Why Women Should Vote in this 2020 Presidential Election

Colorado became the first state to enact women’s suffrage by popular referendum. Even though Colorado women could now vote, they continued to push for national suffrage rightssource http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.mss/mnwp.159016

2020 celebrates the centennial year of the 19th Amendment added to the Constitution, giving women throughout America the right to vote. The road to women’s suffrage was a long one, and there’s no day better than today to reflect upon it. As a female it is our responsibility to fulfil this civic duty of voting, women need to exercise this precious right. Here’s a Crash Course of US History; Women’s Suffrage

Today we aren’t subjected to sexist dress codes or limited to a single school sports opportunity. Today I can buy my first home but in 1918 I could never inherit property on the same terms as men. I can buy myself a beer in a bar tonight but before 1982 under law, I could have been denied service for drinking unaccompanied. As I am a single woman I have access to going on “the pill” contraceptive but in 1967 I wouldn’t have had the right to access it as only married women were allowed access. Those are only a few examples of What women couldn’t do 100 years ago. Today we have greater access to opportunities than women did even 30 years ago.

In the 1960’s CSU women students started to take charge and demand equal rights and privileges that their male peers had. These women were treated like children, their parents had a relationship with the university where they could still control what they could and couldn’t do. Women had an 11 pm curfew and university-approved only housing for all females. In 1963 the young women on campus started to find their voices and demanded liberation from equality. They wanted to be treated like the intellectual adults they were, who were there to get an education just like their male peers. Their demands ranged from access to sex education and contraceptives to finally CSU passing a resolution demanding total gender equality, allowing women to live in off-campus housing with an extended curfew. However, a sign-in sheet was still required to document times of women leaving and returning, for “safety reasons.” More on the 1960s: Student activism on CSU campus, written by Sarah Gianti, CSU Department of Public Relations Intern, Journalism and Technical Communications.

I am thankful for my foremothers, that became suspicious of authority, as they paved the paths for today’s gender equality. As New Zealand is my home I am thankful for Kate Sheppard who was a leader in New Zealand women’s suffrage movement, she helped women gain the right to vote in New Zealand. New Zealand was also the first country in the world to give women the right to vote. Step forward 50 something years CSU now has it’s first female president (President Joyce McConnell) in 2020. Our Society now talks about gender equality in a way that it didn’t use to. There is a willingness to hold questions of gender equality in public conversations that didn’t use to exist.

Joyce McConnell the 15th President at Colorado State University and the first woman to serve in this role. Photo credit: Mary Neiberg

Young girls today are naive, (you can decide in a good way or not, personally I think it’s good) girls believe everything is open to them and I hope this mindset will remain for years to come. I see the future as girls won’t think any career path is “off-limits,” that young girls won’t see a link between her voting as activism. I wish that we will continue to honour those women who fought for generations for the advantages that we now enjoy. So as the 2020 elections are ahead of us I encourage all women to take advantage of this fortune. The presidential Elections is November 3rd 2020 and check out information on the Larimer County 2020 Elections.

Note, as I am not an American citizen I cannot vote, but I continue to vote in my home country.

Check out this Exhibition at Fort Collins Museum of Discovery, After dark — Women’s History in Fort Collins. Held from August 13th

Fort Collins Museum of Discovery Building, Source: Zerdnog

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