Women’s Equality Day: Celebrating Immigrant Women

August 26th, 2023 marked the 50th anniversary of Women’s Equality Day. The date was designated to recognize the passage of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote and furthered the efforts for full equality for women in the US. The celebration is proclaimed by the president each year, sparking speeches, parades, volunteer opportunities, and many other ways to acknowledge the past, present, and future of women in America.

Although the rights outlined in the 19th Amendment specifically address those of American women, we wanted to acknowledge the vital role immigrant women play in our society, even if they may not have citizenship status. 

Women and girls make up a little over 50% of the immigrant population in the US, a percentage that they have held historically, and which is a higher percentage than immigrant women and girls worldwide. Out of the general population, ~14% of women in the US are foreign-born and their roles in our communities do not go unnoticed. Be it their roles as mothers, students, workers, or even just friends, they make important contributions to our communities, economy, and society. However, even though they play this crucial role in our lives, their immigrant stories are rarely seen as women’s stories—but these two identities are closely intertwined. Being a woman immigrant influences both their choices when immigrating as well as their experiences and opportunities once they arrive.

But history has shown us that immigrant women are one of the most resilient groups in our country. They have to face the challenge of balancing their new life with their old one—melding traditions, learning a new language, and blending in all while staying true to their culture and identity. They also play an integral part in building a strong economy, both through their careers and family support. Their participation in the workforce, currently an estimated 16.3% of all employed women in the US, is essential for the well-being of their families. Women—immigrant or not—face the heavy burdens of inequality and the long fight ahead for the full scope of rights they deserve. But these women face these roles and challenges not only as women but as immigrants. Their resilience and strength is awe-inspiring.

Here at Hope Immigration, we have the honor of working with these inspiring women. Over the years, we have helped women in their immigration journeys who played in the World Cup, owned their own companies, starred on reality TV, were artists, teachers, doctors, mothers, wives, and so much more. These accomplishments are already amazing on their own—but not only did they achieve these goals, they did it while being in a new country and culture, often facing family separation, learning a new language, and facing the long road of achieving their desired immigration status. We are so grateful for the opportunities to work with these amazing immigrant women.

As stated by the National Women’s History Museum: 

“America is a land of immigration and immigrants. New people coming to the United States over hundreds of years, exploring new places, encountering new people and ideas, and transacting cultural exchanges created a unique national culture – a culture that values independence, responsibility, and resilience. Immigrant women embodied these ideals as they established the social, political, and economic foundations of their lives in America.”



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