Women are wearing white as they head to polling stations to vote for the 2016 elections that could result in the first female president of the United States.
The white clothes are a tribute to the suffrage movement during which women fought for their rights to vote in the early 1900s. The movement originated in 1908 during a demonstration in London’s Hyde Park during which the Women’s Social and Political Union chose three colors: white as a symbol of purity, purple as a symbol of dignity and green as a symbol of hope.
The United States suffragist movement began in the mid-1800s and reached a fever pitch in the 1910s as women picketed and marched for their right to vote. The white clothing as a mark of suffrage reappeared in 1978, when thousands of women marched in Washington in support of the Equal Rights Amendment.
Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton wore white at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in July when she was accepted her Democratic nomination as the first female candidate of a major party. The New York Times observed she probably wore the suit to honor the suffragist movement.
She later wore white again in the third presidential debate.
Now, Clinton supporters are planning to wear the immaculate color to cast their vote as an acknowledgement to their historic right to vote in the election which has been marked by misogyny and sexism.
On Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, the movement has given rise to the hashtags #WearWhite or #WearWhiteToVote as voters embrace the trend.
Women less than 100 years ago wore white to fight for their right to vote. I #wearwhitetovote as I go to the polls in my first general election, proud to vote for three highly qualified women for public office, including President of the United States. I get to do this because of the work of so many feminists before me and that is a tradition I can't wait to play a part in. #strongertogether
#WearWhiteToVote // Today I'm wearing the color white in memory of the suffragettes who fought for women's right to vote in the US in the early 1900s. New Zealand proudly gave women the right to vote in 1893 and then elected our first female Prime Minister, Jenny Shipley, to power in 1997. Regardless of who you support, wearing white is a fitting tribute to the political power women have cultivated in the U.S. and around the world in the past century. #uselection #americanelection #womensrights
Clinton isn’t the first political candidate to wear white. In 1984, Geraldine Ferraro wore white when she accepted the Democratic nomination as the first female vice presidential candidate.