This Day 100 Years Ago – Women’s Right To Vote

Go Lean Commentary

Why does it take so long …

    … for people to reform and transform Civil Rights?


Basic Fact in life: Nobody gives up power unless they are forced to!

Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” – Frederick Douglass

On this day exactly 100 Years Ago, American Women were finally able to obtain the power they were demanding; with the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the US Constitution; they finally succeeded …

The Nineteenth Amendment (Amendment XIX) to the United States Constitution prohibits the states and the federal government from denying the right to vote to citizens of the United States on the basis of sex. Initially introduced to Congress in 1878, several attempts to pass a women’s suffrage amendment failed until passing the House of Representatives on May 21, 1919, followed by the Senate on June 4, 1919. It was then submitted to the states for ratification. On August 18, 1920, Tennessee was the last of the necessary 36 ratifying states to secure adoption. The Nineteenth Amendment’s adoption was certified on August 26, 1920: the culmination of a decades-long movement for women’s suffrage at both state and national levels. – Source: Wikipedia.

So after the journey for women’s voting rights started in 1848, their destination was finally reached 70 years later. In a previous blog-commentary from the movement behind the 2013 book Go Lean…Caribbean, the historicity of Women in Politics was detailed and we see exactly how long gender empowerment took to manifest here in the Caribbean region:

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While the US granted women citizens their Right to Vote in 1920, the rest of the region took up to 41 years later for these same basic rights to be accorded. It is evident that despite the fact that women in one jurisdiction won the right to vote, that same right was denied right “next door”. This is sad! We have always needed all women’s participation in the democratic process; we have needed their vote and their voice; and even their leadership. This was further explained in that previous blog from November 14, 2015:

The Caribbean member-states, despite their differences, (4 languages, 5 colonial legacies, terrain: mountains -vs- limestone islands), have a lot in common. Some similarities include:

  • Lack of equality for women compared to men.
  • The government is the largest employer.

So the reality of Caribbean life is that while the governmental administrations are not fully representative of the populations, they are responsible for all societal engines: economy, security and governance.

This is bad and this is good! Bad, because all the “eggs are in the same basket”. Good, because there is only one entity to reform, reboot and re-focus.

So how do we seriously consider reforming government in the Caribbean?

  • Start anew.
  • Start with politics and policy-makers.
  • Start with the people who submit for politics, to be policy-makers.
  • Start with people who participate in the process.

Considering the status-quo of the region – in crisis – there is this need to start again. But this time we need more women.

There is so much for us to learn from the historicity of August 18, 1920. Though women fought and bled to gain these rights, they still needed the approval of men to secure these rights for them. See how this was dramatized in this AUDIO-Podcast here:

AUDIO-PODCast – Suffrage isn’t Simple – Today: August 18, 1920 – In the third row of the legislative chamber in Nashville, Tennessee, 24 year-old Harry Burn sits with a red rose pinned to his lapel. He’s there to vote on the 19th Amendment, which will determine if women nationwide will be able to vote. Burn’s shocking, unexpected vote, “yes,” will turn the tides of history, even though women had already been voting for decades before 1920, and many women still won’t be able to vote for decades to come. So, what did the 19th Amendment actually do for women in America? And what, on this 100th anniversary, does it show us about our own right to vote today?

What a fine story – what a takeaway! But wow; that woman needed her young (24-year-old) son to validate her citizenship value and vote to allow her to have the same rights that was automatically assured for him. Too sad! This is not right!

Martin Luther King is quoted to have said that the “arc of history is long and it bends towards justice”. Therefore, it is imminent that all oppressed people will eventually rise up and demand their rights to equality. This lesson was related in a previous Go Lean commentary:

So “change is gonna come“; it would be wiser for opponents to just concede that fact. This is a lesson for the Caribbean to learn from military strategies: if combatants know that the end result of a fight would be imminent defeat, they should not fight; rather they should just concede and negotiate favorable terms of surrender.

Let’s consider gender equality … there have actually been real ‘Battles of the Sexes’, where the end results have benefited women – to the victor goes the spoils.

