National Women's Equality Day — a time to honor and inspire

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Re-Imagining the Suffragettes' Fight for Women's Equality
Ninety-five years ago today, women in the United States were granted the right to vote when the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution was secured as law.

On August 26, we remember all the women suffragists, who fought relentlessly to give us this right that is sometimes taken for granted.


While the vast majority of women in the U.S. have been born into a nation where voting rights came automatically on your 18th birthday, this wasn't always the case. On today's date, we remember all of the women suffragists, who fought relentlessly to give us this right that is sometimes taken for granted.

Here are some of the many notable moments in women's equality history:
Women's Equality day: Major moments in women's history
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National Women's Equality Day — a time to honor and inspire
Declaration of Sentiments, 1848. First Convention Ever Called to Discuss the Civil and Political Rights of Women, Seneca Falls, New York, July 19, 20, 1848. This pamphlet reprints the Call, first published July 14, 1848 in the Seneca County Courier, the declaration of rights, resolutions, and excerpts from Elizabeth Cady Stanton's speeches, July 19 and July 20, 1848. (Photo by Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images)
French physicist Marie Curie (1867-1934) physics Nobel prize in 1903, chemistry Nobel Prize in 1911. (Photo by Apic/Getty Images)
Edith Wharton c. 1905. American novelist. (Photo by Culture Club/Getty Images)
Fire hoses spray water on the upper floors of the Asch Building (housing the Triangle Shirtwaist Company) on Washington and Greene Streets, during the fire in New York City, March 25, 1911. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
A group of women and children marching with U.S. flags and banners for the right of women to vote, New York City. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Miss Frances Perkins, New York State Secretary of Labor, showing her in her New York City Office, Feb. 25, 1933. She is most prominently mentioned as Roosevelt’s choice for National Secretary of Labor. If she is appointed, she will be the first woman ever to hold a cabinet position in Washington. (AP Photo)
Amelia Earhart climbs out of her plane at Oakland Airport after completing her 18 hour, 2400 mile flight from Honolulu on Jan. 14, 1935. (AP Photo)
Rosa Louise McCauley Parks (1913-2005), American Civil Rights activist. Booking photo taken at the time of her arrest for refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama, bus to a white passenger on 1 December 1955. (Photo by Universal History Archive/Getty Images)
Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike smiles after she is told that her Freedom Party has won a landslide victory in the General Elections in Ceylon on July 21, 1960. Later she was sworn is as the world?s first woman Prime Minister. Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike took over as leader of the Freedom party after the assassination of her husband, then Prime Minister in September 1959. (AP Photo)
Valentina Tereshkova, who became the first woman in space in 1963, is seen in a space suit in this undated file photo. Tereshkova's three-day flight, which started June 16, 1963, further strengthened the prestige of the Soviet space program after Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space in 1961. (AP Photo/ ITAR-TASS )
Supreme Court nominee Sandra Day O'Connor raises her right hand to be sworn in before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 9, 1981. (AP Photo/John Duricka)
Astronaut Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, inside the space shuttle 'Challenger,' c. 1983. (Photo by Frederic Lewis/Getty Images)
Janet Guthrie became the first woman to pass the rigorous rookie driving test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Indy 500, then the first woman to make the 33-car field. (Photo by ISC Archives via Getty Images)
President Bill Clinton appears at a Rose Garden ceremony in Washington on Feb. 11, 1993, where he named Janet Reno, left, to be the nation’s first female attorney general, pending Senate confirmation. Reno, a veteran lawyer and Miami prosecutor, said she was “humbled by the honor. (AP Photo/Greg Gibson)
A beaming President Clinton looks on as his choice for Secretary of State Madeleine Albright speaks in the Oval Office of the White House Thursday, Dec. 5, 1996 after being announced by Clinton. If confirmed by the Senate, Albright would become the first woman to head the State Department. (AP Photo/Joe Marquette)
Lilly Ledbetter, left, is kissed by Vice President Joe Biden after President Barack Obama, center, congratulated her, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, right, applauds during the signing of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act Thursday, Jan. 29, 2009, in the East Room at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)
In this March 7, 2010 file photo, Kathryn Bigelow poses backstage with the Oscar for best achievement in directing for "The Hurt Locker" at the 82nd Academy Awards, in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles. Bigelow is the only woman to win the Academy Award and Directors Guild Award for best director. The ACLU of Southern California and the national ACLU Women's Rights Project said Tuesday, May 12, 2015, they were moved to act after compiling statistical evidence of "dramatic disparities" in the hiring of women as film and television directors. This was bolstered, they said, by anecdotal accounts from more than 50 female directors. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File)
Capt. Kristen Griest, left, and 1st Lt. Shayne Haver talk after Ranger School graduation at Victory Pond on Aug. 21, 2015 in Columbus, Ga. The two women are the first female soldiers to earn and wear the Ranger tab. (Robin Trimarchi/Columbus Ledger-Enquirer/TNS via Getty Images)

The 19th amendment was officially introduced in 1878 by women across the nation, who believed they, too deserved the right to vote. Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton led the fight, under the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA).

When the Supreme Court ruled against them in 1890, the suffragists knew they had to take on a more militant approach; Alice Walker formed the National Woman's Party in 1916. This group picketed the White House, and over 200 suffragists were arrested. These women went on hunger strike in prison, and had to be force fed to stay alive.

Alice Paul with English members of the International Advisory Committee of National Woman's Party
The act was finally passed in Congress in 1920 after much commotion and action, giving women nationwide the right to vote. Fifty-one years later in 1971, August 26 was first recognized as National Women's Equality Day.

On Wednesday, we look back on all that women have gone through to make today possible and thank them. While women have jumped through hurdles to make equality a national issue, there is a long way to go with regard to gender parody.

The chart below demonstrates the gender pay gap in the U.S:

See more eye-opening stories from our special coverage of Women's Equality Day:
5 times women dominated the gender equality battle this year
Three women leading the charge for equality in the workplace
MAKERS who weren't afraid to discuss equal pay
Women who fought for our equality
Read Full Story

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