8/26 – Women’s Equality Day

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Today In History

8/26 – Women’s Equality Day

Aug-10, 2016

women's equality day, female friends, women supporting women, equal rights, women's rights

According to the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution; voter discrimination based on gender was made unconstitutional on August 18, 1920. So why is Woman's Equality Day celebrated on August 26th each year?

Legislation for Women's Equality Day was first introduced in Congress by Bella Abzug in 1971, and in 1973 the resolution was passed designating August 26 of each year as Women's Equality Day. The date was chosen to commemorate the certification of the 19th Amendment in 1920.

Every year, the President signs a proclamation commemorating Women's Equality Day, which both acknowledges the strides which have been made by women over the previous year, as well as highlighting the inequalities still existing the nation which need to be addressed and corrected. You can read one of the presidential proclamations here.

What are Women's Rights?

Women's Rights are defined as the rights and entitlements claimed for women and girls of many societies worldwide. In some countries and places, these rights are institutional and supported by local customs, law, and behaviors; whereas in some places they are ignored or suppressed. They differ from broader notions of human rights through claims of an inherent historical and customary bias against the exercise of rights by girls and women in favor of boys and men.

The issues that are commonly linked with women's rights include, while they are not limited to: the right to own property, the right to vote, the right to work and hold public office, fair wages or equal pay; to education; to serve in the military; to enter into legal contracts; and to have marital or parental rights.

The Best Countries for Women

Every year, women around the world are given a survey and asked to rank their country based on five categories: care about human rights, gender equality, income equality, progress and safety. Here are the top 5 best countries for women according to that survey in 2020:

  • Denmark
  • Sweden
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Canada

Did you see your country on the list? Denmark unseated Sweden as the #1 country in 2020, though both countries have been ranked #1 at one time or another for several years now. This survey also polls other information to determine best country overall. Of the 5 best overall countries in 2020, only 1 of them, Canada, is also in the top 5 best countries for women, and of the others, only 2 were ranked in the top 10. The other 2 placed in the top 20. Does this mean that it's better to be a woman than a man in countries like Denmark or Sweden? Not necessarily. What it may illuminate, however, is what factors get prioritized to qualify something as "the best."