Voting is the most powerful action a citizen can do. Women’s Equality Day celebrates the struggles of women to be heard as passionate advocates who obtained the lawful right to vote. The 19th Amendment, or women’s suffrage, changed Federal law and the face of the American electorate forever as it was drafted to guarantee all American women the right to vote. Ultimately, women won legal recognition as equal citizens under the 19th Amendment;  however, women of color were blocked from voting even after the ratification – and there is still a long way to go.
According to the Department of Defense Education Activity, or DoDEA, the drive to win the vote was a broad and diverse effort amongst women minorities. Other minority women groups were not granted their rights immediately: the voting rights of Native American women were not recognized until 1924 or Chinese American women, it was 1943, and for Japanese and other Asian American women, it was 1952. Once the 19th Amendment passed, only White women were given the right to vote, while it took another 45 years for Black women to vote with the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Women’s Equality Day allows us to reflect on the continuing struggle for equality in the workplace and the role of women in our public life. Unfortunately, even in the 21st century, women still face challenges, including equitable pay, paid maternity leave, safe births, full reproductive rights, being objectified, domestic violence, sexual assault, and the low number of elected female leaders.  Women in public service and administration have continued to serve this nation by defining barriers, enforcing laws, implementing new ideas, and changing people’s attitudes.
The League of Women Voters was founded before the passage of the 19th Amendment. Proud to be nonpartisan, the League of Women Voters of the United States encourages informed and active participation in government works to increase the understanding of any significant public policy issues and influences public policy through education and advocacy. 
Today reminds us that we all have the opportunity and responsibility to shape a society that gives everyone an equal voice. The League of Women Voters of the U.S. created Vote411 where you can easily access a polling place near you, ballot info, and more. Here, you can take a moment to start the voter registration process and visit again closer to Election Day to learn more about the candidates and issues that will be on your ballot. Women’s Equality Day is the perfect time to commit to a vote and participate!