"Remember, I am with you always to the end of the age" (Mt 28:20)


100 Years: The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution Granted Women The Right To Vote

Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton 1899.
Two pioneers in the Equal Rights cause.
UNIVERSAL IMAGES GROUP VIA GETTY IMAGES
AMENDMENT XIX (August 18, 1920)
Section 1. 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. 
Section 2. Congress shall have power, by appropriate legislation, to enforce the provision of this article.
This amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified on 18th August 1920, a victory after almost a century of organizations and protests. It is considered to be a groundbreaking piece of legislation, albeit, an incomplete one. Protests continued on the part of minority women, particularly African-American, Hispanic and Native-American, until the Voting Rights Act in 1965 was born which granted all women equal access to the vote.

To mark this 19th Amendment's centennial, there are a number of women running for office in November 2020 U.S. Elections, both Republican and Democrat, with the aim to sustain what has been achieved and to start what still awaits to be done. After one hundred years, another long road ahead in safeguarding women's participation and ensuring full access to the vote need to be charted not only in the U.S. but around the world.

In January 2020 at the Vatican, Pope Francis appointed six women to the economic council, a first for the financial watchdog that oversee the administrative and financial structures of the city-state. Pope Francis instituted the council in 2014 as part of efforts to bring more oversight to the Holy See's financial dealings. The women are now part of a fifteen-member council, which also includes eight cardinals and one male lay expert. The Argentine pontiff has tried to give more power to women within the Vatican where leadership positions have been dominated by priests, bishops and cardinals.

Portrait of an unknown New Zealand suffragette,
Charles Hemus Studio Auckland, c. 1880—the sitter
wears a white camellia and has cut off her hair,
both symbolic of support for advancing women's
rights. New Zealand was first to grant
women's suffrage in 1893. Credit: Wikipedia
"Roaring Twenties" and The Revolution In Fashion

Here is a picture of an unknown woman sporting a pioneering boyish hairstyle, telling her male counterpart that she too could cut off her hair short. Although, this woman did it in protest of the inequalities during her era, the fashion world took notice and soon long hair would go out of style. The 1920's revolution in fashion shunned "femininity" and it was no exception for dresses. Hemlines of women's dresses reached either mid-calf or above the knee with a dropped waist just like the men's cover suit. Those who went back to work for the first time after The Great War, who were mostly women, needed to change to more practical, comfortable clothing that allowed more breathing space, i.e., they were covered almost from head to toes. So much opportunity had opened that they did not want to return to passive domestic duties given to them. These characterised the working women during the so-called Roaring Twenties. It was a welcome revolution for designers and factories that could produce many more dresses using far less fabric given the new styles. Fr. JM Manzano, SJ

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