GFWC Celebrates Women’s Equality Day

August 26, 2021

Last year’s 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment was a special moment in U.S. history, which we continue to celebrate a year later. Today, join GFWC for Women’s Equality Day to thank all of the women before us who have created new avenues for political power and influence, grassroots activism, and policymaking. The passage of the Amendment opened the door for even greater changes seen today as more and more women take positions of power in local, state, and federal government.

For decades, suffragists across the United States had fought for the right for women to vote, and on August 26, 1920, this effort came to fruition. The 19th Amendment was adopted into the United States Constitution, prohibiting states and the federal government from denying citizens the right to vote on the basis of sex.

Shortly after the Amendment was adopted, 20 women’s organizations, including GFWC, joined forces to form the Women’s Joint Congressional Committee (WJCC). The WJCC helped to advocate for policy that would improve the lives of women and children. In 1925, clubwoman Nellie Tyloe Ross became the first female governor of Wyoming, championing assistance for the poor, banking reform, and laws that protected women workers and prohibited child labor. She later was sworn in as the first woman director of the United States Mint in 1933. Another GFWC member who found herself in the political arena after women gained the right to vote was Margaret Chase Smith, who became the first woman to serve in both the House of Representatives (1940-1949) and the Senate (1949-1973).



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