Women's Equality Day

Women’s Equality Day
The right to vote, the cornerstone of democracy, belongs to all citizens — but this wasn’t always the case. Until recently, most countries denied voting rights to half of their population: women.
Women’s Equality Day, celebrated every August 26, commemorates the passage of women’s suffrage in the U.S. and reminds us of the hurdles overcome by the heroic women who faced violence and discrimination to propel the women’s movement forward.
In the early 19th century, American women, who generally couldn’t inherit property and made half of a man’s wages in any available jobs, began organizing to demand political rights and representation.
By the early 1900s, several countries including Finland, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom had legalized voting for women as the movement continued to sweep across the world.
Because a Constitutional amendment requires approval from two-thirds of the states, 36 of them had to ratify the 19th before its passage.
Seneca Falls Convention
The first women's rights convention organized by women, including suffragists Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, was held at Seneca Falls, New York. The meeting of over 300 activists sparked the movement that led to the passage of the 19th Amendment.
First birth control clinic in the U.S. opens
Margaret Sanger opens America's first birth control clinic in Brooklyn. The clinic survived multiple government raids before closing, and Sanger's efforts led to the creation of today's Planned Parenthood.
American women gain the right to vote
The U.S. Congress adopts the 19th amendment, also known as the “Susan B. Anthony Amendment,” giving women the right to vote.
Roe v. Wade
In a historic decision in the Roe v. Wade case, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed women's constitutional right to abortion.
When was the first Women’s Equality Day?
The U.S. Congress designated August 26 as Women’s Equality Day in 1973 in order to commemorate the 19th amendment.
How do you celebrate Women’s Equality Day at work?
Ways to celebrate Women’s Equality Day at work includes giving cards to the women in your office%2c taking a moment to acknowledge the hard work they do%2c and throwing a girls’ night happy hour.
Why was the 19th Amendment passed?
Congress passed the 19th Amendment as a result of the hard work and dedication put in by the women’s suffrage movement.
Women's Equality Day Activities
Thank the women in your life
We all depend on hardworking women — moms%2c grandmas%2c partners%2c sisters%2c and friends. Take some time today to thank them for all the physical and emotional labor they do for others!
Support women-owned companies
Use your consumer power to support female entrepreneurs. You can find lists of women-owned businesses on the Small Business Administration’s website or by reaching out to your local chamber of commerce.
Register to vote
Women and their allies fought for decades to win the right to vote. Do your part to honor their sacrifices by making sure you’re registered to vote in your community.
Why People Celebrate Women's Equality Day
It gives us an opportunity to learn
Take some time on Women’s Equality Day to brush up on your women’s history and learn about the complicated and fascinating history of women’s rights in the U.S. and internationally.
It reminds us to show gratitude
It’s not always easy to remember to thank those who do so much for us. Use Women’s Equality Day as a reminder to do something meaningful for the important women in your life.
It reminds us of how far we have to go
Despite many advances in the last century and a half%2c women in the U.S. and around the world still face professional obstacles%2c domestic violence%2c and other barriers to their well-being and success.