MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The following statement on the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is by Nancy Abudu, deputy legal director for the Southern Poverty Law Center:
“The Nineteenth Amendment’s ratification represents a culmination of women’s struggle for equality. They bravely used tactics ranging from hunger strikes, public protests, and silent vigils to advancing suffrage bills in state houses across the country and legal challenges to discriminatory policies.
“For the first time in our nation’s history, we had a law that recognized the paramount importance of including, not excluding, women from our democracy. The Nineteenth Amendment created an opportunity for women to have their voices heard and to influence the policies that have a unique impact on them as women.
“Unfortunately, the work of protecting voting rights for women is not done. Women of color in particular bear the brunt of antiquated and overly restrictive voting laws like photo ID requirements, limits to early voting, and even more concerning, felony disenfranchisement laws.
“As we commemorate the centennial anniversary of the suffrage movement’s ultimate victory – the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution – the Southern Poverty Law Center remains committed to ensuring that all women have equal access to the ballot box.”