Women’s  Equality Day ( 26 August, Thursday ) 

Women’s  Equality Day ( 26 August, Thursday )

History of Women’s Equality Day

At the behest of Rep. Bella Abzug (D-NY), in 1971 and passed in 1973,  the U.S. Congress designated August 26 as “Women’s Equality Day.” The date was selected to commemorate the 1920 certification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote. This was the culmination of a massive, peaceful civil rights movement by women that had its formal beginnings in 1848 at the world’s first women’s rights convention, in Seneca Falls, New York. The observance of Women’s Equality Day not only commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment, but also calls attention to women’s continuing efforts toward full equality. Workplaces, libraries, organizations, and public facilities now participate with Women’s Equality Day programs, displays, video showings, or other activities.

Significance
of Women’s Equality Day

Women’s Equality Day not only honours the 19th Amendment’s passage, but also draws attention to women’s ongoing struggles towards gaining full equality.

Over the last century, great women have proven the traditional stereotypes wrong by demonstrating to the world what women are capable of doing, from Rosa Parks and Eleanor Roosevelt fighting for civil rights and equality to brilliant scientists like Marie Curie, Rosalind Franklin, and Jane Goodall. The previous century has shown more than ever before what both men and women are capable of doing when given the opportunity.

Today, women’s equality entails far more than simply having the right to vote. Organizations such as Equality Now and Womankind Worldwide continue to work to provide women all over the world with equal access to education and employment, as well as to combat the suppression and violence directed at women, as well as the discrimination and stereotyping that still exist in every society.

Five Constitutional Rights That Protect Women

1. Right Against Domestic Violence 

According to Section 498 of the Indian Constitution, women (be it wife, mother, sister, female live-in partner) have the right to be protected against domestic violence (verbal, financial, emotional, sexual) meted out by men within. Such domestic violence is treated as a punishable offence with a non-bailable imprisonment for a term (may be upto 3 years with a fine).

2. Right To Zero FIR 

Women have the legal right to file an FIR at any police station regardless of the location in which the incident occurred. This decision by the Supreme Court was crucial as it protected the vitctim from wasting time in searching for the right police station and in the process losing time, While the offender gets time to flee. The FIR can be shifted to the police station (that is under the specific jurisdiction) later on.

3. Right against workplace Sexual Harassment 

As per the Sexual Harassment of Women st Workplace Act, a woman can submit a written complaint to an Internal Complaints Committee (ICC) if she experiences any of sexual harassment at the workplace.

4. Right to Equal Pay  

This is one of the constitutional rights that guarantees women protection against inequality in pay scale. As per the provisions mentioned under Equal Remuneration Act, women must not be discriminated on the basis of sex, pertaining to salary.

5. Right Against Being Stalked 

If someone disturbs a woman by following her everywhere, or stalking or monitoring her online, or trying to forcefully interact with her despite being clearly told not to do so (shown absolute disinterest by the woman); as per Section 354D of the IPC, legal action will be taken against the stalker.

How to celebrate Women’s Equality Day 

There are a number of different ways that you can celebrate Women’s Equality Day. One of the best things to do on this date is to pay tribute to the amazing females that have made a massive difference in the movement. Spend some time doing research online to educate yourself further on the matter. You can spread information with your friends, family members, and followers online so that you can increase awareness amongst all of your loved ones.

Another way to celebrate Women’s Equality Day is to register to vote if you have not already. Exercising your constitutional protected right to vote is the best thing you can do on this date. Local and state elections happen on a yearly basis, so you need to make sure your registration is current. You can use the Vote.Gov website to discover how to register based on the state you are located in.

You can also learn everything you need to know about how to vote. You will need to keep your voter registration updated if you have moved to another state since you last voted. You should also use this as an opportunity to make sure that all of your loved ones have registered to vote as well. You can post details on your social media so that everyone knows how to vote and they feel encouraged to do so.

It is also a good idea to spend some time learning about female leaders of the past and the present. A wise place to start is with Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. They were the two women who organized the first female rights convention. This took place in July of 1848 in the Seneca Falls area of New York. At the convention, the Declaration of Sentiments was adopted by the delegates, as well as a number of resolutions, one of which called for women’s right to vote. There are a number of other influential females that we would recommend learning more about. This includes Julia Ward Howe and Lucy Stone, who were both the founders of the American Woman Suffrage Association.

Another great way to spend Women’s Equality Day is by visiting a women’s museum. If you take a look online, you are probably going to be surprised by the number of women’s museums that there are around the world. After all, women have had a long fight on their hands in order to be considered equal, and so there are a number of museums that are dedicated to showing the story of these movements. You can do a quick search online to see if there are any museums in your local area. Some may even have special exhibitions going on for this date.