Bella Abzug and Mayor Koch issuing a proclamation for Women's Equality Day on August 20, 1980. From the Edward I. Koch collection.
Swearing-in of Probationary Policewomen at Court of Peace, World's Fair
The Department of Records Celebrates Women’s Equality Day:
In 1971, at the behest of Bella Abzug, Congress declared August 26 as “Women’s Equality Day.” The day commemorates the enactment of the 19th amendment which gave women the right to vote. But even more, in 1971 the day honored the efforts of contemporary women activists who re-launched the fight for equality throughout society.
In 2014, we continue to advocate gender equality. For example, women earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by men, on average. Women are often the primary caregivers in 70% of households. This struggle informs the work of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration. The administration’s programs such as comprehensive paid sick leave and universal pre-Kindergarten are major advances that will positively impact working women and families. We celebrate these programs and continue to advance the fight for equity.
Between Women’s Equality Day in 2014 and 2020, the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, DORIS will coordinate a multi-year series of events celebrating the empowerment of women in New York City. Learn more and see more photographs here.