Monday, March 19, 2012

Celebrate women this month

From Zanesville Times-Recorder: Celebrate women this month
Perhaps it is ironic that March is Women's History Month. So many of us have marched through the streets to make our presence known.

It was only during my mother's generation that women were given the right to vote. The 19th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified in 1920, the year my mom was born.

This is a special month for 51 percent of the population. Oh yes, women are the majority, but that has been the case for many years. Nevertheless, most of us have been on the short end of the stick when it comes to recognition.

That is the main reason International Women's Month continues to be observed every year since 1980. It is a time to promote the rights of working women.

Since most every woman is a working woman today, it is as timely as ever. We have managed to hold jobs, raise families and participate in our communities for a century, yet we still are looked on as the little woman in many cultures.

All right ... all the male readers out there can go to the sports section now because the rest of my column is devoted to women. See? I am guilty of stereotyping, too.

The spring edition of American Spirit magazine arrived in the mail last week. There was a great story on Martha Washington. "Indispensable Woman" described her role in the American Revolution.

More than 214,000 women are serving in the United States military. That is almost 15 percent of all of our service members. Yet when we think of war, we tend to think of men fighting for our freedom.

I can remember my mother talking about the Women Airforce Service Pilots and wishing she had applied to be one of the first females to fly military aircraft. Perhaps I wouldn't be here if she had followed her dreams.

While Rosie the Riveter was considered to be doing her duty for our country during World War II, the WASPs were considered a little on the wild side. After all, the women who flew noncombat missions were the first to deliver planes to military bases, including the B-29s that were thought to be difficult to fly.

But throughout the ages, women have proven the status quo wrong. Most everyone has heard of Clara Barton. When it was unthinkable for women to be on a battlefield, she tended the needs of injured Union soldiers during the Civil War.

A woman serving in traditionally male positions is relatively new in this generation. Until 1981, only men served as U.S. Supreme Court Justices. Sandra Day O'Connor was the first woman to be appointed to that august body.

During our generation, we have seen the first American woman go into space. Sally Ride became a household name in 1983 when she went aboard the space shuttle.

There is little doubt that, even with all the great strides women have made in the past 50 years, it is still a man's world. But we continue to push for equality and are slowly seeing positive results.

Because March is Women's History Month, take the time to pay homage to our sisters who have helped bring about a tremendous change. Pray especially for our women in the military who protect us.

Remember, we have only been allowed to vote for 92 years, and now we serve at every level of government except one -- next stop, The White House.

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