August 18, 2020 marks the one hundredth anniversary of the passing of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, the amendment that gave white women in the United States the right to vote. (Black women would not have the right to vote until 1965). The amendment reads:
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
As early as 1840, women began stating their case for the right to vote. For the next eighty years, Suffragettes pled their case for the right to vote through petitions, rallies, and editorials, and engaged in acts of civil disobedience, including marches, boycotts, and hunger strikes. Today, 101 women serve in the US House of Representatives, and 26 represent their states as US Senators. Their places in our government serve as reminders of the importance of true representation for women.
This year’s heads of SWAGA (Strong Women at Govs Academy), Rori ‘21 and Emily ‘22, have put together a timeline of the fight for women’s right to vote. In the weeks before the election, they will be sharing more information about issues important to women in our nation, and each party’s platform regarding these issues. For Govs students who believe in fostering a truly equitable community, SWAGA meets weekly and is open to all.
Cover photo: Getty Images