August 26 has been designated as National Women’s Equality Day to honor the women who fought tirelessly for the commissioning of the Nineteenth Amendment, which gave women the right to vote. The day also stands as a strong reminder that we need to continue to advocate for equality for all women.
Prior to the signing of the Nineteenth Amendment, women were treated as second class citizens. They were not granted the right to hold property, serve on juries or hold elected office. While women have advanced and succeeded in many areas, such as medicine, the law and technology, the struggle continues.
Today, women in California are still fighting to close wage gaps within the workforce, to make their own choices about their bodies, and for acknowledgment and action against sexual misconduct and harassment.
In the past year, #MeToo, Time’s Up and the Women’s March have brought many of these issues to the forefront of our attention and it is our responsibility to ensure that these problems continue to be addressed and in the public conversation. The observance of Women’s Equality Day not only commemorates the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, but also calls attention to women’s continuing efforts toward full equality.
All of us need to stand together for equal rights for everyone and August 26 is a day that we can take a moment to remember the achievements of those who fought so hard before us for women’s rights. The future success of our communities, our state, and our nation depend on the achievements of women and girls. When given the same opportunities as men, women can do amazing things. I know firsthand, as my wife and two daughters have excelled personally and professionally and are a source of inspiration for me.