Women's Suffrage Turns 97 Today—Here Are Our Next 6 Battles

Women's Equality Day
Photo: Paul Morigi/Getty

Quick history lesson: The 19th amendment grants all citizens of the United States the right to vote, regardless of sex. Thanks to suffragists like Susan B. Anthony, Lucretia Mott, and Elizabeth Cady—outspoken women who gathered at the Seneca Falls Convention in 1948—the right was written into law in 1920. Hoorah!

Today marks the 97th anniversary of the amendment's passing and in its honor, we're celebrating Women's Equality Day, which commemorates the actions of those before us. And while for a moment, yes, we can stop, smell the roses, and appreciate just how far women have come since 1920, let's be real: There's still a lot of work to be done.

After the 2016 Election, women mobilized to protest against public policies and government initiatives that would essentially regress the progress we've made. The result? The 2017 Women's March. The founders of the March planned to gather in Washington, D.C., and fight for civil rights, reproductive rights, an end to violence, disability rights, immigrant rights, LGBTQIA rights, and environmental justice.

According to The Washington Post, over 4 million people in the U.S. gathered to march in support of these issues, roughly 1.3 percent of the country's population. So what does this mean? While, yes, we do have inalienable rights many before us did not, there's certainly still plenty to fight for and stand up against, and these pressing social issues will remind you of that.

RELATED VIDEO: 11 Famous Women on Female Empowerment

Below, six topics that'll make you want to get out and speak up.

01 of 06

Men Still Outnumber Women in Office

Men Still Outnumber Women in Office 
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According to the Pew Research Center, only 19.4 percent of Congress is made up of women. 21 women serve in the U.S. Senate and 83 in the House of Representatives. Yes, the statistic has risen nine times higher than it was in 1965, but as the Center points out, 51.4 percent of the U.S. population is made up of adult women, meaning there's serious misrepresentation happening in the Capitol.

02 of 06

Lack of Paid Maternity Leave

Lack of Paid Maternity Leave 
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Plain and simple: the U.S. is the only developed country in the world without paid maternity leave. The 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act grants 12 weeks of unpaid leave, but women strapped for money must quickly return to work after the short period of time. Here's some perspective: there are 193 countries in the United Nations and the only ones who do not have a national paid paternal leave law are New Guinea, Suriname, a few South Pacific island nations, and the U.S.

03 of 06

Sexual Assault Rates Are Alarming

Sexual Assault Rates Are Alarming 
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While celebrities like Taylor Swift and Kesha have recently shone a light on the topic of sexual assault and abuse, statistics prove that attacks against women have long been all too common. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence,1 in 3 women is abused by an intimate partner, while 1 in 5 women is raped during her lifetime. Additionally, 1 in 7 women is stalked.

04 of 06

The Gender Pay Gap

The Gender Pay Gap 
David Giesbrecht/Netflix

While the Equal Pay Act of 1963 technically makes pay discrimination illegal, women in America reportedly make 80 cents on every dollar made by men, even from reputable employers, like The White House. And though there are thousands of cases that illustrate this inequality, women in Hollywood have been particularly vocal about it in recent years. The most telling example? House of Cards star Robin Wright. Basically, the actress demanded she be paid the same as male co-star Kevin Spacey after learning he earned more. She was later promised a raise, but as of this May, Wright had yet to see that reflected in her paycheck.

05 of 06

Reproductive Rights in Danger

Reproductive Rights in Danger 
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Ultimately struck down in the Senate in July, Republicans proposed the Better Care Reconciliation Act, a bill that would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and defund Planned Parenthood, an organization that works to provide women reproductive healthcare, including abortion services. Similarly, the 1994 Hyde Amendment has blocked federal Medicaid funding for abortion services, meaning women with low incomes often are not given the choice, even in cases of pregnancies that could endanger a woman's life or resulted from a rape.

06 of 06

Mommy-Shaming Continues

Mommy-Shaming Continues 
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Kim Kardashian and Chrissy Teigen aren't the only people being mommy-shamed. A recent report finds that moms being judged for their parenting skills are a pretty pressing concern. 6 in 10 mothers have been criticized for the way they interact with their child, most often by family members, and most often for the way in which they discipline their kids.

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