91 Years of Women’s Votes

Yesterday, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand sent out an e-mail honoring the 91st anniversary of the enactment of the 19th amendment (you know, that one that helped women).

The amendement reads:

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.
Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Similar to Obama’s e-mail commemorating the passage of the amendment on August 18th, Gillibrand’s e-mail discussed how far women have come and how far there is to go.

One step Gillibrand has taken towards achieving gender equality* is creating Off the Sidelines, a website which encourages female empowerment, providing women with resources as well as “a place to share their stories.”

Read Gillibrand’s description of her site and an accompanying petition, below:

For me, getting off the sidelines means women making a difference by speaking out about the issues that matter to them. How about you?

Click here to share what getting off the sidelines means to you and join Off The Sidelines.

The fact is, we still have a long way to go until women have full equality. Currently in the US, women make on average 78 cents for every dollar a man makes; and even though women make up 51% of the population, we hold just 17% of seats in Congress and only 6 governorships; and as a result of the 2010 election, for the first time in 30 years, the percentage of women in Congress actually declined. This is unacceptable.

The fact remains that too many women are sitting on the sidelines – we must get them involved. It can be as simple as registering to vote, writing a letter to the editor, giving money to a female candidate who shares your values or running for office yourself. There are so many ways we can get more women involved in the political process.

A larger conversation I would like to have is what gender equality would look like? It’s all good and well to talk about more women taking on political positions and being paid the same amount as men, but from a sociological and psychological standpoint, what would true equality mean?

Please post ideas or critiques in the comments section.

*The phrase ‘achieving gender equality’ was first referred to me by Paolo Singer.