WIN President Susybelle Gosslee, Win co-founder Virginia Whitehill, Mayor Mike Rawlings, and Ann Moy

Last week 100 or so women dressed in all-white converged at Dallas City Hall.

They were there to honor the 91st anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment, which gave women the right to vote.

Known as Women’s Equality Day, August 24 has been celebrated annually for more than 20 years with a program at City Hall by Women’s Issues Network (WIN), a local Dallas women’s organization, according to a spokesperson.

“The white apparel represented the suffragists who lobbied for women to vote.”

From WIN’s news release:

Mayor Mike Rawlings read a proclamation and declared it Women’s Equality Day. 12 City Council members were in attendance along with many representatives from civic and social organizations including the League of Women Voters, National Council of Jewish Women, Women’s Council of Dallas County, Dallas Women’s Museum, Peacemakers, Inc., and Delta Sigma Theta.

Susybelle Gosslee, President of WIN and a Lake Highlands resident, provided a brief history of the suffragists movement and the long 72-year struggle it took for women to be able to vote. She noted that there are still many ways in which women are not treated equally. “We have ascended to leadership positions across all walks of American life, but women still only make 81 cents on the dollar compared to men,” she said.

The featured speaker was Katie Sherrod, a journalist who was among the first women to move into significant management positions on a Texas newspaper when she was named the metropolitan editor of the Fort Worth Star Telegram.

Sherrod provided a powerful story of the equality struggles women still face. “Birth control pills were introduced 50 years ago and only now will be covered by medical insurance in 2012. Viagra was covered by insurance shortly after being introduced to the public in 1998,” she said. “Women are still not being treated equally.”

In related news, the Women’s Museum, 3800 Parry Ave. at Fair Park will have a women’s equality exhibit on display through September 2.

• Below is a fascinating article from the early 1900s about women fighting for the right to vote. Zoom in to read.
Dallas Morning News article, 1912

Article copyright 2004, The Dallas Morning News