Women's Equality Day: remembering those who paved the way
By Lance Cpl. Jennifer Brofer
| | August 22, 2003
MCRD/ERR PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. --
In honor and remembrance of the women who fought during the women's suffrage movement to enfranchise millions of American women, the Tri-Command Committee designated Tuesday as Women's Equality Day. As a special tribute, a luncheon will be held at the Four Winds club at 11:30 a.m., Tuesday. The luncheon will feature a guest speaker and various women's advocacy groups to educate others of the struggle for women in earning the right to vote. More than 150 years ago, Susan B. Anthony and numerous other suffragists fought for decades to pass the 19th Amendment, which went into effect in 1920, finally giving women the right to vote.Through their tireless efforts and personal sacrifices, they were able to pave the way toward the bettering of humanity by establishing equality regardless of gender. "Women's enfranchisement was crucial to them - indeed, a sine qua non, since all other progress for which they worked, such as higher education and entrance into the professions, would be meaningless if women continued to be second-class citizens," wrote Lillian Faderman, author of "To Believe in Women."Expanding upon the premise of women's equality, the luncheon will also include a voter registration booth for women and men, as well as representatives from the Women Marine Association and other women's advocacy groups. There will also be volunteers present to hand out information pamphlets on the history of women's suffrage, legal rights against discrimination and other topics.During the luncheon, the guest speaker, Dr. Charlotte Boe, president of the American Association of University Women, will speak on education as it directly pertains to this year's theme, "Preparing for Progress."Throughout history, women have done more than establish the right to vote."Out of necessity came inventions - Madam Curie is a great example of that," said Maria Knox, program coordinator for the Key Volunteers. Madam Curie discovered the radioactive elements polonium and radium and was the first person to be awarded two Nobel Prizes."Out of frustration, 'white out' was created by a women, which revolutionized the administrative world," added Knox.Although Women's Equality Day is aimed toward recognizing those women of the past who were paved the way toward women's equality, its purpose is to also give tribute to the women of today who continue to make a difference."We should not just recognize the famous women, but the women in our everyday lives," said Knox. "The ones who, in their own way, touch our lives on a regular basis ... the ones we learn from, the ones we interact with."Mothers, grandmothers, sisters and aunts also have an extraordinary influence. "These are the ones who have direct impact on our inspiration," said Knox. "For these are the ones who, when they leave our lives, have left the greatest impact on our hearts and minds."An impact that will continue to inspire others to create, achieve and advance, she added."By recognizing the achievements of our mentors," continued Knox, "the women of today can also achieve the same sense of 'can do' spirit and lead the way for the women of tomorrow."To purchase a ticket to the luncheon, contact Capt. Melissa Martin at 228-2567 or the nearest Equal Employment Opportunity representative.