On August 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified giving women one of the greatest rights of the modern century – the right to vote. Voting is the vehicle of which many important rights are secured and the way our country makes important decisions on leadership, laws, and set standards not only for our country, but for the watching world.
Even today, many women in our world do not have the opportunity to make their voice heard in the daily happenings of communities, states, and countries. For example, women in Saudi Arabia will vote on the municipal level for the first time this upcoming December. Although many critics agree this will not bring the equality for women there, almost all commenters agree that it is an excellent step in the continued fight for Saudi women.
This new development for Saudi Arabia caused me to reflect on our own ability to vote in elections, to be heard equally and have our opinions valued. But what happens if we don’t vote? What happens if we don’t share our thoughts, our ideas, or fight for what we, as women and as citizens, believe in? We essentially give up this right, displaying to our communities and our nation our indifference and lack of desire to be leaders of change and to have a say. This is why we must continue to exercise our right to vote. Vote for the president, vote for your mayor, even vote on your neighborhood speed limit or at your child’s PTA meeting over what should be served at lunch. At every opportunity where you can make a difference through your vote, I urge you to choose to.
It also doesn’t matter your age when you vote – whether you’re a fresh 18 years old or a wise 78 years old, your votes are equal in importance and your opinions matter. Unfortunately, voter turnout rates from women over 65 are surprisingly low; so today on election day, I urge you to get out to the polls and flex your protected right to vote. It is the diversity of our country that makes us so great – it’s importance to allow the wisdom and reasoning behind every vote shine through in our culture.
Your vote matters, ladies. Keep demonstrating to the world that your opinions, your voice, and your ideas are imperative to our world today.