As winter approaches, we think back to our warm summer days. One day in the summer is the United States Women’s Equality Day. August 26 marks Women’s Equality Day and is a day that commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The 19th Amendment granted American women the right to vote and was seen as the nation’s first significant stride toward gender equality. But did the 19th Amendment give the right to vote to all women?
While White women have been able to vote since 1919, women of color had to wait until the Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965, forty-six years later, for their right to the vote to be codified law. It is important to recognize the Amendment’s passing as the monumental moment that it was, but it is equally important to recognize that the amendment essentially only guaranteed the right to vote for White women. To overlook this is to overlook the fact that women of color for centuries, and still today, face marginalization not only from society more broadly but even within feminist groups. Women’s movements constantly tout the idea of universal sisterhood, but from the initial suffrage movement up to movements of today, subsets of the population who hold intersecting oppressed identities have been excluded. How universal is this sisterhood if it continues to prioritize women who already hold the most privilege at the cost of further oppressing those who already face the most disadvantage?
Universal sisterhood should mean universal solidarity, universal inclusion, universal protection, universal mobilization, and universal objectives; it should not be the statement of erasure, marginalization, and exclusion that it tends to be. Until all-encompassing unity becomes a reality for women in activism, in education, in business, in politics, and in every other area of life, portions of the female population will continue to be left behind.
For women to be truly free and equal, all women must engage in genuine efforts towards solidarity and broaden their objectives to include the needs of the entire women’s population. Aula Magna Business School takes this necessity into account by working to end all gender gaps through accessible education aimed at improving women’s managerial skills. Aula Magna provides accessible online courses that take busy work schedules into account, emphasizing diversity and inclusion, and teaching hard skills. Through doing this, Aula Magna is able to lift up all women who enroll, leaving none behind.