KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - Throughout U.S. and world history, women have been oppressed from basic rights and choices as simple as dress attire to being able to work outside of the home and even voting.
2012 marks the 92nd anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment in 1920, which gave women the right to vote in the U.S. Since that monumental day, women have proven that they are more than capable of performing equally as well as their male counterparts regardless of the situation.
Nowhere is this fact more apparent than within our own military.
Today, women hold positions in nearly every military occupation specialty and in every rank from Private to General.
“We reflect on the sacrifices of women who, in spite of tremendous opposition, led the movement to help women secure the right to vote,” said Lieutenant Colonel Daniel T. Conklin, 82nd Airborne Division equal opportunity officer.
“We also recognize the women who continue in this trailblazing tradition by ascending to the most senior leadership positions in the military, public service, and private sectors,” added Lt. Col. Conklin.
Women’s Equality Day traces its roots to the passage of the 19th amendment, but was not officially recognized until 1971 when congress designated August 26 of each year as “Women’s Equality Day.” The date was selected to commemorate the passage, which took place on August 26, 1920.
“In the military, the celebration of Women’s Equality Day is more than just about a woman’s right to vote,” said Brigadier General Kristin K. French, Commander Joint Sustainment Command – Afghanistan. “We, in the Armed Forces, pause on Women’s Equality Day to highlight the rich history and invaluable contributions of female service members, as well as educate people on the role of women in the military.”
The opportunities for women to lead and serve in today’s military serve several critical functions, Brig. Gen. French continued. Their willingness to serve and dedication have proven the extent of their patriotism and bravery.
“As we tackle the crucial issues of our time, let the vision championed by women of past generations inspire us to defend the dreams and opportunities of those to come,” Lt. Col. Conklin said.