background shadows

TRENTON – In recognition of Sunday, August 26 as Women’s Equality Day in the United States – celebrating the 1920 adoption of the 19th Amendment that gave women the right to vote – New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy and members of his Administration pledged to continue the work begun 98 years ago, to provide true equality for women throughout the State of New Jersey.

“Ninety eight years after the ratification of the 19th Amendment, women still struggle to find equal footing in this country,” said New Jersey Department of Children and Families Commissioner Christine Norbut Beyer. “We’ve made significant strides in the last year in New Jersey in the areas of pay equity and access to health care, but there is still so much work to be done. The Department of Children and Families, through the Division on Women, is committed to helping to empower women in New Jersey and to making the dream of the 19th Amendment a reality for women throughout the Garden State.”

On August 26, 1920, U.S. Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby signed the proclamation granting American women the constitutional right to vote, following the successful ratification of the 19th Amendment by Congress and decades of advocacy by women suffragists, including Princeton’s own Alice Paul and New York’s Susan B. Anthony. In 1973, Congress approved a resolution to commemorate August 26 as Women’s Equality Day, and each year, every president since Richard Nixon has issued a proclamation commemorating the day, and recognizing that while women have been granted a constitutional right to vote, more work needs to be done to provide equal economic opportunity, protection from discrimination, and participation in the nation’s workforce.

“On Women’s Equality Day, we celebrate the passage of the 19th amendment, which granted women the right to vote,” said First Lady Tammy Murphy. “We honor the suffragists and trailblazers who fought to secure a woman’s right to vote and emboldened future generations to continue fighting for equality for women. I stand with women across our state and nationwide in recognizing the accomplishments of women and the challenges that remain ahead. Every woman deserves the opportunity to succeed – because when women succeed, our country succeeds."

Since taking office, Governor Murphy has made gender equality a cornerstone of his Administration’s efforts for a fairer New Jersey. As his first official action in office, Governor Murphy signed Executive Order 1, which prohibits managers in State government from asking job applicants about previous salaries, in order to eliminate the status quo of women historically being underpaid compared to their male counterparts. In June, he signed sweeping legislation that outright bans unequal pay for substantially similar work, making New Jersey a national leader in ensuring gender pay equity and closing the wage gap for working women.

In an effort to reinvigorate an institution serving women in the Garden State, the Governor has also nominated Anna Martinez to serve as the Director of the Division on Women within the Department of Children and Families – prior to Governor Murphy’s appointment, the post of Director had been left vacant by the previous administration after re-locating the Division to DCF from DCA. The Governor’s nomination of Ms. Martinez is subject to advice and consent from the New Jersey State Senate.

“I’m excited to work with Governor Murphy, Commissioner Beyer, and First Lady Tammy Murphy – along with the Legislature and the diverse communities that make up the great State of New Jersey – to restore the Division on Women to its rightful place of prominence within State government,” said Acting Director Martinez. “Clearly, the Governor and his team have been able to make significant strides for the women of New Jersey in a short amount of time, but New Jersey State government has desperately needed a dedicated voice on women’s issues. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Division on Women to continue the Murphy Administration’s progress, and to fight for the rights of all women in our home state.”

Click here for more information on Women’s Equality Day.

Top ^