Women’s vote will be essential in campaign
Published: Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, August 22, 2012 15:08
Aug. 26, 2012 marks the 92nd anniversary of women obtaining the right to vote through the 19th Amendment, which declares that “the right of 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.”
Women have had the right to vote for almost an entire century. There’s a lot to look back on and many things that we need to move forward on. Voting is only the first step in moving toward the equality for women that we envision.
According to the 2010 U.S. Census, 46.2 percent of female citizens ages 18 and older reported voting in the 2010 congressional election, compared with 44.8 percent of male citizens over 18. In that same year, it was also reported that 66.6 percent of female citizens were registered to vote. That’s a great start, but we need to make sure that even more women vote in this upcoming election.
In this year’s election, women cannot take their right to vote for granted. Today, a woman’s vote is more important than ever. It’s what is separating us from fair pay, access to affordable care and the right to make our own decisions about our bodies.
A woman’s vote will get us closer to the equality that we deserve. Even today, women still are paid less than men in the workplace — 77 cents to the dollar to be exact. Additionally, many state constitutional amendments, such as the proposed Sixth Amendment in Florida, are making it harder for women to make choices about their own bodies, while making it easier for politicians to make the decisions for them.
Not only is it important that women get out and vote, but it’s even more important for women to run for office. While women make up about 51 percent of the U.S. population, only 16.8 percent of our representatives are women. This is something that we need to change. When women are elected into office, we gain representatives that respect our choices as women.
In order to celebrate 92 years of women’s suffrage, the College Democrats at UCF, along with the UCF chapter of the National Organization for Women and Voices for Planned Parenthood at UCF, are holding their third annual Women’s Suffrage March on Aug. 27 from noon until 2 p.m. The event will feature powerful women speakers, such as Florida Watch Action Executive Director Susannah Randolph and League of Women Voters of Orange County President Ann Hellmuth. The event will also feature a “Votes for Women” march across the UCF campus.
When women vote, we all win. If you’re a woman, make sure that you are registered to vote, and more importantly, that you get out to vote in November. Your vote will help determine this election.