I will never forget the mnemonic from my seventh grade history class: “Amendment 19, in 1919, gave women the right to vote.” It is not totally accurate (although the House and Senate passed the amendment in 1919, it did not get ratified until 1920). But it did work. I still remember how it felt when I first learned that if I had been born 100 years earlier, I would not have been able to vote: I simply couldn’t believe that such backward ideas about women were persuasive in recent history.
It wasn’t until August 26, 1920 that a woman’s right to vote became law in the U.S. Yesterday, August 26, was Women’s Equality Day, commemorating the passage of the 19th Amendment and recognizing women’s ongoing fight for equal rights. It is a day both to remember the tremendous work of women like Susan B. Anthony, Ida B. Wells, and Alice Paul to win the right to vote, and a day to redouble our efforts to combat modern-day attempts to take the right to vote away from us. Read more »
The New York Times today reports that single women’s votes may be key to this year’s presidential election. “Single women are one of the country’s fastest-growing demographic groups — there are 1.8 million more now than just two years ago,” the Times explains. “They make up a quarter of the voting-age population nationally, and even more in several swing states, including Nevada.” But single women have traditionally registered and turned out to vote at relatively low rates, which means their full political power remains untapped.
It’s time to change that. The results of the presidential, congressional, and state elections this year will shape single women’s lives in a host of ways. The elections will determine whether single mothers receive the supports they need to make ends meet. They will determine whether women’s insurance covers contraception without a co-pay. The elections will determine whether the economy will work for single women who have experienced extremely high rates of unemployment through the recession and recovery and whether policymakers will prioritize fair pay for women. Read more »