In a new online petition set to be delivered to the First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, along with Senator Barbara Boxer, Senator Dick Durbin, President Barack Obama, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, and Representative Tammy Duckworth, Women For Action makes a solid case as to why Women’s Equality Day (August 26) should be elevated to a federal holiday.
The petition opens by laying out the sad truth about Women’s Equality Day, which has been around for 44 years. Despite its importance to U.S. history, “many Americans are still unaware of its existence or the significance of such day.” So the petition goes on to spell out the reasons for its landmark status…
For one, on August 26, 1920, women were granted the right to vote in the United States when the 19th amendment was certified as law. Decades later on August 26, 1970, feminists activists joined ranks on this day to remind our legislatures that the buck doesn’t stop there. They organized a protest with over 100,000 women to campaign for equality in education, employment and childcare. On this same day in 1971, a national bill was passed to designate August 26th a day of prominence – Women’s Equality Day.
In addition to recognizing the importance of this day and preserving its place in history, the ultimate goal is to have it deemed important enough to take precedence as a federal holiday. This matters and the Women For Action petition explains why…
By recognizing this day as federally important, we will be commemorating and celebrating the efforts of the women that have come before us as pioneers and activists, to ensure that women had the right to vote, possessed political mobility and had a voice in all aspects of American society.
While the petitioners realize that designating Women’s Equality Day as a federal holiday will not resolve all efforts to establish equality, they say their initiative “will bring us a step closer towards balancing the scale and commemorating efforts that support inclusiveness and equality.”
They close the petition by borrowing from the powerful words of Maya Angelou – “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” – to drive home a very important point, “Elevating landmark days such as Women’s Equality Day is a demand for correcting the mistakes of the past and doing what’s right, right now.”
We say, “Hear, hear!” to that.
At the time this story posted, the petition still needs over 99,000 signatures to reach its goal of 100,000 supporters. Read the petition in full and/or show your support by signing here.