Today is Women’s Equality Day, which was recognized as a holiday in 1971 by the U.S Congress to remember the 19th Amendment of the Constitution. It says that “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”. It's a day we remember the long fight for women rights reforms and realizing that we still have a long way to go. It may be almost fifty years later but we still have domestic violence, genital mutilation, sex trafficking, the wage gap and a low conviction rate for rapists. The people have spoken out from the streets to boardrooms, with video footage of mansplaining, women fighting back, and women bringing their issues to the public's attention. Unfortunately, even though progress has been made some parts of the ceiling remain unbroken and social media has made sexual harassment, stalking, and trolling even easier.
Film industry changes
In 2015, Jennifer Lawrence wrote an essay on equal pay in the film industry since then many other actresses have stepped up to demand a change. They include Hilary Swank from "Boys Don't Cry," who revealed that she couldn’t cover her health insurance on her salary. Emma Stone, Michelle Rodriguez, Emilia Fox and Robin Wright from the"House of Cards" all demanded to be paid the same as their male counterparts. Many others have spoken out like Viola Davis best known for her role in "How to Get Away With Murder" who said that “if a woman does the same job as a man, she should be paid the same amount of money. She just should. That’s just the way the world should work. ” Actresses aren’t the only ones demanding equal pay many female directors and even the BBC director general, Tony Hall, has said that he hopes they can close the gender pay gap sooner than 2020, after an impressive intervention by more than 40 of its most high-profile female stars.
How to help
There are many ways for you to get involved - from supporting women in their careers to donating to Women’s Rights organizations. Some of these organizations include Women For Women International, Equality Now, Lady Parts Justice, Global Fund For Women, National Organization For Women, and National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. All of these organizations help women in different parts of the world. The most effective way to change the law is to call your representatives and vote your elections. People are also using social media to get their message out to the general public and using their creativity to create memes, gifs, and documentaries about women’s rights that are very popular these days. Remember that on August 26th, we celebrate the women who fought for equality and remember to keep fighting for the cause.