The amendment was first introduced in 1878 by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Stanton. Forty-one years later it became part of the U.S. Constitution and reads as follows:
The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.
Bella Abzug was born in 1920, to Russian Jewish immigrants living in the Bronx area of New York. She attended Hunter College, where she was student body president, to Columbia University Law School, where she was an editor of The Law Review. She served as a New York U. S. Congresswoman from 1971-77.
Known for her hats, she was also an outspoken advocate for women’s rights. She was a co-sponsor of the women’s equal rights amendment in 1972, that to this day has still not been fully ratified by Oklahoma, Nevada, Missouri, Louisiana, Illinois, Florida, North and South Carolina,
Most young women today cannot imagine not being able to walk in and cast a ballot in an election, hold certain jobs and expect equal pay for equal work. Well, OK, that last one is still a work in progress…
My Grandmother Kinney was among the Suffragette supporters, women who in the 1900-20 era rallied support for the 19th amendment. I will raise a toast to her and all the women, who after WWI decided it was their time to become part of the American political process. My niece, Molly, will be able to cast her first vote for President this fall. I hope she gives a nod to her great-grandmother when she is in the polling booth, which is in the same location (but new building) as where her Great-grandmother would have first voted, some 92 years ago.
On Sunday, August 26, pause for a second and think about all the brave women who have gone before us, and the work that needs to yet be done. Please, no matter which rainbow you are living under, go vote, no matter what your beliefs are, no matter who you support. It is a hard earned right that many women around the world do not have… yet.