Women's Equality Day Celebration
Set for August 20 at Dallas City Hall
Women's Equality Day has been celebrated annually for over 20 years with a program by a local Dallas women's organization, Women's Issues Network (WIN). The group will celebrate the 94th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment allowing women the right to vote with an event at Dallas City Hall.
The program will be held on August 20 from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. in the Flag Room on the 6th floor of City Hall located at 1500 Marilla Drive. Over 100 women will descend upon City Hall wearing white to represent the suffragists who lobbied for women to vote. The Mayor will be a featured speaker and City Council Members will be in attendance. The event is free and open to the public.
Although women's voting rights are taken for granted today, they were earned through a long brutal campaign by women that began in the 1700's and culminated nearly 150 years later when the 19th Amendment was passed on August 26, 1920.
Until that time, women were not allowed the right to own property, to have legal claim to the money they earned, nor the right to vote. Clothes, jewelry, and land were owned by their husbands or fathers. Bibles were one of their few possessions that they could hand down to their children.
Formed in 1980, WIN has continuously worked for women’s rights and equality.
Dr. Theresa Daniel, a Dallas County Commissioner and WIN board member, recalls the discrimination she experienced in the 1970’s when she applied for her first job in Indiana. Although she was equally qualified, the job went to a male.
“It made me more determined to excel in all that I did and it also changed my career direction,” said Dr. Daniel. “I took another job which led me on a career path I had not chosen, but chosen by destiny.”
She attended St. Mary’s College at Notre Dame, Indiana, majoring in modern languages, Spanish and Italian. After graduation in 1975, she worked as a VISTA volunteer in Starr County, one of the poorest counties in Texas on the border with Mexico. Being a woman in south Texas was very hard at that time. Politics were a major focus between the city, the county, and the growers. With challenging conditions, she worked to set up legal services for the elderly.
“The hardships endured there gave me the passion to give back to the community as well as an interest in politics. The experience shaped my future in ways unknown to me at the time,” she said.
Dr. Daniel worked on many political campaigns through the years and pursued her education. She earned three masters degrees before receiving her Ph.D. in public policy and public administration. She was elected as Dallas County Commissioner District 1 in 2012 and her background has given her the experience to support her culturally diverse district.
Dr. Daniel has been a WIN board member since 1999 and served as a past President. She continues to advocate for women’s issues and equality for all cultures.
Co-sponsors of the event include League of Women Voters, National Council of Jewish Women-Greater Dallas Section, YWCA Dallas, Hispanic Women's Network of Texas-Dallas, S. E. Dallas Business & Professional Women’s Club, NAACP Dallas Branch, and Dallas Women’s Foundation.