Why Is White The Color Of Suffrage?

Women’s rights have come a long way since the birth of our nation. But the right to vote wasn’t just an American struggle. The British suffragists shared it. The color “white” became a visual symbol of this struggle at a time when women were desperate for men to understand. This came to be in the 20th century when women in the United States formed the militant organization called the National Woman’s Party. They adopted the colors white, purple and green. And that message came across loud and clear — even though it wasn’t always received well.

Historian Susan Ware wrote to the Washington Post in 2019 in an effort to memorialize the plight of women not too long ago: “For too long, the history of how women won the right to vote [has been] top-heavy and dominated by a few iconic leaders, all white and native-born.”

She added, “Thousands of unheralded women representing a vibrant mix of regions, races and generations came together in one of the most significant moments of political mobilization in all of American history.”

Women marched through the streets in the District of Columbia more than a century ago, wearing white dresses. 

They’ve earned the right to vote in both countries, but they still make less money than men. They still occupy fewer positions of power and authority. There are signs that a shift is taking place — but is it happening fast enough? Influential women dominate the activist’s sphere, especially when it comes to climate change. Do you know these women?

The Prime Minister of New Zealand is Jacinda Ardern. When she won reelection, she almost immediately declared a climate emergency to jumpstart the country into becoming carbon neutral by the year 2025 — which is an ambitious goal.

She said, “This declaration is an acknowledgment of the next generation. An acknowledgment of the burden they will carry if we do not get this right and do not take action now.”

African American Director of Consumer Health Boma Brown-West has waged a long war on carcinogens and potentially dangerous chemicals that we see everyday in the products we use and consume. In addition, she’s driven internet behemoths like Amazon and Walmart to provide information about ingredients in their products. 

Boma explained, “We want to call attention to how the biggest environmental impacts and the biggest health impact of products is really due to the products themselves and the creation and the use of a product.”

Our new Secretary for the Department of the Interior Debra Haaland has a long history of fighting climate change. 

National spokesperson for the Sunrise Movement Lily Gardner said, “[Debra Haaland] was one of the first co-sponsors of the Green New Deal and really broadly has a bold agenda for climate justice. This is a huge and historic moment.” 

Haaland will now have the opportunity to oversee the management of our federally-owned lands.

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