Floridians Celebrate the 90th Anniversary of Women Voting

TALLAHASSEE, FL – To celebrate the 90th anniversary of women’s right to vote, a coalition of statewide organizations have committed to getting out the vote this election year. August 26th, 2010, commemorates the 72 year struggle and the groundbreaking victory of women with the passage of the 19th Amendment. The courageous fight to gain women’s suffrage extended from the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848 to ratification on August 26, 1920.

“We are proud to honor those women and men who fought to ensure that all women were granted full representation under the law,” said Florida Association of Planned Parenthood Affiliates Executive Director, Stephanie Kunkel. “One of the best ways to honor their struggle is to vote this August and November.”

Organizers say they hope having a woman in strong contention for Governor will inspire higher turnout during the August 24th Primary and November 2nd General Elections.

On the anniversary of women’s suffrage, Floridians have many notable firsts to celebrate, including:

  • Ruth Bryan Owen of Miami, FL was the first congresswoman elected from the South. Floridians elected her in 1928, just 8 years after women won the right to vote.

  • Moore Haven, FL was the first town in the South to elect a woman mayor, Marian Newhall Horowitz in 1917. Since then we celebrate former mayors, including Pegeen Hanrahan of Gainesville & those still in office today such as Lois Frankel of West Palm Beach and Pam Iorio of Tampa.

  • Janet Reno of Miami, FL became the first female United States Attorney General.

Yet women also have many hurdles still to overcome, including:

  • In 90 years, Florida has had only one female United States Senator – Paula Hawkins (R), serving from 1981-1987.

  • Florida has also had only one female Lt. Governor – Toni Jennings (R), serving from 2003-2006.
  • Florida has never had a female Governor or female Attorney General.

  • Women and girls make up more than half of Florida’s population, yet are greatly underrepresented in many facets of economic and public life. Elected office and corporate boardrooms are two examples where women have much to gain.

“I draw constant inspiration from the sacrifices made by women who led the fight for voting rights and the men who supported their efforts,” commented Nadine Smith, executive director of Equality Florida. “I hope this 90th Anniversary causes our nation to reflect on the injustices that preceded the 19th Amendment and those that remain here and across the globe. Women and men must unite again to confront the cruel indifference and brutal hatred of women that allows physical and economic violence, sex trafficking and mass rape to be worldwide epidemics,”Smith said.

“Ruth’s List Florida is named for Ruth Bryan Owen. This widow and mother of four became the first Congresswoman from the South – campaigning by driving her district (from the Keys to the Georgia border) in 1928,” stated Ellis Robinson, Chair of Ruth’s List Florida. “Owen’s legacy lives on in the many talented women who serve as elected officials every day – and we need a lot more of them! Even now, key elections can be decided by fewer than 100 votes – sometimes less than ten! Make your voice and your values heard: VOTE!”

A number of events will take place around the state to honor the anniversary:

  • Boca Raton – Florida Atlantic University, Student Union, 9:30 am, August 26th
  • Gainesville – University of Florida, Student Union, 12:00 noon, August 26th
  • Orlando – University of Central Florida, Student Union, 12:00 noon, August 26th
  • Clearwater – Unitarian Universalist Church, 7 pm, August 27th

Visit www.Facebook.com/womenvoting for photos, events, comments by current Florida women leaders, and daily updates leading up to the anniversary of women’s suffrage.


Equality Florida is the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida's lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender community.

The Florida Association of Planned Parenthood Affiliates (FAPPA) is the state public policy office representing Florida’s five Planned Parenthood affiliates with 25 health care centers across the state. FAPPA works to advance public policy in areas of reproductive health care, family planning and medically-accurate sex education in order to make comprehensive reproductive health care available to all.

Ruth’s List Florida members are dedicated to building a progressive Florida by recruiting, supporting, and electing pro-choice Democratic women to state and local office. Ruth’s List Florida is changing the face of Florida politics.


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