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Women’s Equality Day is an official holiday in the United States celebrated every August 26 to commemorate the day when the 19th Amendment was passed giving women the right to vote in 1920. Since 1971, the day is celebrated to remember the suffragists and their efforts as well as other women’s rights issues.
See the fact file below for more information on the Women’s Equality Day or alternatively, you can download our 25-page Women’s Equality Day worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- The women’s movement in the United States began in 1848 when Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott discussed the social, civil and religious conditions and rights of women at the Seneca Falls Convention held in New York.
- The Seneca Falls Convention was the first-ever women’s convention in America attended by women leaders and abolitionists like Frederick Douglass.
- Through the Declaration of Sentiments, modeled after the U.S. Declaration, women leaders created a document, which included twelve resolutions about the rights, obligations and privileges of women in American society. Eleven out of the twelve resolutions were easily passed, while the account on women’s suffrage became a point of contention.
- In 1850, the National Woman’s Rights Convention, a national convention for formal consideration of women’s rights was created. For the next decade, issues including equal wages, educational rights, property rights, marriage reform and suffrage were discussed.
- At the height of the Civil War, the National Woman’s Rights Convention came to an end. Women’s rights activists focused on the abolition of slavery and emancipation issues.
- In 1866, abolitionist Lucy Stone and suffragist Susan B. Anthony proposed the establishment of an organization, which would cater to the ideals of women across color and faith.
- Thus, the American Equal Rights Association was formed with Lucy Stone, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Sojourner Truth, Sarah Parker Remond, and Frederick Douglass as co-founders.
- After the passage of the 15th Amendment, which granted free men of color the right to vote, both Stanton and Anthony were disappointed that it did not extend to women.
- In 1869, the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA) was created by Stanton and Anthony to specifically secure woman suffrage. On the other hand, abolitionists Lucy Stone, Henry Blackwell and Julia Ward Howe established an alternative organization, the American Woman Suffrage Association, because they believed that women’s right to vote should remain in line with black suffrage.
- In 1890, the NWSA and AWSA combined to form the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA). The creation of NAWSA further pushed the national movement for women’s suffrage. With this organization, women pursued ratification of state suffrage amendments to urge Congress to approve a federal amendment.
- As a result, states like Wyoming, Colorado, Utah and Idaho granted women the right to vote between 1869 and 1896.
- At the beginning of the 20th century, a new generation of suffragists emerged including the daughter of Stanton, Harriet Stanton Blatch. Together with Alice Paul, Blatch spent time in England joining the British women’s movement. Their experience and protest methods were later adopted in the U.S. through the suffrage parade.
The 19th Amendment
- In 1913, the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage was created when Alice Paul and Lucy Burns broke away from NAWSA. It was later named the National Woman’s Party, which focused on constitutional amendment towards women’s right to vote. The women of NWP only gained public and legislative attention when U.S. President Woodrow Wilson showed an unwillingness to hear the protester’s demands. Some women were imprisoned and went on hunger strikes, disregarding their safety and health.
- After gaining public sympathy, President Wilson urged Congress to pass the amendment in December 1916. By May 1919, the House of Representatives passed the federal suffrage amendment.
- Finally, the 19th Amendment enabling women the right to vote was ratified on August 26, 1920. Both NAWSA and NWP were credited with winning the campaign for women.
- Aside from the right to vote, the 19th Amendment also gave women the right to buy and own land, serve on juries, choices on marriage, occupation, and even plans on bearing children. In totality, it recognized women as part of society and able to make important decisions on their own.
- The amendment was the outcome of generations of activism by suffragists which started in 1848. Despite the passage of the 19th Amendment, which applies to all women in the United States, African-American women were denied the right to vote until the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965.
Celebrating Women’s Equality Day
- On the 50th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, women of the National Organization of Women held huge rallies and marches in U.S. cities and hung banners on the Statue of Liberty to ensure that women who made voting possible were honored. After the 1970 protest, Congress attempted to pass the Equal Rights Amendment but its ratification failed. Instead, they designated August 26 of every year as Women’s Equality Day, which recognizes the accomplishments of women in American history.
- In addition to the amendment, the day also honors women who labored for long hours during World War I, when men were in the battlefields. Women worked in factories of ammunition, weapons, supplies, and more to compensate for the loss of men in the labor force.
- Since 1971, Women’s Equality Day has been celebrated after it was introduced by Congresswoman Bella Abzug and was made possible through a Presidential Proclamation.
- In the United States, this day is celebrated in the following ways: By writing a thank you letter to influential women, children learning about historical female figures, and participating in parades and activities organized by the local government.
Other Related Facts About Women in America
- On December 10, 1869, Wyoming was the first state to grant women the right to vote.
- In 1881, nurse Clara Barton established the American Red Cross.
- In 1887, Argonia, Kansas, elected the first female mayor of any American town, Susanna Madora Salter.
- Martha Washington was the first American woman to appear on a U.S. postage stamp in 1902.
- In 1908, the first Mother’s Day celebrations were held in Philadelphia and Grafton, West Virginia.
- The only original suffragette who got to witness women being able to vote in 1920 was Charlotte Woodward.
- Edith Wharton, an American novelist, became the first woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for fiction in her novel The Age of Innocence in 1921.
- In 1926, Gertrude Ederle was the first woman to swim across the English Channel.
- In 1932, Hattie Caraway became the first woman to be elected to the Senate. That same year, aviatrix Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic and the first aviator to fly solo across the Pacific Ocean in 1935.
- In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed the first female member of a presidential cabinet. Frances Perkins served as the Secretary of Labor.
- In 1963, the Equal Pay Act was signed prohibiting sex-based wage discrimination for both men and women.
- For the first time, women were permitted to enroll in U.S military academies in 1975.
- In 1987, the National Museum for Women in the Arts opened in Washington, D.C., the same year when Women’s History Month was first celebrated. Moreover, Tania Aebi became the first American woman and youngest person to sail solo around the world.
- Despite liberalism in American politics, no woman has been elected as president yet. In 2016, Hillary Clinton, former senator and First Lady became the first woman to become a presidential nominee of a major political party.
Women’s Equality Day Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Women’s Equality Day across 25 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Women’s Equality Day worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Women’s Equality Day which is an official holiday in the United States celebrated every August 26 to commemorate the day when the 19th Amendment was passed giving women the right to vote in 1920. Since 1971, the day is celebrated to remember the suffragists and their efforts as well as other women’s rights issues.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Women’s Equality Day Facts
- Women Making History
- Journey to Voting
- Voting For Women
- Through Wise Words
- Then and Now
- 19th Amendment Word Connect
- Women in WWI
- Cheers to Women!
- Write, Women, Want
- Woman Hero
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Link will appear as Women’s Equality Day Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, August 17, 2018
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.