Vice President, Finance Administration
As I waited for three hours in line to vote this morning, I felt empowered. I proudly cast my ballot with an appreciation of the sacrifices and struggles of the women before me. As an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, I voted to honor my foremothers who laid the groundwork for the right for women to vote. Despite gross opposition, direct encounters with racism and harsh criticism, our founders championed political activism by participating in the historic 1913 Women's Suffrage March.
It was not until Aug. 26, 1920, that women in the U.S. were officially permitted to vote, following the ratification of the 19th Amendment guaranteeing that "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."
Although this was a great triumph for the women’s suffrage movement, within a decade of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, state laws and vigilante practices (mirroring voter suppression efforts we see today) effectively disenfranchised black women in the South. Today, women of color remain targets for voter suppression efforts. Clearly, there is still more to do.
Half a century later, the influence women yield in determining the outcome of the presidential election is unprecedented. The fifty-five million unmarried women are seen as a “large, politically powerful and rapidly growing part of the electorate.” While these numbers are impressive, it is important for all eligible women, married or not, to harness their power by voting in accordance with issues that will affect them and their families. For this election, studies show that women care most about abortion, jobs, healthcare, the economy, and equal rights.
On this Election Day, there is a lot at stake for women’s rights. Now is the time to vote on issues that matter most to women. Women have fought long and hard for the right to vote, and we can’t give up our power now. Don’t take your vote for granted. To honor the struggles of our foremothers, make your voices heard today.