Women's Equality Day

Today is Women's Equality Day. Designated by Congress in 1971, Women's Equality Day is the result of the passionate advocacy of the one-and-only Bella Abzug and is meant to commemorate the 1920 passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which granted women the right to vote.

In celebration of Women's Equality Day, the Kentucky Commission on Women is hosting screenings of the landmark PBS documentary Makers: Women Who Make America. Originally broadcast in February, the three-part three hour documentary profiles the fight for women's rights in the last half of the 20th Century and the women who played essential roles in that fight.

I was completely and totally inspired by the film and the conversations I've seen taking place since its original broadcast. For so long the women's movement was defined by those who opposed it. Feminists were "bra burners" and "femi-nazis" who thought women were superior to men. Hearing the stories of those of the front lines of the real feminist battles - battles for domestic violence shelters and equal pay and the right to play a game you love is not only refreshing but motivating in a way I find difficult to describe.

What I found particularly powerful was the way the total story of the women's movement is portrayed. The filmmakers do not shy away from those who opposed equal rights for women and - even more importantly - the new generation of women who have grown up with equal rights and now must face what this all really means on a personal and professional level.

However, Makers is really so much more than a single documentary. The film itself is composed of interviews with many of the most important women in the world: Hillary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Gloria Steinem, Marissa Mayer. The interviews with these "high profile game changers" are available online in what PBS calls a "digital and broadcast initiative." Hour after hour of women sharing their stories to inspire a new generation of women is powerful and empowering in a way a thousand Miley Cyruses and Robin Thickes can't undo.

So, celebrate Women's Equality Day! Go to a screening in your area:

August 26, 2013
Host: Morehead State University Student Activities
Location: 150 University Blvd., Morehead, KY 40351
Time: TBA (Tentatively scheduled for 7:00 p.m. in conjunction with another event)
Contact: Shante Hearst 606-783-2668 or Laken Gilbert 606-748-4864

Host: League of Women Voters of Louisville
Location: 115 S. Ewing, Louisville, KY 40206
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Contact: Pat Murrell 502-895-5218

Host: Midway College Student Affairs
Location: 512 E. Stephens Street, Anne Hart Raymond Building, Room 120/121, Midway, KY 40347
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Contact: Jessica Combess 859-846-5390

Host: Lexington Public Library
Location: 140 East Main Street (Central Library Farish Theater), Lexington, KY 40507
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Contact: AnnaMarie Cornett 859-231-5501

Host: Gateway Community & Technical College
Location: 525 Scott Blvd, (Gateway Urban/Metro Campus), Room 301, Covington, KY 41011
Time: 2:00 p.m.
Contact: Kathy Driggers 859-442-416

Host: KCW Commissioners Karkie Tackett, Joan Gregory, & Mary Ellen Elsbernd
Location: Campbell County Library, 1000 Highland Avenue, Ft. Thomas, KY 41075
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Contact: Joan Gregory 859-802-8785 or Karkie Tackett 859-781-1844

Host: University of Kentucky UK Women's Equality Day Flyer.pdf
Location: Main Building, Visitors Center
Time: 2:00 p.m.
Contact: Randolph Hollingsworth 859-257-3027

Host: KCTCS, WIN Committee and Women's and Gender Studies
Location: Downtown Campus Library (First Floor Activities Area), Louisville
Time: 2:00 p.m.
Contact: Jill Adams 502-213-2364

August 27
Host: Coalition of Labor Union Women MLWPC FLYER.doc
Location: UAW Local 862, 3000 Fern Valley Road, Louisville, KY 40213
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Contact: Virginia Woodward 502-541-5526 or Vera Newton 502-364-3973

Panel of Scholars: Discussing the Status of Women Today—Local, State, National and Global Women's Equality Day 2013 - Tuesday.pdf
Host: University of Kentucky
Location: Marksbury Building Auditorium
Time: Noon – 2 p.m.
Contact: RSVP 859-257-9293

Host: Women of Daviess County
Location: Ford Center, Owensboro Area Museum, 3870 W 2nd (60W), Owensboro, KY 42301
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Contact: Rachel Foster 270-314-1226

If there isn't one available near you, watch the documentary online and be inspired to become a maker yourself!

~ Sarah Stewart Holland