This election season, gender parity is on the ballot—and women must act. Without the 19th Amendment, America would not have made the strides we have since 1920. But despite this progress, we still have miles and miles to go before we sleep.
Women Legislators’ Lobby (WiLL), a program of Women’s Action for New Directions, gathered women legislators and thought leaders across the U.S. to illuminate the importance and impact of the 19th Amendment. These women fight daily to challenge societal norms and improve conditions for their communities. It is through political empowerment that they are able to make the changes women need in order to succeed.
We continue to be challenged by the pay gap, voter suppression, gender-based stereotypes in the media, and a lack of full representation in government. Working together is essential in surmounting societal and political obstacles that hold women back.
Women, it is imperative to vote this year. Political engagement can make a significant difference in what happens in our lives and our communities. In the 100th year of the 19th Amendment, we must vote for our interests. The 19th Amendment has given us a blueprint—it is up to us to continue to build from it.
As leaders, in every sense of the word, these women have charged us to ensure we move forward with the promise of the 19th Amendment. Here is what they had to say:
Q2: Who is your favorite modern-day suffragette and why?
Q3: Women of color like Nannie Helen Burroughs, Maria de Lopez, Zitkála-Šá, and Mabel Ping-Hua Lee were suffragists. However, their contributions are only now receiving attention. What can we do to make modern-day feminism intersectional?
Q4: We’ve seen more women elected to state legislatures and Congress than ever before. With women being a consistent voting bloc, what do you hope to see in our future leaders?
Q6: In some states, the threat of voter suppression looms ahead of the November election. What are the ways we can help women show up to the polls?
Q7: There is a Black woman on the Democratic ticket. Women often share less air time and experience harsher depictions in the media. What can we do to make their stories more positive?
Q8: When/how do you feel the most civically engaged?
Q9: We still have a long way to go before reaching gender equality. Which of the current #genderequality statistics below do you find the most shocking?
In 2020, U.S. women are still:
- 23% of Congress
- 29% of state legislators
- 73 years from equal pay
- 7.4% of Fortune 500 CEOs
Q10: How have you seen voting impact women’s lives in your lifetime? How do you hope that it will continue to do so?