The Delta Record | Celebrate Women’s Equality Day
Women‘s Equality Day is celebrated annually on August 26, falling on Friday that year. Most would agree that it is not easy to be a woman today or in the past. However, the women kept fighting and pushing forward. And with the latest legislative changes on abortion, contraception and more, it’s more vital than ever to honor and celebrate Women’s Equality Day.
Women would not be where they are today if the brave women of years past had not fought tooth and nail for equal rights. Vantage Circle summed it up quite poetically in their statement: “Today we see female representatives in the military, in space, and as CEOs of Fortune corporations. But they had to endure many struggles to gain equal rights. Feminism as a wave has brought multiple changes in the lives of women around the world, but we cannot deny that suffragettes have reached the current position of women.
One of the most basic rights in a civilian democratic county is the right to vote, but women didn’t get the right to vote until 1920 as women represented themselves by raising their voices for equality voting rights. After the fight, the 19th Amendment was declared and gave rights to every American citizen, regardless of gender.
“This groundbreaking decision highlights the importance of Women’s Equality Day in today’s world. It celebrates the achievements of women’s rights activists and reminds us of the daily struggles women go through,” as Vantage Circle noted. Women’s Equality Day is celebrated in the United States, but global platform Vantage Circle says, “We believe every global workplace should mark this occasion to show solidarity and support for women.”
The history of Women’s Equality Day begins with a return to the early 19th century. During this period, women were not allowed to inherit property and did not receive the same salary as their male counterparts. These issues led to the women’s suffrage movement, where women actively sought to have equality in political rights and representation.
Other countries, including Finland, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, had already granted women the right to vote in the 1900s. Soon this traveled to the United States but met with failure. Later, a turning point came after women’s participation in World War I as democratic battles unfolded in Europe as well as America.
“Constitutional amendments in the United States required the approval of two-thirds of the state. Thus, 36 of them ratified the 19th Amendment before it could pass. The deciding vote was in the hands of the Tennessee legislature named Harry T. Burn. He was a young state representative and received a call from his mother to support the amendment. His vote became the deciding factor and he changed his decision at the last minute,” as Vantage Circle stated.
And although this historic decision gave women the right to vote, there is still today a fight for equal rights among the gender pay gap when it is still clear that there is gender discrimination, workplace harassment and more in many companies.
Women’s Equality Day became official in 1973 following a bill introduced two years earlier by Bella Abzug, who was a representative in New York. Congress has designated August 26 as Women’s Equality Day to “remember the struggles of women in the past, present and future.”
Vantage Circle came up with ways to celebrate Women’s Equality Day, including the following.
1. Introduce a mentorship program
Despite all the efforts made by women, more men are occupying high-level positions. Until May 2018, Fortune 500 companies had only 24 female CEOs, accounting for just 5% of the total number of positions.
With this in mind, we believe that orientation helps make a difference and encourages workers to strive for success. All you need is a mentorship program where workers connect with their higher authorities and discuss career goals, networking, education, and other opportunities for success. Women should see other women as mentors. This will make them feel more empowered about their abilities. Representation matters a lot!
The involvement of women in leadership is essential to the growth of the company in 2022. For this, it is essential that great leaders support, empower and listen to women in our workplaces.
2. Encourage girl power
It is high time, as a manager or leader, to think about improving the lives of young women in the community. In August, you can show your support for women’s rights by encouraging more and more opportunities for women. Here are some ways to promote girl power:
• Set up an internship program specific to women
• Invite middle school and high school girls to observation or side-barging internships
• Introduce STEM careers to a Girl Scout troop
• Offer a college scholarship to your best employees who wish to pursue higher education.
This helps improve diversity and inclusion in your company, promoting fairness in the workplace and improving company culture.
3. Help a cause
In this post-modern world, women’s suffrage is limited to social media alone, but many modern causes need compassionate supporters.
This Women’s Equality Day, volunteer as a team and make it a team building activity. Present a project and discuss its execution. Make the project women-centric – a great initiative to promote awareness and team cohesion.
Here are some projects to imagine and work on as a team:
• You can visit schools or join students in their online classes and do a reading session on gender studies.
• Organize a blood donation camp
• Consider doing charity for homeless women
• Organize luncheons with women leaders in your region
4. Listen to women
Are you wondering how to improve the working conditions of female staff in your company? Well, all you have to do is ask!
Many complaints of harassment, discrimination at work, subjugation go unnoticed or are not even filed. This is because of the social stigma and humiliation attached to it. To solve such uncomfortable situations for women and call predators to work, you need to listen to them. And you can do it in an innovative and confidential way. Here are some possible ways:
• Create a suggestion box
• Set up a designated complaints box for sexual harassment
• Conduct employee surveys
• Collect individual input on ways to improve job satisfaction and safety for women at work.
5. Update Library
Education and awareness is the best way to celebrate equal rights! And nothing beats reading some great feminist authors on Women’s Equality Day to help everyone reset their patriarchal worldview.
Reading is a mindful and relaxing activity that helps you connect with the outside world. So, to help you connect with feminism and women’s rights, here are some fantastic books that will give you some insight into gender equality.
• “We should all be feminists” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
• “Broad influence” by Jay Newton-Small
• “Women, Race and Class” by Angela Davis
• “Dear Ijeawele, or a feminist manifesto in fifteen suggestions” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Finally, to mark Women’s Equality Day, you can simply spread the word and advertise the occasion to get the needed attention. Bring it to social media and your internal portals. Change your logo to support the event and ask your design team to come up with cool ideas.
Also, you can organize a fun quiz among team members. For example, ask them to guess the year women got the right to vote in the United States. Only a few will succeed, we bet!