Women’s Equality Day is observed on Aug. 26, commemorating women’s suffrage, and equality in all areas of life, work, and society. The day celebrates the achievements of women’s rights activists and reminds us of the unique daily struggles women face.
American women could not vote, they could not inherit property, and generally were paid only half the amount men earned at almost any job until just about a hundred years ago. This inequality led to the women’s suffrage movement, in which women advocated for equal rights and representation.
It wasn’t until women’s involvement in the World War I effort made their contributions painfully obvious, that women’s suffrage finally gained support. Women’s rights groups highlighted the hypocrisy of fighting for democracy in Europe while denying it to half of American citizens.
A constitutional amendment requires approval from two-thirds of the states. Thirty-six states had to ratify the 19th Amendment for its passage. The deciding vote was cast in the Tennessee legislature, when young state representative Harry T. Burn switched his vote at the last minute—due to his mother’s plea to support the amendment.
The 19th Amendment, introduced in 1878 but not ratified until 1920, ensures voting rights for everyone, regardless of gender.
Women are not finished in the fight for equal rights. The wage gap continues to impact women’s economic power, and gender-based discrimination still plagues workplaces and business transactions.
Even so, women have made solid progress through the years, defying all odds and oppression. Women-owned businesses are no longer a rarity. Women hold high positions in corporate America as well as in federal, state and local governments. Women can—and do—own property and manage their own financial matters.
Here at the Emporia Chamber, we are proud to celebrate and support women in business and applaud those who are strong role models for the next generation of female leaders.
We’re pleased to introduce our new Chamber membership director, Rebeca Herrera. Rebecca can be reached at 620-342-1600 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t miss the upcoming Coffee & Conversation event featuring Hank Osterhaut, who will be discussing the upcoming Halfway to Everywhere festival on Sept. 3 and the Kansas Free For Arts initiative. Sponsored by Boys & Girls Clubs of South Central Kansas, the event is Thursday, Sept. 1, 9:00 a.m. at the Trusler Business Center, 719 Commercial St.
We encourage everyone to become part of the conversation about diversity, representation and community engagement on Saturday, Aug. 27, for LatinX Leadership: A Community Conversation. The event will be held at the Emporia Granada Theatre, 807 Commercial St., from 2 to 5 p.m., and is free and open to the public. Please join us.
It’s a great day in Emporia!
“Let’s Talk Business” is a weekly column of the Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce and Visit Emporia. The mission of the Chamber is to be proactive in creating an environment for business and community success, guided by the vision that positive attitudes promote positive actions. Contact us at 620-342-1600 or email@example.com and visit our website at www.emporiakschamber.org.