CELEBRATING 94 YEARS OF AMERICAN WOMEN'S SUFFRAGE (but what does this mean?)

 

Monday celebrated the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which granted the right to American women to vote, but what does this mean in the 21st century? As polls indicate, voter turnout in our country is abysmal. It's less than 50 percent in any given election and barely that, if at all, during our presidential elections. We are a representative democracy, which means elections put in place the people who decide policy that affects us most. They decide local, state and federal budgets, taxes, education, health care, environmental issues, minimum wage, rules and regulations that garner our safety or lack there of, and we are seemingly apathetic to those who lead us. This is a disservice to the women who fought so hard to get us the right to exercise our right to vote almost a century ago.

For the last two decades women have voted more than men in presidential elections, but do not come out in primaries or generals. When they vote, they make a huge difference in the outcome, and at over 50 percent of the population, technically women could decide every election if they wanted to. Women are even registering to vote more than young men, but where are they? They are not running for office and in most elections they are not showing up to vote, but I have hope that this will change.

It's important this week to remember those who came before us and that we didn't always have the right to vote, in fact, many women and men fought hard to make America what it is today. Women and equality have come a long way, but there is still work to be done. The worst thing we could do is to sit back and watch person after person be elected with less than 50 percent of the vote. Our elected representatives must be held accountable and we must vote as a fundamental right to our democracy. We have fought wars to bring the right to vote to others around the world. People are dying in order to exercise the same right to have the freedom to vote, so we must not take for granted what we have been given, as there is always a possibility that it could be taken away.
 

Kiley Parker

Raising Ms. President HQ, 716 E Market St, Louisville, KY, 40202, United States

Kiley Lane Parker is a documentary and film director, producer, writer and editor. A journalism and political science graduate from the University of Colorado at Boulder, she began her career as a writer and production coordinator for Warren Miller Entertainment. After moving to Telluride, Colorado she became the production manager and senior producer, editor and on camera host for Plum TV. Now rooted in her home state of Kentucky, she has produced and directed several documentaries for Kentucky Educational Television and the web TV station, kyGREEN.tv, which she co-founded with her husband in 2010.