Rep. Maloney and Lt. Governor Hochul Host Virtual Roundtable to Celebrate Women’s Equality Day
Today, Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12) and Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul brought together activists including ERA Coalition CEO Carol Jenkins, Judith Kasen-Windsor of The Edie Windsor and Thea Spyer Foundation, and Lizzie Tijani from Strategy for Black Lives for a Women's Equality Day Virtual Roundtable commemorating the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment. Moderated by NY1’s Cheryl Wills, the women discussed the legacy of the suffragists and today’s women’s equality movement.
“1920 was a culmination of years of work for revolutionary change for women in the United States,” said Rep. Maloney. “It was the first time in the history of our nation that women had a voice in a country built upon the decisions of men. However, for many women, 1920 was only the beginning of a long, hard fight to gain the right to vote. It wasn’t until 1962 that Native Americans were granted the right to vote and not until the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that many Black and Hispanic women could vote. Voting is the foundation for enacting change and setting our nation’s agenda. While we have made significant progress since 1920 with The Equal Pay Act, The Voting Rights Act, Title IX, and Roe v. Wade, we still have a long way to go. Women’s equality must be written into the Constitution - a pillar of our Democracy – with the Equal Rights Amendment.”
"Today, on Women’s Equality Day, we celebrate the passage of the 19th Amendment guaranteeing women the right to vote. It took decades of immense sacrifice and hard work by countless suffragists. Even so, while white women did secure the right to vote, Black women, people of color and indigenous populations did not experience the same privilege until decades later. This very timeline reflects the current issues we are experiencing. Disenfranchised populations are battling voter suppression, which is at an all-time high. On Women’s Equality Day, I implore everyone to continue the fight for all women to have equal rights and protections. We can achieve that by supporting women who are in office, encouraging more women to run for office and lifting up the voices of those on the sidelines. Our time is now,” said Lieutenant Governor Hochul.
On August 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote became part of the Constitution. Thanks to the leadership of Congresswoman Bella Abzug (D-NY), Congress designated August 26th as “Women’s Equality Day” in 1971. Women’s Equality Day celebrates women’s hard-fought battles, but also calls attention to the work that still must be done in the continuing efforts for full equality.
First drafted by Alice Paul in 1923, the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) passed Congress in 1972 and was sent to the states for ratification. However, by the time the 1982 ratification deadline passed, the ERA was three states shy of the thirty-eight ratifications necessary to amend the Constitution.
Congresswoman Maloney has introduced the Equal Rights Amendment twelve times during her tenure in Congress. In February, the House passed H.J. Res. 79, a resolution removing the arbitrary ratification deadline on the ERA. She is also the sponsor of H.R. 1980, the Smithsonian Women’s History Museum Act, which would establish a Smithsonian museum on the National Mall dedicated wholly to the accomplishments of women throughout American history. The bill passed the House on February 11, 2020.