Valiant Women of the Vote: Refusing to be Silenced

For the entire month of March, FEW will recognize the valiant women who refuse to be silent. The courageous women who energized and transformed a grateful nation. Valiant is such a noble word, and descriptive of the plight of the Women’s Suffragist Movement and the actions of those refusing to be silenced to ensure equality.  Their valiancy means “possessing or acting with bravery or boldness: courageous” and “marked by, exhibiting, or carried out with courage or determination: heroic.” Today we have our vote and we demand our voice through our vote be respected and heard.

This Women’s History Month, we continue the commemoration for the centennial anniversary of passage of the 19th Amendment. “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”  FEW want us all to mark the past actions of women, the present results of those actions and the inspiring future we have before us because of the Women’s Suffragist Movement. 

The struggle of equality has never come easy, nonetheless women now have a say through the ballot box.  FEW along with thousands of other organizations continue the fight to ensure our voices and contributions are recognized and the status of all people improve.  Each day we should recognize the many achievements of women throughout history in art, athletics, business, government, philanthropy, humanities, science, and education.  Women have contributed a lot to society, and we have made great strides in reducing the gender equity gap. However, we still have some barriers to overcome to ensure equal economic opportunities, educational equity, women’s health, and an end to gender-based violence.

While women have made great strides in the fight for greater equality in the United States and around the world, there is still work to do.  The fight for equality for women has been over the right to vote, equal wages in the workplace, safety against sexual assault and constant objectification …you know, basic human rights.

Although the fight continues, women have organized and removed many societal limits.  Here is a short timeline:
1848 → women were legally allowed to own property.
1900 → there were 85,000 female college students in the United States.
         → this number grew to over 600,000 in 1940. 
1920 → Women were given the right to vote after many hunger-strikes and imprisonments.
1941 → Millions of women enter the workforce during World War II. 
1963 → Equal Pay, Equal Work introduced
1986 → Protected Work Environments
1993 → Federal Medical Leave Act introduced
2013 → Women serve in Combat
2018 → The record was set when 102 women were elected into the House
2020 → Women are the majority in the workforce  
2021 → The first woman and women of color is installed as the Vice President of the United States of America.

Women’s History Month is not about taking control over other women, nor taking control over men, but its about having control over our one’s own life and have a say in it to contribute for the greater good of all Americans.  This month, I ask that you join FEW in our reflection on just a few of the valiant women who because of their refusal to be silenced, we now have a just future that we call can be proud.