Thursday, August 30, 2012
San Diego women’s groups are rejoicing today with a parade celebrating the anniversary of a landmark Constitutional amendment. Dressed in period costumes, chanting and beating drums, they're commemorating the victory allowing women the right to vote.
In August 1920, American women were granted the right to vote in the United States and local women’s groups say the occasion is fitting for a parade this afternoon.
Anne Hoiberg, president of the board of directors of the Women’s Museum of California, said rural voters in San Diego County gave the extra push for women’s suffrage to pass in the state, just nine years before women got the vote nationally in 1920.
“Women were indeed equal in the rural areas, they of course were probably working on ranches and doing all the work that most men were also doing so I think there was a sense of equality and many men probably felt, ‘Well, they’re working as hard as I am, they should vote,’” Hoiberg said.
She said the leader of the local women’s suffrage movement was Dr. Charlotte Baker who would drive to outlying communities to ensure people voted throughout San Diego County.
The Suffrage Parade begins at 5:40 this afternoon at 6th and Laurel and proceeds to Balboa Park’s Organ Pavilion.
Hoiberg said although passing women’s suffrage wasn’t a landslide in San Diego, at least it was a victory for women. She said that nearly a century later many women are running for elected office so that the public can “create a society that represents all of us.”
“How can I encourage women to consider serving in elected office?” she said. “That’s been a challenge for me, it’s just very difficult to find a way to recruit women.”
She said she’s considered encouraging women from law schools or retiring teachers to run for office.
“Why can’t we create an enthusiasm for women to serve in elected office? Is it too brutal for women to want to compete? How can we encourage young women to look to government work and say, ‘I really want to be a part of the House of Representatives or the U.S. Senate.’”