It took more than 70 years of blood, work, and persistence, but the movement prevailed and on August 18, 1920, women were given the right to both vote and run for office. In 1971, Congress proclaimed August 26 "Women's Equality Day," to recognize the women's suffrage movement.
Christians should be proud of this day as a day when the dignity of women that Paul recognized in Galatians 3:28 was recognized in the United States. (Galatians 3:28 reads, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.") Further, the women's suffrage movement has its roots in the Second Great Awakening (1800-1840). Christians were instrumental in the adoption and passage of 19th amendment. The spirit moved and the oppressed were liberated, just as the Bible promises.
Today, in both parties and from a wide range of the political spectrum, women are involved and active. Whatever you may think of Sarah Palin, Hilary Clinton, Kay Hutchison Bailey, or Nancy Pelosi, there can be no doubt that women have taken their rightful place as members of the political world. Moreover, the women's suffrage movement made the ideals of the U.S. revolution of self-determination, self-government, and self-reliance to build for the common good available for all people.
Indeed, there is still work to do. Women can be scientists, senators, and soldiers, but they are still paid less for the same work as men. Women still continue to face prejudice in the workplace, in their communities, and in the church. Therefore, we must continue to find ways to live into Galatians 3.28. Let us join in praising the wisdom of our ancestors who recognized in the political world what Paul recognized in the spiritual world. We must declare: all are one in Christ. Let us recognize today, August 26, that all humans are created equal and endowed by their creator with abilities and talents.
Ernesto Tinajero is a freelance writer in Spokane, Washington, who earned his master's degree in theology from Fuller Seminary. Visit his blog at beingandfaith.blogspot.com.