Representative Lisa Subeck: 95 Years After Women Gain the Right to Vote, Challenges to Achieving Full Equality Remain

August 26, 2015

MADISON – Today, Representative Lisa Subeck (D-Madison) joins women throughout the nation in celebrating the 95th anniversary of women gaining the right to vote on Women’s Equality Day. Adoption of the 19th Amendment was a significant milestone for women’s rights, but 95 years later, women have yet to achieve full equality.

In workplaces all across the country, women still earn just 78 cents on the dollar compared to men. African American and Latina women earn even less. Gender inequality is also present in state Capitol buildings throughout the United States and in our nation’s Capitol. Women remain grossly underrepresented in elected bodies locally, as well as on the state and federal levels. Only 35 women have served as state governors, and 24 states, including Wisconsin, have never elected a woman governor. In Wisconsin, just over half of all residents are women, yet only 25% of state legislative offices (22% in the State Assembly and 33% in the Senate) are held by women. Nationally, 24% of all state legislative offices are held by women.


“It’s ridiculous that in 2015 we still have to make our case as to why men and women doing the same work should be paid the same wage,” Representative Lisa Subeck said. “If more elected offices were held by women, I suspect we would start to see a change in the inequitable policies that leave women lagging behind economically. Our elected bodies should look more like the people we represent, making it clear that we need more women in elected office at the local, state and federal levels.”

During the last four years of Republican control, Wisconsin has seen its equal pay law repealed, funding cuts and restrictions making it harder for women to access the full range of women’s healthcare, and a voter ID law that will disproportionately affect women. Those attacks continued into the current legislative session with passage of a 20 week abortion ban and bills aimed at defunding Planned Parenthood and other trusted providers of women’s health care.

 “Throughout the last four years, Republicans have consistently thrown Wisconsin women and families under the bus as they have rammed through their extreme right-wing agenda. As a result, we have taken several giant steps backward when it comes to equal access to health care, pay equity, and even the right to vote on Election Day,” said Rep. Subeck. “Though Women’s Equality Day marks a critical milestone to celebrate, it is important to remember that women still face significant challenges in gaining full equality. We have come a long way since the days of the Suffragettes fighting for our right to vote, yet we have much work to do.”