Fort Rucker promotes equal rights for women
August 29, 2013
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (August 29, 2013) -- In a society where equal rights is still a hot topic of discussion, the installation looked back at one group's fight for equality in order to move forward into the future.
Fort Rucker celebrated Women's Equality Day Aug. 26 in the atrium of Bldg. 5700 with displays, food, and discussion as a way to educate people on not only where women's equal rights came from, but where they are now and where they are headed, according to Faye Brooks, Federal Women's Program chairperson.
The special emphasis program committee and the equal employment opportunity office came together to put on an event worthy of Women's Equality Day, a day that Fort Rucker celebrates each year to commemorate women's struggles and the day they earned the right to vote, said Brooks.
"We like to bring it to the forefront here at Fort Rucker to emphasize the contributions that women have made in the past and are making today," she said. "It makes me feel very inspired and motivated to see the things women have had to go through to get to where we are today, and I'm so proud of the outstanding achievements of women, past and present."
Refreshments were set up for people to enjoy with fruit, snacks and cake, as well as a mini health fair that men and women could take part in to have their blood pressure checked, pulse checked, have a body composition analysis done and learn about general nutritional care.
There was even a quiz given to those who wanted to test their knowledge of women's history and the history of women's suffrage with prizes awarded to those who participated.
The event also consisted of displays set up that people could visit and learn about the history of women's rights, as well as learn about some of women of today in leadership positions here on the installation.
"For this year's program, we were lucky enough to get the biographies of some of the female leaders here on Fort Rucker," said Brooks. "We also have those women on hand to meet with the public as they walk through."
Two of those women were 1st Sgt. Jessica Houpper, B Company, 145th Aviation Regiment, and Capt. Carmel Cammack, C Co., 1st Bn., 13th Avn. Regt. commander, who wanted to share their stories and show that they were no different than anyone else in their positions.
"I just wanted to show that we're approachable," said Cammack, who is also an OH-58 Kiowa pilot. "Regardless of rank or position, female or otherwise, we're just people, and I wanted to put a different face on commanders, leaders and senior leadership."
"I wanted to show a different perspective of women in the military," added Houpper. "Male or female, anybody is capable of doing what we do or achieving our ranks, and I feel that we've come a long way and I think we're heading in the right direction. I'm riding on the skirt tails of those who came before me, so I think we've come pretty far."
Women have undoubtedly come a long way from where they started, but many agree that when it comes to equal rights, the country isn't fully there yet.
"I just believe that everybody deserves the same, equal rights as everyone else -- it's as simple as that," said Sgt. Edward Sigler, B Co., 1st Bn., 13th Avn. Regt. "I can't speak from a woman's perspective, but it definitely wasn't right the way women were treated in the past. As you can see, we've come a long way and that makes me happy to see, but we're not there yet."
"Even though we've made great strides, we still have a lot of work to do," she said. "We need to work hard to make sure that women receive equal pay for equal work and things of that caliber, and events like these are a step in the right direction."