On August 26, people across the U.S. will celebrate Women’s Equality Day. It’s a time to celebrate the passage of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote, and honor the women who fought for that right. But as 2020 brings the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in the U.S. it is critical to recognize the historic event did not bring equal voting access to all women.
Following the ratification of the 19th Amendment, Black women and other women of color continued to face barriers to voting. Today, Black people, Indigenous people and people of color still encounter hurdles to casting a ballot, being heard in our community and represented in all levels of government.
In our region, women are stepping up in various ways to address community challenges and gender inequity. If you are looking for a way to support gender equity and empower all women, we encourage you to take these actions:
1. Show up at the polls. From your local school board to the U.S. Senate, it’s important to vote in every election. ensure your daughter to sees you vote. Encourage other women to vote, too. Eligible Tennessee residents can register to vote at sos.tn.gov/products/elections/register-vote.
2. Empower women’s economic stability. Women are more likely to find themselves living in poverty than men. The pay gap is greater among Black women, who earn $0.61 for every $1 earned by white men and $0.83 for every $1 white women earn. You can support financial empowerment for women by supporting United Way of Greater Nashville. Many of our partner agencies – such as Project Return, Bridges Domestic Violence Center, Begin Anew of Middle Tennessee, Safe Haven Family Shelter, and YWCA of Nashville & Middle Tennessee – provide workforce development and education/training programs, as well as free childcare, which carves the path to financial stability.
3. Give to good causes. Supporting good causes helps increase gender equity. Overall, women are often greater champions for charitable causes. By advocating for charitable giving within their respective families, women ensure that millions of dollars are returned to local communities.
4. Join a women's group. Network, share ideas, and pool local resources by joining a women's-focused initiative such as United Way of Greater Nashville's Women United group, the Patricia Hart Society. The society’s vision is to create an opportunity for women to take a leadership role in positively impacting the community. To learn more or join the Patricia Hart Society, email Rebecca Webb at Rebecca.firstname.lastname@example.org or call 615.780.2504.