It was 100 years ago today that the 19th Amendment, granting the right of women in this country to vote in national elections, was ratified. For seven decades, women had struggled and fought and suffered and a few even died for the right to be complete citizens. Only in 1920 were women finally granted this equal right.
Of course the right to vote still didn't guarantee equal rights. We never did ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. We are still fighting for those rights on many fronts, and most Black women had a much longer road to full enfranchisement.
In 1920, when ratification was finely reached, there were many men and women who opposed the amendment, saying a women's place was in the home. It is, and in the board room, and the assembly line, and driving a tractor, and caring for our sick, and serving in the military and manning the checkout counter, and sitting behind the judge's bench, and serving in Congress. Maybe, some day, a woman will even finally be President.The right to vote was no easy accomplishment. It was earned, not won, by thousands of women who came before us. If for no other reason than their struggles, the price they paid, we must cherish our right. We must be informed, do our own thinking, not be unduly influenced by a husband or a boyfriend or a father, or even a pastor. With voter suppression now again a real threat to our democracy, we need to fight on to ensure that all eligible women, and men, have the opportunity to cast their vote freely and without undue difficulty or hardship.
Be aware. The work is not done.