Ninety-four years ago, the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution granted American women the right to vote in national and local elections. The amendment is beautiful in its brevity and clarity: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”
How important is the women’s vote?
Getting the vote has helped break down many of the barriers that deny women equal opportunity. As President Obama said in his proclamation honoring today’s anniversary of suffrage for women:
From classrooms to boardrooms, in cities and towns across America, and in the ranks of our Armed Forces, women are succeeding like never before. Their contributions are growing our economy and advancing our Nation. But despite these gains, the dreams of too many mothers and daughters continue to be deferred and denied. There is still more work to do and more doors of opportunity to open. When women receive unequal pay or are denied family leave and workplace flexibility, it makes life harder for our mothers and daughters, and it hurts the loved ones they support. These outdated policies and old ways of thinking deprive us of our Nation’s full talents and potential. That is why this June we held the first-ever White House Summit on Working Families to develop a comprehensive agenda that ensures hard working Americans do not have to choose between being productive employees and responsible family members. We know that when women and girls are free to pursue their own measure of happiness in all aspects of their lives, they strengthen our families, enrich our communities, and better our country. We know that when women succeed, America succeeds.
Our votes matter!
Women have been a majority of the total vote in every election since 1984. According to poll data from the Pew Research Center, women comprised 53 percent of the overall electorate in 20012 and 2008, 54 percent in 2004 and 52 percent in 2000.
It is not just the White House that is at stake. Most of the biggest challenges to women’s reproductive health choices are being made at the state level. Expansion of anti-discrimination laws to include sexual orientation and gender identity are being passed at the city level. Challenges to the teaching of scientifically proven evolution as being made at the local school board level. Further, changes to state constitutions (like to advance marriage equality) are decided by individual voters.
Electing tomorrow’s decision makers begins with us today. Because if you don’t vote, you don’t count. Get registered today:
In Louisiana, go to the Secretary of State website for information on how to register to vote, as well as links to important information about ballots, voting and elections. Remember, Geaux Vote.com!