2020 marks the centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment, giving women the constitutional right to vote. However, the amendment did not guarantee their wider equal rights with men. Over the decades that followed, many women activists coalesced in order to create an Equal Rights Amendment.
In We the Women: The Unstoppable Mothers of the Equal Rights Amendment (Skyhorse 2020), Julie Suk ’93, Ph.D. details the struggles of activists who fought for decades to gain full parity with American men. Working tirelessly to keep the issue at the forefront of society, women lobbied for its passing and it took nearly fifty years for Congress to adopt the amendment, which was enacted in 1972. It would take close to another fifty years to ratify it, with the final state, Virginia, approving it in January 2020.
Suk chronicles the voices of the women lawmakers who created the Equal Rights Amendment, and the strong opposition they faced. Though progress has been made, she writes that gender equality has not provided true parity, particularly for working mothers and women of color. She also documents important movements like the Women’s March and #MeToo to show how women are striving to collectively improve their lives.
Suk was interviewed by HCHS Social Studies faculty member Irving Kagan ’82 in September 2020. To see this interview, log onto the HCHSAA events site at https://www.hchsaa.org/alumni2020.