August 26, 2021

Congresswoman Barbara Lee Recognizes Women’s Equality Day

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13) released the following statement on Women’s Equality Day, commemorating the 101st anniversary of the adoption of the 19th amendment:

“As we commemorate the anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment, we must celebrate those who broke down the barriers that prevented women from voting and using their voices in democracy. This amendment led to not only women participating in government but leading it.”

“The adoption of the 19th Amendment represents a monumental step in the right direction for women’s rights however, it solely guaranteed rights for white women. We must remember and honor the African American women who played massive roles in the suffrage movement but never got the recognition they deserve. African American women like Mary Church Terrell, Sojourner Truth, Ida B. Wells, and so many women whose names we may not know, put their lives’ work into achieving women’s enfranchisement. These ambitions were not realized until the Voting Rights Act of 1965 when all women of color finally received the right to vote.”

“We must not continue to erase and forget the accomplishments and sacrifices that women of color made to achieve the right to vote. As Ida B. Wells said, “the way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.” As we celebrate our history, we must be intentional in our honoring and recognize those who often are left ignored." 

“This year, over 142 women are serving in the 117th U.S. Congress. And despite legacies of discrimination and systemic racism, Black women continue to lead every step of the way. We now have 26 Black women in Congress and the first woman of color to serve as Vice President of the United States. I know the leaders of the suffragette movement and the countless women of color across history are proud of how far we have come.” 

“Despite these victories, our rights to vote are still under attack. Voter suppression is still common across our nation, and voices of color are being silenced at an alarming rate. That is why Congress needs to take charge, end the filibuster, and pass the John R Lewis Voting Rights Act.”?

“For this Women’s Equality Day, we must reestablish our commitment to empowering women from diverse backgrounds and ensuring that our future leaders of tomorrow are supported today.”