DES MOINES, Iowa — This year marks the centennial of the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote. To celebrate, Drake’s law school is hosting an exhibit titled, ‘A 100 Years After The 19th Amendment: Their Legacy Our Future’. This is an award winning traveling exhibit put on by the American Bar Association with the Library of Congress.
The exhibit has six banners that concisely details the uphill battle women faced when fighting for the right to vote.The timeline starts in 1848 with Seneca Falls, the first women’s rights convention, explores how the women’s right movement handled intersectionality and the plight for women of color. The timeline leads all the way up to the first Women’s March in 2017.
John Edwards, a dean in Drake’s law school, has been a professor at Drake for over 30 years. Edwards said during his time in Iowa, he’s seen drastic changes pertaining to women’s rights. However the journey for equal rights isn’t done.
“Women earn 77 cents on the dollar that a man earns. Iowa ranks 40 out of 50 states in pay equity for women,” Edwards said. So again, it was a hard one fight for the 19th Amendment but there’s still more to be done.”
The exhibit gives a clear timeline on how the fight for a woman’s right to vote affected other parts of history such as the Civil Rights Movement and even the #MeToo movement today.
Edwards said this exhibit is also very timely. Last week the 38th state(which was Virginia) just ratified the Equal Rights Amendment that was introduced by activist Alice Paul in 1923.
According to equalrightsamendment.org, this amendment provides a fundamental legal remedy against sex discrimination for both women and men.
Edwards said Drake hopes Iowans come to the exhibit not only to learn more about their history, but understand how it impacts their future as well.
“There are so many legal aspects that’s very important for our students and for citizens to understand that there’s still a lot more to be done for rights,” Edwards said.
The exhibit will be at Drake from today until the January 31st. Drake will also be hosting a reception to celebrate the centennial of the 19th Amendment on Thursday. The event is free to the public.