Women’s Equality Day was celebrated on August 26. This is a day to honor the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment, which gave women the right to vote in the U.S. It’s a good opportunity to highlight issues of equality for women in the LGBTQ community around the globe.
While women’s rights have come a long way, LGBTQ women face additional challenges. One of those challenges is visibility. In many societies, including in the U.S., women are often restricted from expressing themselves in the same capacity as men. Violence against women in general is a major issue; violence against trans women and non-binary people is especially rampant, as are the number of fatalities that occur from this violence.
Women face discrimination and inequality in housing, credit, pay, and medical care. For instance, women make, on average, twenty-two cents less per dollar than do men, and four in ten women report discrimination on the job because of their gender. Discrimination in housing can be overt, such as ads describing rental properties as “perfect for a single woman,” or more subtle, and has gotten worse as legal protections have been eroded by politicians. Homophobia and transphobia increases discrimination against women and non-binary people in the LGBTQ community.
So how do we reduce discrimination and inequality? One way is by supporting organizations that work to reduce such discrimination, such as the ACLU, HRC, Southern Poverty Law Center, UN Women, AWID, Womankind Worldwide, Men Engage, and many others.
Supporting politicians, civil servants, academics, and activists who work toward gender equality and LGBTQ rights is another way to make improvements. Attending marchesand protests will add your voice to others who are working to reduce discrimination.
Pushing your representatives in Congress to support the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) and Equality Act is another way to make a change. Sending letters and making calls to your representatives can be effective, as can using services such as Resistbot, which lets you use text to send those letters.
Much progress has been made toward equality for women. Together, we can continue to move forward.
Resources: Gender Equality Top 100: https://apolitical.co/lists/gender-equality-100/
Marking National Women’s Equality Day: https://www.hrc.org/news/marking-national-womens-equality-day
Fatal Violence Against the Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Community in 2021: https://www.hrc.org/resources/fatal-violence-against-the-transgender-and-gender-non-conforming-community-in-2021
Violence Against Trans and Non-Binary People: https://vawnet.org/sc/serving-trans-and-non-binary-survivors-domestic-and-sexual-violence/violence-against-trans-and
Why equal housing for women will continue to be a ‘tough road’: https://www.nbcnews.com/know-your-value/feature/why-equal-housing-women-will-continue-be-tough-road-ncna1038266
Combating discrimination against women: https://www.ohchr.org/en/issues/discrimination/pages/discrimination_women.aspx
ACLU Women’s Rights: https://www.aclu.org/issues/womens-rights
Gender discrimination comes in many forms for today’s working women: https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/12/14/gender-discrimination-comes-in-many-forms-for-todays-working-women/
Combatting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity: https://www.ohchr.org/en/issues/discrimination/pages/lgbt.aspx
25 Organizations Fighting for Gender Equality: https://www.humanrightscareers.com/magazine/organizations-gender-equality/