Women's Rights are Human Rights: The 100 Year Anniversary of the 19th Amendment
Updated: Jan 25
2020 marks the 100 year anniversary of the 19th Amendment, a.k.a guaranteeing and protecting a women's right to vote. Ratified on August 18, 1920, ending almost a century of protesting and women's suffrage, women finally received a right that should have been given long before. What many people don’t know is it was actually just white women that received the right to vote in 1920. It was not until 1960, through the Voting Rights Act, that all women - regardless of race - were granted the right to vote. But did the protesting actually end?
Some still believe that women are the second sex, and should not be given the same equal rights as men. In countries like South Sudan or Pakistan, girls and women are not being educated. Take Malala's story for example. Now female education advocate and Oxford Scholar, Malala Yousafzai was once a little girl passionate about learning in a Northwest Pakistan, where the Taliban had banned girls and women from being educated.
In 2009, when Malala was 11, she wrote a blog under a pseudonym for BBC Urdu, describing in detail the life her and her community lived in, under the occupation of the Taliban. Eventually, she rose to create an international movement and win several awards for her humanitarian work and advocacy for children's education.
In 2012, while on a bus in the Taliban's Swat District, Malala and two other girls were shot by a Taliban gunman in an attempt to put a stop to her activism. Malala ended up recovering from a bullet to the head, which sparked an international movement of support for her cause. Malala went on to speak about her experience, advocate for girls education, win awards, become a graduated from the University of Oxford, and overall become a role model for women and children everywhere. Malala's full story and foundation can be found on her website.
"I tell my story not because it is unique, but because it is the story of many girls." - Malala Yousafzai
The fight for women's rights is not over. In just the United State's alone, women are faced with being judged based on the color of their skin, taxed on necessary items compared to a male's taxed-exempt elective items, having a wage gap based on sex and race compared to their male counterparts, lack positions of power or having a seat at the table, still holding most of the household burdens, are far more likely to be victims of sexual assault or sex trafficking, being sexualized all the time, and much more.
We must keep fighting to obtain women's rights for not only those living in the United State's, but for girls and women like Malala; in countries who continue to oppress women. Hopefully, it will not take us a 100 more year's to get where we want to be. Please comment below on ways we can help impact change and improve women's rights.