Today is the 90th Anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Permanently protecting the right of all women to vote was a tremendous accomplishment: not just for women, but for all those who value the dignity of the human spirit and equality before the law.
As I celebrate that achievement, I am reminded of another important day in the long history of the struggle for women’s rights: January 29, 2009. President Obama signing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was a triumphant moment, but also sobering one. In 2009, 233 years after the founding of our Republic, it took an act of Congress to tell us what should have been readily apparent: it is immoral and unjust to pay a woman less than a man because of her gender.
Sadly, 177 members of the House voted against protecting the fundamental right of gender equality – including my opponent, Frank Wolf. His vote on this matter is unconscionable and embarrassing. His failure to stand up for our wives, our sisters, and our daughters is one of the biggest reasons I got into this race.
As we look back and pay tribute to the progress we have made, let us be mindful of the work that lies ahead. Terrible pay gaps, among other injustices, still exist, despite laws prohibiting them. We must be vigilant in the discovery and eradication of these unfair practices. One day, we will finally deliver on America’s promise of gender equality. I hope that, for our children, the cold despair of gender discrimination will be a relic confined to history books.
Let us renew our commitment to eliminating gender-based inequality: not just in law, but in reality.
(Image Source: White House Photo)