eliminate cultures that foster an environment of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and domestic violence. While these efforts are for the benefit of all genders, as they should be, women are, unfortunately, disproportionately affected by such issues.
3. VA Suicide Hotline
Suicide in female Veterans is growing at a rate that is outpacing all other demographics. The VA Suicide Hotline can be reached 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1 (800) 273-8255.
4. State Departments of Veterans Affairs
The State Departments of Veterans Affairs can help Veterans with a wide range of issues become connected with the right resources. This includes housing, employment, benefits, and education.
5. Foundation For Women Warriors
Maybe you’re in need of financial assistance. Perhaps you could use assistance with childcare. These programs and more are exactly how the Foundation For Women Warriors continues to support women Vets once they finish their service.
6. Women’s Veterans Alliance
The Women’s Veterans Alliance is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping advance the interests of women Veterans as well as providing them with support and resources. This includes access to help with mental health, business coaching, and much more.
7. Operation We Are Here
Operation We Are Here helps female Veterans in need of assistance for PTSD, their injuries, returning to civilian life, and more. This group can connect you with the resources you need and even provides retreat and vacation opportunities.
The military is a better place with women serving a role in it, and while each branch still has a ways to go in the treatment of female troops, days like today are a great reminder to strive for more.
How To Celebrate Women’s Equality Day
Celebrating Women’s Equality Day is a great opportunity to give back and reflect. It’s a chance for all of us to engage in important conversations while championing equality among all citizens. Here are some great ways to celebrate:
- Encourage women.
- Give back through local charities that assist women.
- Donate to women-centric charities and causes.
- Listen to women on pressing social issues.
- Connect women with helpful resources that can help with equality.
- Read, watch, and/or listen to media from women on the subject of equality.
No matter how you spend the day, it’s important to remember Women’s Equality Day and to implement positive practices toward all genders year round.
Photo by Tech. Sgt. Carlton Creary | The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.