The Reeve Foundation Celebrates Women’s Equality Day

Posted by Reeve Staff in Daily Dose on August 26, 2022 # Community Education

Latino woman in a manual wheelchair on a busy sidewalkIn August 1973, the United States Congress passed a joint resolution marking August 26 as Women’s Equality Day. This day was set aside for people across the United States to commemorate the certification of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the constitutional right to vote in 1920.

From the Joint Resolution of Congress, 1973 (Office of the Law Revision Counsel United States Code, 1973)

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in- Congress assembled, August 26, 1973, is designated as "Women’s Equality Day,” and the President is authorized and requested to issue a proclamation in commemoration of that day in 1920 on which the women of America were first guaranteed the right to vote. Approved August 16, 1973.

With the 19th Amendment becoming ratified, millions of women were given the right to vote. We must remember that voting rights for the entire electorate were not immediately available. Civil Rights activists such as Fannie Lou Hamer fought tirelessly to ensure that all women, no matter their race, were granted the right to vote. Ms. Hamer suffered from polio as a child, forced sterilization as an adult, and was left with a permanent disability after being severely beaten while in jail for trying to register to vote. Despite this, her voting rights activism helped to ensure the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965 (VRA). The VRA prohibited anyone from being denied the right to vote on account of their race or color. It also, contained provisions relevant to people with disabilities, stating that a voter may be given assistance voting if they are “blind, disability or inability to read or write.”

Women with disabilities are often not included in the topic of women’s rights. As we commemorate Women’s Equality Day, we acknowledge that the activism that led to the 19th Amendment, the Voting Rights Act and the ADA continue today. There is still work to be done to ensure women with disabilities have access to employment, equal pay, accessible voting, and bodily autonomy.

The Reeve Foundation is dedicated to giving women with paralysis and related disabilities a voice. The Reeve Foundation provides countless resources for people with paralysis, mobility impairments, and other related disabilities through our National Paralysis Resource Center (NPRC). The NPRC specifically provides, Peer & Family Support Program, Military & Veterans Program, downloadable resource guides, and more.

For more information, please see our Women with Disabilities factsheet. It provides useful health information, information for online communities and support systems, and more videos and articles on women with disabilities. Our booklet on Self Advocacy is also a great resource that gives tips and tricks on how to better advocate for yourself and your individualized needs.

If you are interested in learning more about our advocacy programs you can contact Gerard Arnum, our Grassroots Advocacy Manager, at [email protected].

The National Paralysis Resource Center website is supported by the Administration for Community Living (ACL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $8,700,000 with 100 percent funding by ACL/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by ACL/HHS, or the U.S. Government.