In celebration of Women’s Equality Day, Ellen Goodman announced the "Equal Rites Awards" in her national column – a satirical spoof meant to honor those who have "set back the cause of women." Among Goodman’s honorees are President Bush for the "Mixed Message Award"—Goodman describes Bush as "the world leader who bragged about liberating women of the world [who] now hedges, hems and haws about supporting the United Nations treaty for women’s equality (CEDAW)." Others include the "Blind Justice Award" to the Pakistani tribal council that sentenced a young woman to gang rape, the "International Ayatollah Award" to the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice in Saudi Arabia—who wouldn’t let 15 girls out of a burning school because their hair wasn’t covered, and the "Our Make War, Not Love" prize for the 200 US soldiers who used their government credit cards at strip clubs to pay for lap dances.
In 1971, Representative Bella Abzug (D-NY) introduced the bill that established August 26 as "Women's Equality Day." The day is designed to commemorate the day in 1920 when the 19th amendment was ratified and afforded women the right to vote. While women have come a long way in the 82 years since suffrage won, there is still a long way to go to equality – women still earn 73 cents to the dollar and have no paid family leave, women make up more than 50 percent of the US population but there are only 13 women Senators in Congress and the Equal Rights Amendment has yet to be ratified as part of our Constitution – to name a few of the battles for women in this country alone.