It’s been less than 100 years that women first got the right to vote. The 19th amendment was passed in 1920 after suffragettes fought for years for women to have the right to vote and run for elected office. The Amendment guaranteed all women the ability to cast a ballot (although women of color would have a much a harder time voting because of Jim Crow Laws, legal roadblocks that undermined minorities from voting, which weren’t outlawed until the Voting Rights Act of 1965.)
Women have played a huge part in national elections since then. Most recently, the election of Donald Trump hinged on votes from women, mainly white heterosexual women, who tipped the electoral odds in his favor. Still, since Donald Trump’s election women’s rights have been under siege after continuous attacks against Planned Parenthood and employer-covered birth control access.
In 2016, Hillary Clinton made history by becoming the first woman to earn the nomination of major U.S. political party. Obviously she didn’t win, but it was a huge landmark for gender equality
Following the Women’s March in January -- the largest ever single-day march in U.S. history -- the fight for gender equality has become more pressing.
Women in the 2017 election cycle, particularly trans women and women of color, made history in various local races across the country. Danica Roem from Virginia became the first out transgender elected state legislator. Also making history for trans women, Andrea Jenkins from Minnesota was elected to the Minneapolis City Council. However, there's still more work to be done and groups like the League of Women Voters are working to expand voting rights to more women nationally.
If you have a strong opinion on how the government should be run, don't just talk about it— take action. Make sure you're registered to vote so that you can have your voice heard. Then show up on Election Day in local and federal races to make your vote count. VICE Impact has partnered with TurboVote to get people registered, sign up today to have an effect on tomorrow.