News: Women commemorate Equlity Day
Story by Lance Cpl. Norman Eckles
BARSTOW, Calif. - Since 1878, women have fought for the same equalities as men. Five decades later, the 19th amendment was signed into law, allowing women across the U.S. to vote.
In 1971 President Richard Nixon signed and published a proclamation, announcing Aug. 26 as Women’s Equality Day to commemorate the long fight for equality among men.
In the early 1970s, the National Organization for Women organized a demonstration for equal rights by asking women to participate in a nationwide strike. According to Britannica, more than 100,000 women participated in demonstrations and rallies across the country. The strike was the largest gender-equality protest in the history of the United States. Betty Friedan, then-president of NOW, along with New York U.S. Rep. Bella Abzug demanded equal opportunities in education, employment and 24-hour child-care centers.
“The women back then were brave,” said Lance Cpl. Susie Lockwood, an administration clerk with Headquarters Battalion, Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow, Calif. “Even though, the women knew no immediate changes were going to be made they still went out and voiced their opinions for the world to hear.”
The strike didn’t yield quick results, but was successful in demonstrating the support of women’s rights and led to the first press coverage of the feminist movement. The strike also helped with the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment by Congress, and doing so, secured the future of Women’s Equality Day Aug. 26.
Many people across the country will be reminded of, and reflect on, the Women’s Suffrage Movement. This year marks 92 years of the holiday set in place to commemorate the 19th Amendment.