The holiday, which began in 1971 at the urging of Rep. Bella Abzug, formally recognizes the passage of the 19th Amendment and women finally winning the vote. According to the joint resolution of Congress that created National Women’s Equality Day:
August 26th of each year is designated as Women’s Equality Day, and the President is authorized and requested to issue a proclamation annually in commemoration of that day in 1920, on which the women of America were first given the right to vote.
Past presidential proclamations have ranged from simply discussing the history of the women’s movement to more nuanced conversations about civil rights to announcing new legislation to protect women in the workplace. Interestingly, Democratic presidents tend to go into more depth about their specific policies to address the inequality that women across the country still face than Republicans.
If you want to do more than just read a presidential proclamation, here are 10 ways to recognize Women’s Equality Day with the feminists in your life!
- Hold a 19th Amendment Party. Teach your guests about the women’s suffrage movement, play fun games like pin the ballot on the voting box and maybe even drink some fun 1920s-themed drinks. It’ll be the new Galentine’s Day!
- Watch the amazing feminist parodies of “Blurred Lines” and celebrate all the clever ways women have subverted the message of summer’s least feminist song.
- Have a dance party to “Run the World (Girls).”
- Watch a movie with Ellen Page, Toni Collette, Mark Ruffalo and other actors who are proud to be a feminist.
- Re-watch Disney’s Mary Poppins; Mrs. Banks was a suffragette after all, and there are plenty of feminist scenes, such as this one.
- Check out HerVotes to see what legislative work still lies ahead. Call your congressperson and ask her or him to support feminist-supported bills, such as Jackie Speier’s STOP Act.
- Take inspiration from the Paris mayoral race and run for public office. Or, support strong women candidates who will fight for women’s issues.
- Remember that several state legislatures are trying to restrict people’s right to vote. Call your local state representative and remind them that all Americans of voting age deserve the right to vote.
- Donate to a feminist politician of your choice.
- Read the new issue of Ms.!