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“The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex. Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”––The 19th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

The 2016 presidential election campaign will be historic, regardless of the outcome. The 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote, may well determine who moves into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue next January. This is why the women gathered Sept. 8 at the Rivers Club for the 8th Annual Breakfast celebrating the Passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

The implications of the fall election gave provided additional excitement to this year’s event and underscored the continuing disparity in light of the progress made in the 96 years since women were recognized as voters. While there is equity at the ballot box, the earnings gap highlights the need for equal rights for women.

The event, presented by Celebrate and Share (which highlights the achievement of women while raising funds for organizations that support the needs of women and children), also honored area women who have championed the fight for women’s equal rights.

Keynote speaker Allegheny County Controller Chelsea Wagner provided the background that led to the passage of the 19th Amendment granting to women of the Constitutional right to vote occurred 144 years after the Declaration of Independence. Women got the right to vote was granted 50 years after the Constitution was amended to grant all male citizens of any race the right to vote.  Since then, said Wagner, 46 women have served in the United States Senate and 37 have served as governors.

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