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Women's Equality Day



Instituted by Rep. Bella Abzug and first established in 1971, Women's Equality Day commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment, the Woman Suffrage Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which gave U.S. women full voting rights in 1920.

19th Amendment

The 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote was certified as part of the U.S. Constitution on August 26, 1920. It was the culmination of a 72-year-long civil rights movement that originated at the world's first women's rights convention held in Seneca Falls, New York, in 1848. Several generations of women's suffrage supporters wrote, lectured, marched, and lobbied to achieve what many Americans considered a radical change to the Constitution. Few early supporters lived to see victory in 1920.






Abigail Scott Duniway

Born in Illinois in 1834, Abigail Scott Duniway, rose from an ordinary life as a farm girl to become a nationally recognized champion of women's suffrage, as well as a significant author and publisher. 

Following an inspirational visit from national suffrage leader Susan B. Anthony, Duniway founded a women's newspaper, The New Northwest, which she edited for sixteen years.

Duniway's reputation grew as she lectured on women's rights throughout the Northwest, traveling some 12,000 miles while leading successful suffrage referendum campaigns in Idaho in 1896 and Washington State in 1910.

Duniway had more trouble winning the right to vote in her home state of Oregon. Her own brother, the publisher of the Oregonian, editorialized against every suffrage measure from 1884 to 1910 and Oregon's male voters defeated suffrage five times at the polls.

Finally, in 1912, Duniway led the Oregon Equal Suffrage Association to victory at the polls. On November 30, 1912, she signed Oregon's suffrage proclamation and became the first woman in her state to register to vote.



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