Celebrating Equality for Women: 96 Years & Counting

by Amanda Thompson

It’s no secret that women have endured centuries of discrimination, inequality, and barriers to opportunity. Over the years, we’ve seen more and more rights and equality being granted to women; progress has been made, but there is still much to be done. Taking part in Women’s Equality Day, annually on August 26, is one way you can personally create an impact and difference within a movement so groundbreaking and important to American history.

Rosie the Riveter poster
Icon of feminism and women’s equality, Rosie the Riveter.

The U.S. Congress established Women’s Equality Day in 1920 to commemorate the passage of women’s rights to vote. This day signifies importance in the continuation to strive for full equality. Workplaces, libraries, organizations, and public facilities all within the U.S. choose to participate in the celebration by featuring programs, displays, video showings, and other activities that educate and bring awareness to women’s rights.

And now, the struggle continues, spanning across cultures and including women all across the globe. While there are still issues that continue to be addressed, Women’s Equality Day acknowledges the victories that have been achieved and is meant to inspire individuals to bring about change. Meaningful travelers bring that inspiration and take it upon themselves to become involved in causes that can make a difference to the world as a whole.

So, how can YOU get involved in Women’s Equality Day? Check out some of the options we’ve come up with below:

Support Organizations that Promote Women’s Equality

There are plenty of organizations that are pro women’s equality, rights, and overall girl power. Check out organizations like Girl Effect, which promotes education as a means to end poverty or The National Organization for Women (NOW), the largest organization of feminist activists in the United States, that has been fighting for equality since 1966. You could even support a small local organization, such as The Baale Mane, which is a close partner of the GoAbroad Foundation and serves dozens of young girls in India, empowering them to grow and develop into inspired and powerful young women. However you choose to get involved, there is way for every person, male or female, to bring positive change for women on a global scale.

Asian woman in traditional wedding attire
Women’s Equality Day celebrates women in America winning the right to vote, but you can (and should) celebrate women’s empowerment and Women’s Equality Day worldwide!

Be Proactive - Volunteer & Intern Abroad

For those who want to travel meaningfully by volunteering and joining the fight for equality, then get ready to pack your backpack and your determined mindset because there are plenty of volunteer abroad programs that can help you actively participate in the movement. If you want to actively join the movement and want to help fight for women’s rights in countries beyond the U.S., there are plenty of internship options for you to dive into, too.

Organizations in Nicaragua offer gender equity internships where you can learn about gender equity and equal rights in great detail, from the very first movements that took place, to present and current efforts happening all over the globe. 

If you’re interested in volunteering, there are various women’s empowerment volunteer programs in Nepal that will give you the opportunity to spread awareness and educate the people of Nepal through campaigns and advocacy about gender equality. With this, you’ll have the chance to interact and learn about women’s issues in Nepal and get a global perspective of the worldwide movement.

Educate Yourself 

If you would rather stay a little more close to home, but still want to learn about women’s rights and gender equality, it’s not as difficult as you may think and doesn’t always involve textbooks. Take time to listen to an inspirational speaker or attend an educational event hosted by your university in celebration of Women’s Equality Day. There are always multiple organizations and institutes that will host meaningful and educational panels or talks that will open and inspire your mind in ways no book can ever do. 

Women leaning on one another
Work together women from across the globe to promote women's equality in every society.

Celebrating Women’s Equality Day is more than acknowledging the right to vote. You can learn more about Women’s Equality Day and other victories or challenges by studying women’s studies abroad. Take a semester or two to venture abroad and obtain a global perspective of how far women’s rights have come in a country different than your own; you’ll also learn how culture and society contributes to the challenges women face and gender movements around the world.

Educate Others

Maybe you’ve already been super proactive in women’s equality and women’s rights movements; why not extend that knowledge and passion to others? In your home country you can find out how you could possibly be a featured panelist or speaker in one of the events or you can event host an event on your own! Don’t be afraid to speak out loud and clear about such an important topic and a subject you’re on fire for. 

For starters, talking with your family and friends about these real world issues can help you spread your knowledge to others. If you’re especially passionate about what you preach, then going on accurate and legitimate social media sites or blogs can be a great way to network with others and teach others what you know. 

Why not take that passion one step further? There are plenty of opportunities for you to teach a foreign language abroad; educating others abroad will give you a chance to teach what you preach in a foreign language! Travel and educate at the same time by teaching foreign language to students in Spain or China, all while raising awareness to women’s equality around the world. 

Participate in Events to Raise Awareness

Whether you’re the protesting type or will rather take part in a roundtable discussion, there is no limit to the ways you can actively participate on Women’s Equality Day. Events can get pretty creative, too. There are art shows, awareness walks, film showings, and many other types of events to choose from. Depending on the area where you’re celebrating, cities usually host events and gatherings in honor of the holiday.

A volunteer woman holding a child
You can raise awareness about the needs of women of all ages.

No matter how you choose to participate, remember that your voice makes a difference.

Whether or not you’re a hardcore advocate for women’s rights and equality, Women’s Equality Day is an invitation to look back, commemorate the progress made so far, and look forward to future movements and accomplishments. That being said, thank you and congratulations to all the individuals out there who fought and continue to fight for gender equality!