One Big Thing: Celebrating 100 years of Women’s Suffrage
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What is it?
- The 19th amendment, which gave women the right to vote, was passed on June 4th, 1919 and later ratified on August 18th, 1920. Women participated in protests and started petitions for them to achieve their right to vote.
- Even though the 19th amendment helped achieve voter equality for women, other women from different racial groups were still not given the right to vote due to the strict voting laws in the South, which prevented African-Americans from voting.
- Today, women’s participation in democratic processes is one of the most important instigators of societal change. Around the world, women have been at the forefront of protests and political movements, most notably in Belarus, Mexico, Sudan, Lebanon and India.
Why is it important?
- The 19th amendment was crucial to ensuring equal rights for all citizens. Prohibiting women from voting automatically disqualifies half of society from democratic participation.
- It has also opened doors for women in other walks of life, such as becoming lawmakers or voicing their opinions on equality in health care, employment and gender pay gap.
- Around the world many women are still fighting for this basic right. Saudi Arabia did not legally allow women to vote until 2015 and there are still informal institutions that bar women’s participation in countries like Pakistan, Uganda, Afghanistan and more.
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