Mayor Steve Benjamin supporting the new She Did proclamation with Columbia's remarkable supporters
We are so thankful to have had over 100 Columbia citizens gathered alongside us and WREN at the corner of Gervais and Main streets to witness a city-wide proclamation by Mayor Steve Benjamin and the Columbia City Council, announcing August 26 as She Did Day.
Traditionally celebrated as National Women's Equality Day—to acknowledge the 1920 certification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which granted women the right to vote, locally August 26 is now also aligned with the Columbia City of Women. Launched in March 2019, this initiative seeks to bring visibility to the achievements of women who have helped shape this city and beyond. The effort began with the unveiling of a map that honors the legacy of 12 trailblazing women and plans to increase awareness and action in the year ahead.
“Today, in 2019 – 99 years after the 19th Amendment became the law of the land – Women’s Equality is still an ideal we are striving for,” said Columbia City of Women steering committee member and chief executive officer of the Women’s Rights and Empowerment Network (WREN), Ann Warner. “We have not yet attained equality in pay, equality before the law, equality of protection from violence and discrimination, equality of bodily autonomy. Race, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, socioeconomic status – still confer rights and privileges to some women, more than to others. 99 years after the 19th amendment was certified, it is clear there’s still a lot of work to do to ensure that equality is a reality.”
The Columbia City of Women steering committee vowed to use this project to bring more visibility to those gaps noted by Warner, and to increase the representation of women across the city in a variety of ways. Columbia City of Women Founder and former First Lady of South Carolina, Rachel Hodges announced, “We are working with One Columbia to commission a public art piece that will stand in a prominent location to remind our citizens and visitors that this city honors and values the contributions made over time by women.”
When asked about her hopes for the future, Toal added “It has been a long journey, and now one of the encouraging things I see on the horizon is that so many women are taking up the cudgel once more and trying to inform all of us, and particularly women, how important it is to vote.”
To learn more about this year's honorees, and to support Columbia City of Women, visit https://www.columbiacityofwomen.com
She Did. You Can. Let’s work together to spur imaginations, instill confidence, and empower possibilities.