LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. --
Women in America earned the right to vote 96 years ago and since then have continued fighting to improve their rights.
August 26 is recognized as Women’s Equality Day, an observance of the progression of women’s equality from the passing of the 19th amendment during the women’s suffrage movement to today’s accomplishments, such as the first female presidential candidate.
“Women are still in a battle to prove our worth,” said Peggy “PJ” Jones, Women’s Equality Day Observance participant. “Our freedom as women, came with a price, and recognizing women’s equality keeps us from forgetting where we came from.”
Jones expressed the importance of remembering the barriers that suffragists overcame to provide us with the freedoms women have today.
U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Kimberly R. Young, Women’s Equality Day Observance chairman, said society as a whole should be involved in the progression of women’s rights, rather than to limit the movement to the gender it depicts.
“It is important that both men and women celebrate women’s equality,” said Young. “We are a team. It was not just a woman who had to prove herself, but a whole gender had to prove themselves greatly to be seen as a strong equal member of society.”
Seeing equality in full swing is what the community should strive for, said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Kristie Kersch, Women’s Equality Day Observance participant.
“This world would be terribly boring if everyone was the same; we as a human race are not meant to be that way,” said Kersch. “Our differences should most certainly be celebrated, but nothing should be taken away or withheld because of those differences. Women are no exception.”
Kersch continued highlighting the growth of women in the U.S. Armed Forces throughout the years and the importance of their impact.
“Women in the military deserve recognition for what they do because their role has come a long way, and expanded immensely from the days of the Army Nurse Corp and the Women Airforce Service Pilots,” said Kersch. “Not only have they brought about change in a drastic way, but they give the military something it never had before and women have become just as vital as male counterparts. That is something to be proud of.”
Although Joint Base Langley-Eustis is not hosting an observance event this year, Young invites members to always show continual respect for each other in hopes to propel the community into greater days ahead.
“Team JBLE is the largest base we have in ACC, and to that end, we are loaded with wonderful, hardworking women,” said Young. “Why not celebrate this great accomplishment our foremothers have conquered for us as a whole? When we as a team, both men and women learn to value each other and respect each other’s abilities, we will put down many other injustices we face in today’s time.”
For more information about women’s equality day, contact the Equal Opportunity Office at 764-5877.