Women’s History Month in the Words of Three Women.

March is Women’s History Month, a time for reflection and celebration for all that women have accomplished and the infinite ways they serve our society.

Personally, I work mostly with women, both in politics and in health care. To help me with this important topic, I texted five of them for input on how to honor Women’s History Month. As it happens, the respondents share the name Sarah. I am grateful for their input on such short notice.

Honoring the Past

The first respondent recalled Ida B. Wells, the founder of the first black suffrage club in Chicago and Dr. Alice Paul, the chair of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. Historians credit these two instrumental women with spearheading the successful effort to organize and pass women’s voting rights in the early 20th century.

She wrote that today Alice and Ida’s legacy “seems devalued by every woman who chooses not to vote.” She concluded that “women do not think their vote matters, but they have an extraordinary power to change the country for the better. We’ve done it before, and we can do it again.”

Building A Better Future

The second respondent echoed her urgency saying, “There has never been a more important time to encourage the women of our state and our local community to vote.”

Yet, gaining the right to vote has not been enough to win women an equal voice and equal standing. Despite their slight population advantage, making up 50.52 percent of the total US population, women’s rights continue to lag in many ways. For example, employers on average pay women 17% less than men. In addition, women owned businesses receive 8% fewer loans. Moreover, violence against women is a global pandemic. And finally, women of color and those who are transgendered continue to face significant discrimination.

To be sure, women’s rights have advanced. But recent setbacks like the rollback of universal abortion rights, leave me feeling worried for women regarding their future. This fear has been heightened by the news that Idaho’s legislature is now seeking to criminalize a young woman’s right to travel out of state for abortion services.

Working for Change

This concern for the future prompted my third respondent to run for office as a Democratic Precinct Captain. She said, “I want my daughter to know that I did everything I could to leave this world a better place for her.” She went on to say, “I hope that one day my example will give her the courage to advocate in her own way for the things she cares about.”

Given the recent setbacks, it would seem justified to think that celebrating Women’s History Month is a hollow gesture.

However, the feedback from my respondents gives me hope that women remain determined and steadfastly optimistic about their futures. This should inspire us all.

As a man, I encourage other men to listen more to women’s voices, paying close attention to the substance of what they say and the feelings behind their words. Together, we should embrace the fact that they represent half of all humanity, and that women’s rights are human rights. Therefore, we must ratify the Equal Rights Amendment! No more and no less!

Enabling Future Generations

Another act of solidarity would be to support the school levies in the upcoming May 16 Election. These levies are necessary to give our children the needed support, infrastructure, and services needed to excel.

To women everywhere. Thank you for all you do. My hat is off to you every month of the year.

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