Women's Equality Day 2017

Today marks the anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which was passed on Aug. 26, 1920, giving women the right to vote.  In 1971, Congress passed legislation to officially recognize this day as Women’s Equality Day.  So, may I ask, what does this mean to you?  Currently, most members have the right to vote, and have not had to fight for that right, but I believe because many women have passion for something more, that equality has come to fruition.    

I was never too much of a history buff growing up, but there were certain stories that I knew and have learned from.  Famous women who made their mark on the world, and will forever be remembered through books, documentaries, and movies.  Do these names mean anything to you?  Do you know their story? 

Harriet Tubman, a conductor of the Underground Railroad, risked her life many times to help over 300 men, women and children escape slavery in the South.  How about our first female pilot, Jeannie Leavitt?  She finished pilot training at the top of her class in 1992, but had to wait a year, for Secretary of Defense Lee Aspin to order all service branches to eradicate any restrictions on women flying in combat missions, to become a fighter pilot, and later in 2012, the nation’s first female fighter wing commander, at 4th Fighter Wing, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, in North Carolina.  Have you heard of J.K. Rowling?  It is hard not to see her work that spans over novels, films, amusement parks, and children’s toys.  She created the Harry Potter series, which represents a billion dollar brand!  Last, but not least, Esther Blake.  I remember reading about her being the first woman in the United States Air Force in the Professional Development Guide.  She enlisted into the Air Force on the first minute, of the first hour, of the first day, on July 8, 1948.

These names are more than just names in history books, but a legacy of women who actively made choices to change their lives and be a part of something bigger in our world.  These women, among many more, have fought for rights that the 21st century population, might not even be able to fathom. One story from our past, can make a positive change toward our future.  So today, as we honor Women’s Equality Day, take time to journey through history at some important stories that have shaped our culture and have paved the way for generations to come.

If you would like more information on Women’s Equality Day, please visit the Equal Opportunity SharePoint site at: https://dm.eim.acc.hedc.af.mil/355FW/EO/Lists/Announcements/AllItems.aspx?InitialTabId=Ribbon%2EListItem&VisibilityContext=WSSTabPersistence.  Or visit https://www.deomi.org/human-relations/special-observances.cfm.  As always, the Equal Opportunity office is available for questions or concerns at 355fw.eo@us.af.mil or 520-228-5509.