The League of Women Voters of the United States has issued a statement on the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. It begins:
“It is with deep and profound sadness the League of Women Voters mourns the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. A fierce advocate for women’s rights and civil rights, Justice Ginsburg’s vision for America transcended race, age, gender, and economic lines. She was a beloved champion of justice for all.”
Of Russian Jewish descent, Justice Ginsburg died at the beginning of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah. Throughout her life, Ruth Bader Ginsburg followed the Hebrew dictum “tikkun olam,” meaning “repair the world.”
On August 26, 2020, we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the certification on the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This amendment states that the right to vote cannot be denied on account of a citizen’s sex. It gave 26 million American women the right to vote. Unfortunately, some women were still denied the vote because of their race or ethnicity. So this was an important beginning, but much more needed to be done.
In 1973, U.S. Congresswoman Bella Abzug introduced a resolution to make August 26 Women’s Equality Day. Her resolution was passed by Congress on August 16, 1973. Every year since then, each U.S. President has proclaimed August 26 as Women’s Equality Day, honoring women’s voting rights and recognizing that work toward full equality for women is progressing, but not yet complete.
On Tuesday, June 4, we celebrated the 100th anniversary of the US Senate’s approval of the 19th Amendment. This amendment to the US Constitution says, “”The right of citizens…to vote shall not be denied…on account of sex.” It became effective on August 26, 1920, after three fourths of the states ratified it. During the next year, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History will be sharing stories on social media using the hashtag #19thAt100. The League of Women Voters will explore the full history of 19th Amendment. We know that it was an incomplete victory. For many women, the fight for suffrage continued. Even now, the League is continuing our work to protect the voting rights of all Americans.
On February 14, 2020, the League of Women Voters will celebrate the 100th anniversary of our founding. (Read more about our history here.) As we look back on 100 years of achievements, we also will look forward. Our volunteers are working every day to help shape a better future for all.