ITHACA, N.Y.—Every year, the nonpartisan League of Women Voters, which has a local county chapter, organizes and celebrates Women’s Equality Day on Aug. 26. But not this year.

The League of Women Voters of Tompkins County (LWVTC) will be on the Commons from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. talking about the league, voting, equality and reproductive rights.

With the overturning of Roe v. Wade just eight weeks ago, the organization decided that this year’s theme would switch to women’s inequality — “We’re not celebrating Women’s Equality Day as women today have fewer rights than we’ve had in decades,” a press release from the national league said.

LWVTC Co-President Sally Grubb said that women have fewer rights now than when the Equal Rights For Women Act was passed in 1973, and that, due to the current political climate, “We do not have anything to celebrate. We just lost the right to our reproductive choice decisions.”

“The League of Women Voters does not hesitate to take a stand on what they really believe in,” said Megan Nettleton, vice president of LWVTC, adding that she’s proud to celebrate inequality. “The shifting theme for this year is very appropriate.”

The League of Women Voters has more than 700 leagues, including one in every state, plus leagues on smaller, local levels. 

On the national level, the organization is using the day to “demand lawmakers pass voting rights legislation, add the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution and restore reproductive rights to women and those who can become pregnant,” according to the Women’s (In)equality Day page.

Zoë Freer-Hessler

Zoë Freer-Hessler is a general assignment reporter for the Ithaca Voice. She has covered a wide range of topics since joining the news organization in November 2021. She can be reached at zhessler@ithacavoice.com...