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Historical & Current Events dictionary

Women’s Equality Day

or National Women’s Equality Day [ wim-inz ih-kwol-i-tee dey ]

What is Women's Equality Day?

Women’s Equality Day is a day honoring and drawing attention to the struggle for women’s equality in society.

Women’s Equality Day is focused on the efforts for equal rights for women in the US. The similar event known as International Women’s Day is international in scope and is celebrated around the world.

Women’s Equality Day commemorates the passing of the 19th Amendment, which established voting rights for some women in the US. But the day also draws attention to remaining gaps in women’s equality, including the gender pay gap, the extra labor expected of women in the home, and unequal representation of women in the workplace and in government. The day is often observed with educational events devoted to these and other issues.

When is Women’s Equality Day?

Women’s Equality Day is celebrated each year on August 26.

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Related words

International Women's Day, Women's History Month, 👩‍⚕️ Woman Health Worker emoji, 👩 Woman emoji, ⛹️‍♀️ Woman Basketball Player emoji, ♀️ Female Sign emoji, pink tax

Where does Women’s Equality Day come from?

US Congress declared August 26 Women’s Equality Day in 1973 after efforts by Representative Bella Abzug. August 26 was selected because it commemorates the day in 1920 when the 19th Amendment was officially certified.

At the time it was adopted, the 19th Amendment largely benefited only white women due to various racist policies that prevented nonwhite women from voting. Native Americans didn’t get the right to vote until 1924, Asian women didn’t get the right to vote until 1952, and voting rights weren’t legally guaranteed for Black women until the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Learn more about the ongoing fight for women’s equality in our article on the meaning and history of feminism.

Examples of Women’s Equality Day

This Women's Equality Day, let's talk about the fact that for every dollar a man earns, a woman earns only 82 cents. It's worse for women of color. Black women: 62 cents. Native women: 57 cents. Latinas: 54 cents. This is unacceptable. We must close the wage gap.
@DrBiden, August 26, 2020
On August 18, join us for a special program honoring Women’s Equality Day, with Danielle M. Carman, Esquire, Executive Director of the North Carolina Council for Women and Youth Involvement at the Department of Administration.
@NCmuseumhistory, July 29, 2021
The centennial of the day the 19th Amendment took effect is not the only historic occasion to be marked this August 26, which was designated as Women’s Equality Day by the U.S. Congress in 1973. It was on that day in 1970 that over 100,000 women—and some men—took to the streets across the nation in a Women’s Strike for Equality, using the 50th anniversary of women’s suffrage to bring renewed attention to women’s rights.
Stacie Taranto and Leandra Zarnow, TIME, August 26, 2020
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Who uses Women’s Equality Day?

Did you know … ?

  • The beginning of the women’s suffrage movement in the US is usually traced to the 1848 Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York.
  • In every presidential election since 1984, women have voted in higher numbers than men.

What are other words used in discussion of Women’s Equality Day?

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This is not meant to be a formal definition of Women’s Equality Day like most terms we define on Dictionary.com, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of Women’s Equality Day that will help our users expand their word mastery.