Since Women’s History Month was established in roughly 1975, March has become a time to acknowledge the accomplishments, courage and strength of women from around the globe who are actively fighting, or have fought for equality. To a woman in 2019, just short of 30 years old, and working in an industry that is predominantly dominated by men, the month of March has become something sacred.
1975 wasn’t that long ago: 44 years to be exact. My mother was a teenager and Janis Joplin had died five years prior to us truly celebrating female success stories nationwide. This month, I’m taking a moment to stop and reflect on the gravity of where I am in my life, the history of where we’ve been not just as a nation but globally. For the first time ever in history we have record breaking numbers of women running to be “The President of the Free World”, I get chills.
The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) was adopted in 1979 by the United Nations General Assembly. CEDAW has been described as an international bill of rights for women, which officially took force in September of 1981, only 8 years prior to my birth.
I was born in Vermont, which is also home to Nobel Peace Prize winner Jody Williams and Madeleine Kunin, the first woman in U.S. History to have been elected governor of a U.S. state three times. I was raised by a single widowed mother who taught my two siblings and me the importance of standing up for what we believe in (even if it makes us stand out). She taught us to know our self-worth and the importance of always striving for more. Although our family income often fell below poverty level, I was taught if we worked hard enough anything was possible. After growing up in a generation that often didn’t acknowledge women’s rights or their abilities beyond homemaking, my mother raised three young girls on the sole platform that women would one day rule the world, and I grew up believing it with every ounce of my being.
Flash forward to today where we have a record number of women serving in the U.S. Congress, in our military, as well as working in many other once male dominated positions, statistically speaking. 2019 has absolutely been a record-shattering year, but women were incredible far before we took the time to start recognizing it.
Can you imagine where we’d be today if we listened when someone told us, “No”?