Women’s Rights Are Human Rights - Honolulu Civil Beat


About the Authors

Susannah Lee Kandikatti

Susannah Lee Kandikatti is a graduate student in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Hawaii Manoa. She is a student intern with the American Association of University Women at UHM.

Rosemarie Muller

Rosemarie Muller is a member of the American Association of University Women Hawaii Public Policy Committee and president of the League of Women Voters Hawaii County.

Women’s Equality Day commemorates the passing of the 19th Amendment, granting women the right to vote, and also highlights the ongoing effort in advancing equality in all sectors of society.

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The amendment was first introduced in 1878, ratified on Aug. 18, 1920, and certified on Aug. 26, 1920. In 1973, the U.S. Congress designated August 26th Women’s Equality Day.

The women’s suffrage movement was a long process that took decades of dedicated, passionate, and committed communities. It was not a smooth process, however, as race and class divisions played a role in advancing the women’s right to vote.

In 1920 only white women were given the right to vote and women of color remained disenfranchised. Although women of color now have the right to vote, barriers still remain and the work continues.

August 2020 marked the 100th anniversary of the passing of the 19th amendment and among the celebratory sentiments there were also important reflections recognizing that it was a time to commemorate, but not necessarily celebrate.

Women’s Equality Day is a reminder that we have made strides, but also that much work still needs to be done today.

The Equal Rights Amendment will be a constitutional amendment guaranteeing legal gender equality for women and men. For more than two years, advocates for Women’s rights have demanded that Congress pass a resolution which will recognize the ratification of the ERA.

Nearly 100 years have passed since it was first introduced in 1923. Virginia became the 38th state in 2020 to adopt the ERA.

Unfortunately, the issue still remains entangled in the federal courts. We need to continue pushing for the ERA to cross the finish line.

Women’s Equality Day is a reminder that we have made strides.

Women’s rights are human rights and women hold the power to create a more perfect democracy. We cannot stand by as constitutional rights are stripped away.

The League of Women Voters of Hawaii stands in our power with our reproductive partners such as AAUW of Hawaii and all persons who fear the dangerous consequences of the decision handed down by the Supreme Court on June 23, 2022.

That ruling has stripped women and those who may become pregnant of their bodily autonomy and will have devastating and immediate consequences across the country.

A commemorative day can serve different purposes. It can make an injustice seem like a thing of the past or it can be a moment for us to see that history continues into the present.

Women’s Equality Day serves to motivate our future. Women’s rights are human rights and we need and will continue to fight.

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About the Authors

Susannah Lee Kandikatti

Susannah Lee Kandikatti is a graduate student in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Hawaii Manoa. She is a student intern with the American Association of University Women at UHM.

Rosemarie Muller

Rosemarie Muller is a member of the American Association of University Women Hawaii Public Policy Committee and president of the League of Women Voters Hawaii County.


Latest Comments (0)

The whole point of the Supreme Court's decision (and most left-wing legal analysts agreed) is that Roe v. Wade was badly decided. There is no right to abortion in the constitution. As for bodily autonomy, that has already been voluntarily surrendered in the initiating reproductive act. When the natural result follows, there's another person with autonomy there, dependent upon, by nature, the female. It's the nature of mammalian sexual dimorphism, not a legal or non-legal type issue.

Haleiwa_Dad · 1 month ago

This statement is highly misleading. For many years and even decades before 1920, about twenty states allowed women - including, since the ratification of the 15th amendment in 1870, black women - to vote in all or nearly all elections. In the second half of the 19th century, two women, Victoria Woodhull and Belva Lockwood, ran for U.S. presidency, and a few dozen were elected to state legislatures, city councils, and mayoral offices. After 1920, it was no longer legal anywhere in the United States to deny the right to vote on account of sex. Various state- and local-level obstacles to voter registration and access to the polls that disproportionately affected BIPOC Americans until the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 applied equally to men and women.

Chiquita · 1 month ago

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