The 100th Anniversary of 19th Amendment and The World's First Index To Measure Gender Inequality

19th Amendment: 100th Anniversary

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing and protecting women's constitutional right to vote. The Wisconsin State Journal celebrated the suffragettes’ movement by talking to women to reflect on the anniversary. They spoke to, among others, prominent women in the state, like Wisconsin’s first Latina lawmaker, Rep. JoCasta Zamarripa, D-Milwaukee and Aili Tripp, chairwoman of the UW-Madison Department of Gender and Women’s Studies. Wisconsin was the first state to ratify the 19th Amendment on June 10, 1919. “We stand on the shoulders of our foremothers,” notes Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin, the first woman to represent Wisconsin in the House of Representatives and then the Senate. ”She is careful not to forget how long women fought for the right to vote before it was made law.”

If the American Suffragettes movement seems inexplicably white to you, you are not alone in that observation. The amendment passed after roughly 70 years of activism, from 1948 to 1920. Though it is rarely mentioned in the history books, did you know that there was a Native American influence on the movement?

“The Native American influence on the movement can be traced to the Seneca Falls Convention of 1848, which is considered to be when the effort began,” writes Liz Weber of the Washington Post. “For two days, activists gathered in the New York hamlet to draft the Declaration of Sentiments. Signed by 68 women and 32 men, the document argued that anti-women laws held no authority, declared that men and women should be held to the same moral standards, and ultimately called for women’s suffrage.”

The World’s First Index to Measure Gender Inequality

The world’s first index to measure gender inequality notes that by 2020 the world will unfortunately not reach its goals. The Index found that 2.8 billion women and girls live in countries not doing enough to improve their lives. Three global regions—Sub-Saharan Africa; Middle East and North Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean—receive failing grades in the inaugural SDG Gender Index, developed by the Equal Measures 2030 partnership. Of the 129 countries measured in the Index metrics which are home to 95% of the world’s women, the average score was an appalling 65.7. “Women’s underrepresentation in parliament, the gender pay gap and gender-based violence were among the areas all countries were struggling to tackle,” Liz Ford writes for the Guardian. “Only 21 countries achieved marks of 80 or above, with the top country, Denmark, achieving 89.3. The UK, came 17th with a score of 82.2.”

Justin Trudeau: $300 Million to Equality Fund

It is no surprise that Justin Trudeau—who is a self-described feminist—has led Canada to some of the most women-friendly policy commitments. Canada is committing to $300 million, much of it going to the Equality Fund, with its primary focus to support women’s rights organizations and feminist movements in Canada and around the world. The rest will go to other organizations with similar humanitarian goals. “It is a consortium of Canadian and international organizations who have already mobilized $100 million with an ambitious plan to mobilize another billion dollars over the next 15 years,” Maryam Monsef, Minister of International Development and Minister of Women and Gender Equality, described the investment commitments to the Globe and Mail. “This investment makes Canada the number one investor in women’s rights organizations at home and around the world.”

Imani Perry: Vexy Thing, Patriarchy and The Politics of Domination

The Nation Magazine has an amazing interview with Imani Perry about her book Vexy Thing, a powerful analysis of patriarchy and the politics of domination. “I saw so many uses of the term ‘patriarchy’ that didn’t actually apprehend the structure of domination,” Perry told the progressive magazine. “Patriarchy is a project that coincided with the transatlantic slave trade and the age of conquest. It’s not just attitudes. It’s legal relations between human beings, which lead to very different encounters with violence and suffering. The book begins with where patriarchy comes from, and then morphs into the current landscape, in which conditions are different but where that foundational structure is still present. Feminism is ultimately a way of reading the world with an eye towards reducing or eliminating unjust forms of domination, violence, and exploitation.” Read the full, provocative interview here.

Cover photo via Our Amendments