… we need those empowerments in the Caribbean too; we need our local opposition to concede – without a battle – that they cannot win in abusing others.

The subject of fostering gender equality is not new to this Go Lean movement. See this sample list of previous blog-commentaries that have elaborated on this subject of women, their vote and their voice: Learn about the ‘Most Powerful Woman in the World’ Women Empowerment – Accepting Black Women ‘As Is’ Women Empowerment – Power of ‘Her’ Wallet Women Empowerment – We need “Sheroes” in Facts and Fiction Gender Equity without a ‘Battle of the Sexes’ Life imitating Art – Lean-in for ‘Wonder Woman Day’ Women Get Ready for New Lean-In Campaign Bahamas Referendum Outcome: Impact on the ‘Brain Drain’ Women in Politics – Yes, They Can! Role Model – #FatGirlsCan – Empowering Women ‘Good Hair’ and the Strong Black Woman

The Go Lean movement have always advocated for the full participation of girls and women in Caribbean society. We look forward to that participation in our economic, security and governing engines. Yes, women in business; yes, women in the military and police forces; and yes, women in government.

Yes, we can …

100 years and still only mild progress. We must do better – transformations do not readily manifest for us; our orthodoxy is stubborn:

i.e. The Bahamas did not grant the same right to vote until 1961.

We must reboot from this bad orthodoxy.

The world is not going backwards, forward only. We know where we need to be and what we need to do. So let’s just do it! This is how “Advanced Democracies” or “Matured Societies” work – always reforming; always transforming; trying and striving to be better and do better.

Doing better?! We know exactly how! This is the purpose of the Go Lean book and roadmap; it provides guidance and action plans on “how” to adopt new community ethos, plus the strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to execute so as to help women to impact our homeland. This is the why, the what and the how for making the Caribbean region a better place to live, work and play.

We urge everyone to lean-in to this roadmap. 🙂


About the Book
The book Go Lean…Caribbean serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU), for the elevation of Caribbean society – for all member-states. This CU/Go Lean roadmap has these 3 prime directives:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion and create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to ensure public safety and protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines, including a separation-of-powers between the member-states and CU federal agencies.

The Go Lean book provides 370-pages of turn-by-turn instructions on “how” to adopt new community ethos, plus the strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to execute so as to reboot, reform and transform the societal engines of Caribbean society.

Download the free e-Book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

Who We Are
The movement behind the Go Lean book – a non-partisan, apolitical, religiously-neutral Community Development Foundation chartered for the purpose of empowering and re-booting economic engines – stresses that reforming and transforming the Caribbean societal engines must be a regional pursuit. This was an early motivation for the roadmap, as pronounced in the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Pages 12 – 13):

xi. Whereas all men are entitled to the benefits of good governance in a free society, “new guards” must be enacted to dissuade the emergence of incompetence, corruption, nepotism and cronyism at the peril of the people’s best interest. The Federation must guarantee the executions of a social contract between government and the governed.

xii. Whereas the legacy in recent times in individual states may be that of ineffectual governance with no redress to higher authority, the accedence of this Federation will ensure accountability and escalation of the human and civil rights of the people for good governance, justice assurances, due process and the rule of law. As such, any threats of a “failed state” status for any member state must enact emergency measures on behalf of the Federation to protect the human, civil and property rights of the citizens, residents, allies, trading partners, and visitors of the affected member state and the Federation as a whole.

xiv.  Whereas a free market economy can be induced and spurred for continuous progress, the Federation must install the controls to better manage aspects of the economy: jobs, inflation, savings rate, investments and other economic principles. Thereby attracting direct foreign investment because of the stability and vibrancy of our economy.

xxi.  Whereas the preparation of our labor force can foster opportunities and dictate economic progress for current and future generations, the Federation must ensure that educational and job training opportunities are fully optimized for all residents of all member-states, with no partiality towards any gender or ethnic group. The Federation must recognize and facilitate excellence in many different fields of endeavor, including sciences, languages, arts, music and sports. This responsibility should be executed without incurring the risks of further human flight, as has been the past history.

Sign the petition to lean-in for this roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation.

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