DNC Interim Chair Donna Brazile Statement on Women’s Equality Day, Anniversary of the 19th Amendment

WASHINGTON –  DNC Interim Chair Donna Brazile issued the following statement:

“When I was born, my mother faced barriers to the vote based solely on the color of her skin. Women were severely underpaid, and women’s voices were ignored in making decisions for our county. Today, I have the privilege of serving as Chair of one of our nation’s two major political parties – a party that has nominated a woman as our candidate for the most powerful elected office on the planet. That profound shift in opportunity for women is due in large part to the American suffragists, who understood the power of the vote, and who organized to fight for it.

“When the 19th Amendment was certified 96 years ago, finally enshrining women’s voting rights in the Constitution, it was a great leap forward. Combined with the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which protected voting rights for people of color, the 19th Amendment empowered women to shape the laws of our nation. We’ve achieved more opportunities in the workplace, reduced the gender pay gap, and improved health care for women and families. Not only that, each year more and more women are running for and winning elected seats from state houses to the Congress, and we’re poised to elect a woman president for the first time in history.

“But the fight for full women’s equality and fully-protected voting rights is far from over. Following a 2013 Supreme Court decision that gutted a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, Republican lawmakers have passed new laws across the country that have erected new barriers to the vote that disproportionately affect women and minorities.

“I have dedicated my life to ensuring that the right to vote is protected for all Americans, regardless of race, class, creed or gender. Women’s Equality Day was founded by Congresswoman Bella Abzug in 1971 to commemorate our right to vote. As we celebrate this important milestone today, let’s also rededicate ourselves to the cause of the suffragists. Voting must always be a right for all, and never a privilege for those already in power.”