Efforts to give women the same civil, legal and social rights as men date back to the first women’s rights convention that was held in 1848 in Seneca Falls, New York. The event had almost zero publicity, but an estimated 300 people showed up.
Organizer Elizabeth Cady Stanton opened the convention with a passionate speech about the unfairness of giving men complete control over the wages women earned, the property women inherited and the custody of their children in the event of separation. She also decried that women were taxed to support the government when they had no say in how it functioned.
Stanton and other early activists such as Lucretia Mott won crucial early victories — such as a change in New York state law that allowed women to own property and retain custody of their children — that advanced the cause of women’s suffrage.
For more than 70 years, thousands of suffrage supporters held lectures, wrote letters, marched, lobbied and practiced civil disobedience in their pursuit of what many considered to be a radical and futile cause. The 19th Amendment that granted women the right to vote was finally ratified by Congress in 1920.
It would take another half-century for Congress to formally designate Women’s Equality Day. After much lobbying by U.S. Representative Bella Abzug (D-NY) and others, Congress passed a joint resolution in 1971 to commemorate the passage of the 19th Amendment on August 26 of each year.
At NADI, we celebrate Women’s Equality Day by pausing to admire and support the accomplishments women have made throughout history. We admire those who vote in elections, advocate for causes they are passionate about, and support equal rights for all people.
To strong women everywhere, we salute you today and every day!
—Nina, Founder of NADI