It was one hundred years ago this week, that Congress passed the Nineteenth Amendment giving women the right to vote. It would take another year for it to be ratified. It is hard for me to imagine that women were ever denied the vote, but unfortunately, throughout the history of humanity we have always found ways to grasp power and deny it to others.
I am so grateful for all of the women who fought relentlessly to obtain women’s suffrage. Their blood, sweat, and tears is something that I have sometimes taken for granted. Our polling place is just a block from our house and is so convenient. They have numerous polling booths and the voting process only takes a few minutes. It is rarely busy, but even when I have found there was a line on election day, I always discovered that it moved quickly and I never had to wait more than a few minutes. Yet despite how easy it is for me and despite the tremendous work that many had to do to secure my right to cast my ballot – there have been a few times that I have looked upon it as a hassle. It hasn’t happened very often because I’m a pretty patriotic person who enjoys those moments, but there have a few occasions that I forgot the importance of the right to vote.
So, for the women who gathered at the first women’s suffrage convention in 1848, the women who marched/picketed/campaigned/prayed over the next 50 years, the women who carried the fight into the twentieth century to finally achieve the goal – to all of these I make a pledge to offer a prayer of thanksgiving for them before I vote. I will do my best to resist taking it for granted and I will pray for women’s rights around the world.