August 26 is Women’s Equality Day, marking the 101st year since women in the United States prevailed in securing the right to vote. It’s a day for celebrating the gains we’ve made toward gender equality — and for recognizing all the work we still have to do.
While the passage of the 19th Amendment was a victory, it was only a partial one. It did not provide all women with equal voting rights. Black women were often denied the right to vote. Native American women had to win voting rights on a state-by-state basis, which took until the 1960s. Asian American women couldn’t vote until 1952.
While women have long fought for and continue to get closer to equal rights, we’re still not there yet. Few women hold leadership positions in government, universities or businesses. Women still make less money than men for doing the same work, with Black and Hispanic women making significantly less.
While there is still much progress to make across the country, we’re proud that women at UW Medicine are making change right now. Today, we want to shine light on some of the work they’re doing to increase opportunities for women and make our local communities and communities around the world more equitable.