Women's Equality Day 2020
Starting this year, Women’s Equality Day MUST BE an annual call to action.
On August 26, 1970, over 50,000 women marched nationwide in the Women’s Strike for Equality. The date marked the 50th anniversary of the addition of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution: women’s right to vote. The demonstration was considered the largest gathering for women’s rights since the suffrage protests at the turn of the century. Inspired by the rally, Congresswoman Bella Abzug (also known as “Battling Bella”) introduced a resolution to designate August 26 as Women’s Equality Day.
Today, on the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment in our country, women may be able to vote, but we are still not guaranteed constitutional equality. That's why it's imperative that we act.
The VoteEqualityUS team invites all writers to educate America about our systemic inequities (past and present). Writers invite and inspire American citizens to take action.
So long as our Constitution is missing the 28th Amendment (Equal Rights), we are one major step away from delivering on the promise of "liberty and justice for all." Educate readers and encourage them to take effective action by voting for equality leaders in the U.S. Senate.
Pieces will be as varied as the Americans writing them. The talking points below provide a broad swath of topics and data points related to gender and voting equality in America.
To increase your impact as a writer, please see our “Writing to Influence” page. Another helpful page that includes a link to an editing team standing by to help you is "Write a Letter to the Editor."
Ranking America on Gender Equality
- From the FAQ “International Standing”
- Political gender parity in the United States is ranked 11th from the bottom for all countries in the Americas and Europe. The U.S. ranked 72 out of 82 countries in total.
- The gender equality gap is expected to close (on average, across all countries) in 99.5 years, the gender equality gap in America is not expected to close for 208 years. Although nobody living today will see gender equality in their lifetime, we can work to ensure constitutional gender equality now.
- In 2018, the United States was ranked as the 10th most dangerous country in the world for women. We tied for third with Syria for countries where women most risked sexual violence, harassment and coercion into sex, and sixth regarding non-sexual violence such as domestic and mental abuse.
- America no longer ranks within the top third of countries when ranked on gender equality.
- Gender equality is included in 168 international constitutions but not in ours.
- From the FAQ “Pregnancy Discrimination“
- The United States is one of only two countries in the world that does not mandate paid leave and at the current rate of adoption it will take 150 years for everyone in the United States to have paid leave.
- From the FAQ “Intersectionality”
- Women of color in particular experience the oppression women in America face in conjunction with racial inequalities. Because of this, gender discrimination against women of color is more profound.
- The 28th Amendment helps fight both gender and racial discrimination faced by women of color.
- Increasing the number of women of color in positions of power is the best way to reduce the twin evils of systemic racism and gender discrimination.
- Overview of a wide range of inequities and source documents which provide even more information can be found on the FAQ “Intersectionality”.
- From the FAQ “Equal Pay”
- At the current rate of progress the pay gap is not expected to close until 2093.
- More statistics for equal pay can be found at the FAQ “Equal Pay”.
- From the FAQ “Business Case”
- Gender diverse teams and business outperform groups lacking diversity.
- American consumers prefer to do business with socially conscious companies, particularly with respect to gender and racial equity.
- Building a gender diverse workforce has become a critical factor for companies wanting to attract and retain top talent.
- From the FAQ “COVID-19”
- Some are calling COVID-19 America’s first female recession. In less than three months, COVID-19 erased a decade of progress for American women in the workplace.
- COVID-19 is having a disproportionate impact on female entrepreneurs and much of the rebuilding after the pandemic will fall on them.
- Advancing gender equality and women’s economic rights is how we “recover better” together from COVID-19.
- The pandemic offers an opportunity to rethink systems and systemic inequities and design a new normal as we emerge from COVID-19.
28th Amendment (Equal Rights)
- From the FAQ “Why Needed”
- Victims of gender discrimination NEED a constitutional amendment. Currently they are more likely to lose a case than win it.
- A constitutional amendment is far more enduring than legislation or court precedent.
- From the FAQ “What Changes”
- Congress’ legislative capacity to support gender equality in America will be enhanced.
- After the 28th Amendment is enforceable, gender discrimination cases should achieve a success rate similar to race, religion, and country of origin discrimination cases.
- The 28th Amendment should allow for more courtroom success in challenging government discrimination. Specific examples can be found on the FAQ “What Changes”.
- From the FAQ “Rescissions”
- There is no precedent to count a purported rescission.
- Three amendments to the Constitution were added despite purported rescissions: 14th, 15th, and 19th Amendments.
- From the FAQ “Deadline”
- The arbitrary and unilateral deadline that was NOT included in the wording of the 28th Amendment (Equal Rights), ratified by the required 38 states, should not keep gender equality out of our Constitution.
- The U.S. House of Representatives have taken action to recognize the 28th Amendment and so should the U.S. Senate.
100th Anniversary of the Right to Vote
- The 15th, 19th, and 24th Amendments collectively did not solve America's voter suppression. It took Amendments AND Congressional action in the form of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. American voters today still face challenges in casting votes.
- From the FAQ "History"
- America’s women’s movement was an offshoot of the abolitionist movement. After slavery was abolished, voting rights advocates founded the American Equal Rights Association in 1866 to secure the ballot for all, “irrespective of race, color, or sex.” This goal would not become a political reality for another ~100 years with the passage of the Voting Rights Act (1965).
- The decision in Shelby County v Holder (2013) by the U.S. Supreme Court removed the requirement for nine states to receive pre-clearance from the federal government to change voting laws, effectively gutting the Voting Rights Act impact in America’s South. (source, The Atlantic)
- To reinstate voter access after the Shelby decision, the House of Representatives has passed HJRes4, the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. This has yet to be passed by the U.S. Senate. (source, NAACP)
- Today voter registration, polling locations / hours, and voter IDs continue to be a barrier to voting.
- Suppression efforts range from the seemingly unobstructive, like voter ID laws and cuts to early voting, to mass purges of voter rolls and systemic disenfranchisement. (source, ACLU)
- 24 percent of Black women age 18-24 and 33 percent of Hispanic women age 18-24 report not being registered to vote. (source, Census data)
- 30 percent of Native Americans surveyed in NV, AZ, NM and ND are not registered to vote. (source, Native American Voting Rights Fund)
- In 2018 North Dakota required a residential address for Voter IDs that expressly excluded the use of P.O. boxes as residential addresses. As a result, over 5,000 Native Americans lacked the requisite form of ID to vote, as no reservation had residential addresses. (source, ABA on Native American voter suppression)
These writing prompts are intended to be helpful to a writer. They are obviously not all encompassing for such broad topics.