Every year on August 26th, women and men in the United States commemorate a giant leap forward in civil rights–when women received the right to vote. It is called Women’s Equality Day.
And though Women’s Equality Day may have escaped your notice last Sunday, several leading national organizations focusing on educational resources call it to our attention each year. With decades of tradition in educational resources, the National Women’s History Project (www.nwhp.org) [(1) and right] shared the text of the Presidential Proclamation for Women’s Equality Day [(2)] to all of its members nationwide–and then shared further from there. The excerpt quoted below is the first paragraph of that proclamation signed by U.S. President Barack Obama [(3) left]:
“On Women’s Equality Day, we mark the anniversary of our Constitution’s 19th Amendment, which secured the right to vote for America’s women. The product of profound struggle and fierce hope, the 19th Amendment reaffirmed what we have always known: that America is a place where anything is possible and where each of us is entitled to the full pursuit of our own happiness. We also know that the defiant, can-do spirit that moved millions to seek suffrage is what runs through the veins of American history. It remains the wellspring of all our progress. And nearly a century after the battle for women’s franchise was won, a new generation of young women stands ready to carry that spirit forward and bring us closer to a world where there are no limits on how big our children can dream or how high they can reach. …”
Additionally, Soomo Publishing has produced the popular music video “Bad Romance: Women’s Suffrage” using a Lady Gaga song [(4)]. I first heard about this video when it appeared in a post on Didion’s Feminema blog last Spring [(5)] on a tip from Servetus of Me+Richard Armitage [(6)] from one of her Legenda indexes of interesting resources, I think. And I tucked the video away to save just for Women’s Equality Day–and I share it with you now:
This is what National Women’s History Project[(7)] had to say about the video and its developers in an email to its nationwide network of educators that was shared with me:
“The National Women’s History Project salutes Soomo Publishing for their upbeat, fun and downloadable music video that the honors the bold and courageous campaign that won women the right to vote. After you’ve watched the down-loadable video, http://soomopublishing.com/suffrage/ be sure and visit their website for lyrics, activities, and curriculum.”
As a person who works in the field of education (for almost 30 years), I also encourage you to check out the varied educational resources at the National Women’s History Project [(8)]. They are wonderful resources and very reasonably priced.
And to close, may I add that though some around the world, or even close to home, might wish to demean and diminish women–or say that we don’t need women’s rights–the history of the world tells us otherwise. Women around the world are still kept from education, denied jobs and livelihoods, injured, and even killed because their society allows that to happen. We have not overcome–yet. And if you are a woman of privilege–which can sometimes be as simple as having food and shelter–and feeling that you don’t need special rights, then think of the other women and children who don’t share your level of privilege and work to improve their conditions. For we are judged as a society by how we treat the least of its members–the most vulnerable. Being born into or falling into poverty or distressed circumstances isn’t a sin and not something anyone deserves. And shame on us if we tsk tsk those less fortunate–even if we feel that they have made some poor choices. I have been blessed with wonderful guidance and role models in my life. And I have striven to share that gift of guidance with my students and others. I hope you also share your blessings and your guidance with others in meaningful ways. Because as so succinctly stated in 1995 at the Fourth United Nations’ World World Conference on Women held in Beijing, China, “women’s rights are human rights” [(9)]. Indeed.
P.S. And for those of us who do have the right to vote? Exercise it! Please become informed about the issues and vote your conscience. Every vote counts!
1) The National Women’s History Project (NWHP) is a national organization devoted to bringing the achievement of women into the historical record as well as making everyone more aware of the contributions of women to the fabric of our society. They state it thusly on their “about” page found at http://www.nwhp.org/aboutnwhp/index.php
“History helps us learn who we are, but when we don’t know our own history, our power and dreams are immediately diminished.” Visit the link above to learn more about the NWHP and how their educational resources can benefit you.
2) Presidential Proclamation for Women’s Equality Day is found at http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/08/24/presidential-proclamation-women-s-equality-day-2012
3) Portrait of U.S President Barack Obama was found at http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/administration-official/ao_image/President_Official_Portrait_HiRes.jpg
4) “Bad Romance: Women’s Suffrage” a video by Soomopublishing of a Lady Gaga song is found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYQhRCs9IHM
5) “Women’s history via Lady Gaga (it’s awesome) was found at http://feminema.wordpress.com/2012/03/19/womens-history-via-lady-gaga-its-awesome/
6) Me+RichardArmitage blog by Servetus is found at http://meandrichard.wordpress.com/
7) August 16, 2012 email shared with me from the National Women’s History Project detailing the “Bad Romance: Women’s Suffrage” video and Soomo Publishing’s other resources related to it that are found at http://soomopublishing.com/suffrage/
8) The National Women’s History Project may be contacted at: National Women’s History Project 730 Second Street #469 Santa Rosa, CA 95402 http://www.nwhp.org (707) 636-2888 email@example.com; NWHP also coordinates the annual Women’s History Months in March: 2013 National Women’s History Month Honoree Nominations Although the deadline for nominating honorees for National Women’s History Month 2013 is Sunday, August 26th, we will still accept nomination received on or before August 28th. Nominate an Honoree for National Women’s History Month 2013 (This information is also available on our website www.nwhp.org); I am not affiliated with the NWHP in any way. I am just a fan of their wonderful resources that I have used over the years.
9) Editorial “Women’s Rights are Human Rights” was found at the Voice of America web site at http://editorials.voa.gov/content/womens-rights-are-human-rights-96893544/1481876.html