As a gen-x woman who started her journey in the deep south, I have a strong appreciation for National Women’s History Month. Seeing people and large organizations come together to celebrate female empowerment is fantastic!
While it may seem we have a long way to go to achieve a gender-equal world, we’ve already come a long way. However, our personal stories of inspiration and triumph are shaped by those who have stood and struggled before us.
Here is a look at some of the most important accomplishments from the past 175 years.
I wanted to look back at important milestones in the struggle for equal rights to truly appreciate all we have and how far we have yet to go. So, here’s a quick look back at what we have achieved to make the world more equal for women today:
The first women’s rights convention was held. Men and women signed the Declaration of Sentiments, which sparked women’s activism. Please note where women started in the USA:
- We could not vote.
- As a married woman, you were under your husband’s rule.
- Single women who owned property were taxed as though they could vote – but they couldn’t.
- College education was not available to women.
- Most professions did not allow women.
1920 (yes, 72 years later)
The 19th amendment was passed, giving women the right to vote. This was the first big step toward our equality.
The FDA approved a birth control pill. For the first time, women could choose when or if to become mothers. This is a big step forward for ladies seeking careers.
The Civil Rights Act was passed. Discrimination based on “sex” was a late addition to the bill, and it is often debated whether sex was added to ensure the bill’s defeat.
Title IX was signed, ensuring women an equal right to education.
My favorite – The Battle of the Sexes. Billie Jean King defeated Bobby Riggs in straight sets on primetime TV.
The first woman – Sandra Day O’Connor – is sworn in as a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
Nancy Pelosi became the first female Speaker of the House. (Third in line for the top seat!)
Hilary Clinton is the first woman nominated by a major party for the President of the United States.
Kamala Harris was sworn in as the first female Vice President of the United States.
Today’s young girls are starting out on a more even playing field than those of my generation. I am watching with great enthusiasm to see what they can accomplish in their lifetimes.
Ladies, it is your legacy now — go conquer the world!
What milestones or historical accomplishments do you remember in your lifetime? What do you think is the biggest hurdle to finally achieving true equality? Share your stories with me on LinkedIn or Twitter!