BLESSED ARE WE
Continuing to Celebrate
International Women’s Day
by Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P.
September 8, 2022
WOMEN’S SUFFRAGE RIGHTS
SECTIONS 1 AND 2:
“The right of the citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”
The 19th Amendment was formally adopted into the U.S. Constitution by proclamation of Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby on August 26, 1920. The anniversary of this event marks an important milestone in the struggle of women and so many others to achieve their full human rights. The Anniversary must be more than a one-day observance. The commemoration of this historic event influences every aspect of our lives. The full human rights of women must be secured against the forces of sexism, patriarchy, misogyny, and the like. It is regrettable the struggle continues. Nonetheless, as in the past, women and their allies, will continue to rise in the cause of what is right and just in the pursuit of human dignity, freedom, and life.
Think for a moment of the courageous women of the past who secured the right to vote, worked in the elimination of slavery, and claimed their rightful place in every aspect of society. The effort continues and the World will be a better place through the courage and creativity of so many women.
The commemoration invites us to stand in solidarity with the women of Afghanistan who rights are threatened by religious fanatics, the mothers of color in America who have lost their children to police violence, and so many others who everyday struggle to help their families survive. As we honor these women, we commit ourselves to join in their work in any way we can.
The words and wisdom of Michelle Obama challenge us in this moment of our history, “You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world’s problems at once but don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.”
We remember the great women in our own families and neighborhoods who touched our hearts with their wisdom and changed our lives with their example. We work for the day when women, simply because they are who they are as persons, will fully participate in every aspect of human life without fear of ridicule, threat, violence, or insult. Every religion, institution, or social occasion must examine its philosophies, creeds, and beliefs to ensure the rights of humans to live and work in peace.
We recall the words of Emma Goldman, “True Emancipation begins neither at the polls nor in courts. It begins in woman’s soul.” Every step any woman takes in claiming her dignity is a step for everyone in need of discovering their dignity.
Blessings to you, Holy Community, for hearing the wisdom of the women in your life. Thank you for challenging the prejudices and stereotypes of women we still struggle to overcome.