CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY) – The West Virginia Women’s Commission will observe Women’s Equality Day on August 26, 2018, the 98th anniversary of the 19th constitutional amendment that granted women the right to vote.
The yearly celebration of Women’s Equality Day provides women and men a reminder and point of discussion that women still face challenges, including equitable pay, paid maternity leave, safe births, full reproductive rights, being objectified, domestic violence, sexual assault, as well as the low number of elected female leaders.
“August 26 is a wonderful opportunity to honor the efforts of so many who gave so much so that women could vote in the United States,” said Julie Palas, Interim Executive Director for the West Virginia Women’s Commission. “It is essential that women make informed decisions about who supports their best interests and vote. There is much work still to be done to ensure the equality and empowerment of all women living in West Virginia. Women are often the unsung heroes as catalysts for change in society, so not only do we need to continue to encourage women to vote, but also to run for office to make the necessary changes in law to improve the conditions of women – and their families and communities. Society flourishes when equal opportunities are provided for all its citizens.”
The West Virginia Women’s Commission is commemorating this event through its work to empower women to engage with their government and to tackle the most important issues in West Virginia. To celebrate passage of the 19th amendment residents can perform gestures of kindness, create gatherings to learn more about West Virginia’s women suffragettes, display signs in neighborhood schools and businesses, or attend local Equality Day celebrations.
“This is a great opportunity to celebrate the power of women to participate in the political process and realize how important they are to a strong democracy. This Women’s Equality Day allows us to reflect on the progress made and emphasize the need to improve our election process, protect the right to vote and increase voter participation,” concluded Stacy North, Chair of the West Virginia Women’s Commission. “We are reminded we have come so far and still have a way to go for true equality, including free and fair access for all eligible voters.”