August 26 is Women’s Equality Day, a reminder of women’s continued fight for equal rights. Why August 26? It is the anniversary of the day in 1920 when the 19th Amendment was ratified, giving women the right to vote.
On the 50th anniversary of Women’s Suffrage, in 1970, the National Organization for Women organized a nationwide Women’s Strike for Equality, demanding equal opportunities in employment and education. There were demonstrations and rallies in more than 90 cities. More than 100,000 women participated, including 50,000 who marched down Fifth Avenue in New York City.
The following year, in 1971, New York Representative Bella Abzug introduced and passed a bill in Congress to establish Women’s Equity Day. The bill says that “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.”
Have we come a long way?
Yes, women have made significant progress. However, 49 years later, we still face many hurdles to reach full equality in many important areas, including employment and pay equity. A report by the National Partnership for Women and Families reported in March 2020 that overall, women in the United States are paid 82 cents for every dollar earned by men. The gaps are even bigger for Black women, Latinas and Native American women.
Despite progress made in the past few decades since the Equal Pay Act of 1963, many women still report being paid less than their male counterparts, even though their jobs require the same skill, effort and responsibility. The problem impacts women at all levels; even successful corporate executives, doctors and lawyers have suffered from pay discrimination. And women who return to the workforce after staying at home with young children often have trouble catching up to the pay levels they may have achieved otherwise.
This problem impacts society as a whole, since many families – especially those where a woman is the primary breadwinner – depend on women’s salaries.
Thanks to A Case for Women, an organization dedicated to empowering women to achieve equality, more women are becoming educated about their rights. There are federal and state laws that require employers to pay men and women equally for the same work, as well as laws to protect women from retaliation when they speak up. A Case for Women helps women with pay equity issues connect with experienced law firms that handle those types of cases.
Help us to celebrate Women’s Equity Day this August 26. Join those who are speaking out about the importance of pay equity. By raising our voices on this important issue, we can make more progress toward equality for ourselves, our women colleagues and generations of young girls to come.
And looking ahead to our national election in November, what better way to celebrate the 1920 passage of the 19th amendment giving women the right to vote than to make sure to cast your ballot?
If you are concerned about the issue of pay equity, reach out to A Case for Women at acaseforwomen.com.