Women’s Equality Day!
Women’s Equality Day falls every year on August 26th. Although we have made great strides as a whole to empower women and give them access to the same opportunities as men, there is still much work to be done. Celebrating Women’s Equality is important as it sheds light on current issues and allows us to openly discuss the resources and changes women need. This has been a nationally recognized event since 1971 by Congress to celebrate the Nineteenth Amendment, giving women the right to vote and to provide a platform for current issues.
It is important to celebrate this day to honor the fight of those before us that initiated this conversation. But it is also important to share with our young children that we need to support one another and that gender is not a boundary, nor does it stop anyone from doing what they dream of.
The fight for women’s rights has been ongoing most publicly since the 19th century. The first significant stride in equality was the Seneca Fall Convention of 1848, attended by 300 men and women. Here, the Declaration of Sentiments, written by Elizabeth Cady Staton, was signed. It was written to mimic the Declaration of Independence to show how closely men’s struggles were with women’s struggles. Unfortunately, its publication was met with great hostility as it asserted that both genders have the same rights, a hugely unpopular opinion at the time.
Throughout American women’s rights history, inspirational figures such as Hattie Caraway, the first female elected to the Senate, Amelia Earhart, the first female to fly solo, and Madeleine Albright, the first female U.S. Secretary of State, have paved the way for other women to assume leadership roles. Yet, although summarized in one short sentence, these key and vital moments in history do not begin to describe the years of backlash and disrespect these women faced before assuming their roles.
Some of the biggest discussion topics surrounding women’s equality are equal pay, gender-based violence, workplace discrimination, and the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). The Equal Rights Amendment was first introduced in Congress back in 1923. This is an important amendment as in our law system, there are still particular distinctions that separate the legal rights between men and women. ERA ratification efforts have been supported by nationwide strikes, marches, and activism.
How to Celebrate
There are many ways to honor the legacy of this day. You may want to:
Support women-owned businesses. By doing so, you are empowering these business owners to continue their business and be able to support themselves financially.
Register to vote. If you are a woman, this is a great way to honor this privilege that so many fought for. You may also vote on important issues impacting women’s rights.
Talk about current issues. Have an open dialogue about why it is important for women to receive equal rights and how they can be supported.
Write a letter to Congress. Is there a specific women’s rights issue you are passionate about? Write to Congress about why change needs to happen.
Learn about women’s rights history.
Talking about Women’s Equality to Young Children
As a parent, educator, or business owner, we must set a good example for our young children. It is easier to talk about this subject with young children than we think. Children understand a lot, and some of the values children tend to learn in childcare is that we are all the same and must work together. At Casa, we make sure never to associate a task with a gender. Instead, we emphasize that we can all do the task at hand!
If you see any stereotypes being promoted anywhere, stop and talk to children about it. Discuss why it is a stereotype, why it might be hurtful to others, and ask them to share their feelings on the matter. Battling these stereotypes is a great way to promote gender equality from a young age. Children see these stereotypes in the media, so talking about them will allow for more open-minded mindsets moving forward.
For more resources regarding how to talk about gender equality with children, view these two articles:
How will you promote Women’s Equality in your own Casa franchise?