Congresswoman Shelley Berkley today encouraged all Americans to join in celebration of the 90th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote and hold office. This week marks the ratification of the 19th Amendment which occurred on August 26, 1920.
"On this 90th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote, we honor the brave suffragists and pioneers who blazed the trail for all American women," said Berkley. "Those who took part in the suffragist movement are role models who continue to inspire generations of young Americans through their words and deeds. Were it not for these pioneers, I would have never had the opportunity to serve as a Congresswoman. For our grandmothers, mothers, sisters and daughters, we must continue to fight for women across the country and around the world, until the dream of true equality becomes a reality for all women."
There has been great progress for women's equality since the passage of the 19th Amendment, but significant work remains to be done. Women still earn 77 cents for every dollar men make, and women hold just 17 percent of the seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and 17 percent in the Senate -- signs that our goal of equality requires our continued focus and energy. It is important that we remember the legacy of the early suffragists and keep their spirit of fighting for women's rights alive today.
"While it may seem unbelievable to Americans in the 21st Century, it was not many generations ago that women in the U.S. did not have the right to vote or hold office. We must remember how far we have come as a nation since women's suffrage was enacted, and one way to keep that memory alive is by recognizing those who led the fight for equality at the ballot box," said Berkley. "The resolution I introduced last Congress honors the tireless work of the suffragists and the lasting contributions their efforts have made to our democratic system."
Berkley authored legislation in the 110th Congress honoring America's suffragists and supporting a National Suffragists Day to raise awareness of the work these women did to fight for the women's vote in the United States. This legislation was passed unanimously by the U.S. House of Representatives and recognizes the anniversary of the inaugural women's rights convention, which took place at Seneca Falls, New York on July 19, 1848.