Today is Women's Equality Day. Ninety-one years ago, the 19th Amendment was added to the U.S. Constitution, granting women the right to vote. It's hard to believe that all American women have had the right to vote for less than half of our history, but it's true. That fact is worth remembering when we consider how much work there is to do today to realize the vision of the early American suffragists.
1.25.10_WBDC (Stamford) Roundtable Discussion
Rep. Himes meeting with the Women's Business Development Council in Stamford
In the decades since August 26, 1920, citizens have had to fight for progress ensuring the equality of women. Laws passed since then have helped level the field in education and in our justice system. They've promoted greater opportunity for women and improved access to better schools, better jobs and more secure retirements. Yet, when women earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by a man in a comparable job, we can do better. That's why I voted for the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which was signed into law in 2009. In this session, I am proud to co-sponsor the Paycheck Fairness Act, which was introduced by another Connecticut Representative, Rosa DeLauro. This bill will provide more effective remedies to women who are not being paid equal wages for doing equal work and prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who share salary information with their co-workers.
Commemorations of historical events like Women's Equality Day provide opportunities for citizens and lawmakers alike to recognize how much we must do to live up to the legacy of the leaders who came before us. As I think back on the work of women like Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Ida B. Wells and Susan B. Anthony, I recognize that they dedicated their lives to the cause of equality. Today, we must promote greater economic fairness, access to education and health care for women and their families, and equality of opportunity for all to truly honor their historic achievement.