How To Honor Women’s Equality Day & Celebrate Suffragists With Your Kids
Since 1971, the United States has commemorated Women's Equality Day on Aug. 26. While not an official federal holiday, the day celebrates the day the 19th Amendment was adopted into the Constitution, prohibiting any U.S. state from denying women the right to vote. And while the ongoing pandemic has caused many of this year's celebrations to be canceled, there are still a myriad of ways you and your family can commemorate Women's Equality Day from home.
According to the National Women's History Alliance, Rep. Bella Abzug spearheaded legislation in 1971 that would see Congress designate Aug. 26 as Women's Equality Day to commemorate the 1920 adoption of the 19th Amendment. Although the 19th Amendment was first introduced in 1878, it was not added to the Constitution until Aug. 18, 1920, a full 42 years after its initial introduction. According to the Constitution Center, it was later made an official part of the Constitution on Aug. 26 when then-U.S. Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby signed a proclamation certifying the amendment. This date of certification is the date Women's Equality Day commemorates.
But while Women's Equality Day commemorates the achievements of suffragists, it also calls attention to the work women and their allies continue to do toward achieving full equality. And here are a few ways to celebrate Women's Equality Day with your children:
Help Your Child Become A Junior Suffragist
Celebrate Women's Equality Day by helping your child become a Junior Suffragist with the National Park Service. A Junior Suffragist Activity Book created by the Belmont Paul Women’s Equality National Monument can easily be downloaded and printed. It outlines activities adults and children as young as 6 can do to earn the title Junior Suffragist.
Once children completed their chosen activities, parents can guide them in taking the Junior Suffragist Pledge and making their own Junior Suffragist Badge.
Parents will find the Junior Suffragist Pledge and a fun virtual Junior Suffragist Scavenger Hunt at the National Park Service's website for the Belmont Paul Women's Equality National Monument.
Sign The Women's Equality Day Petition
Commemorate Women's Equality Day by signing a petition that seeks to turn the unofficial holiday into an official federal holiday.
"The petition to elevate Women’s Equality Day is a call to action to ensure that the efforts of all women are recognized and included," the Women's Equality Day Petition reads. "Women are necessary contributors in all aspects of society and should be represented in historical records. It is time to rally around a federal holiday that acknowledges ALL women!"
Try A Recipe From The Woman Suffrage Cookbook
Get all your senses involved in celebrating Women's Equality Day by testing out a recipe from The Woman Suffrage Cookbook. While you won't find the full-color pictures that make up modern cookbooks, The Woman Suffrage Cookbook contains dozens of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert dishes.
It can be browsed and read online for free here at the Michigan State University Library.
Dig Deeper Into The Lives Of An African-American Suffragist
Choose one of the 35 African-American leaders of the suffrage movement listed on the Turning Point Suffragist Memorial website and dig deeper into their lives and work to see what you can learn about them. Does your local library have a book about them? Can you find photographs of them online? Have any documentaries been made about them? Give them a Google and see how much you can learn about their lives and work in the suffrage movement.
Host A Family Movie Night & Learn About A Suffragist
Host a family movie night and learn about suffragist Inez Mulholland by watching Into Light, a film by Jessica Graham and Inez Mulholland — Forward Into Light, a documentary by Martha Wheelock. Both films will be screened virtually by the National Women’s History Museum on Aug. 26 at 8 p.m. ET. Register for a free ticket to the virtual screening here.
Read The 'How Women Won the Vote Gazette'
Print or download the National Women's History Project's How Women Won the Vote Gazette and read through it with your kids. These fun faux newspapers — there are multiple versions — include stories and historical photographs of suffragists, their work to get women the right to vote, and brief summaries of each state's suffrage history.
Test Your Family's Knowledge With Women's Equality Day Quiz
Do you know what Women's Equality Day commemorates or which country was the first to grant women the right to vote? Test your and your family's knowledge with the Women's Equality Day Quiz from the National Women's History Alliance.