Women honored at First Army's Women's Equality Day observance
August 26, 2011
ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. - "We've come a long way baby!" said Shirlene Appleby, Director of Rock Island Arsenal's Equal Employment Opportunity Office and guest speaker at First Army's Women's Equality Day observance held here August 26.
The genesis behind Women's Equality Day began in 1971 when legislation was introduced in Congress by Representative Bella Abzug (D-NY) honoring women across the United States. Since 1971, every President has published a proclamation designating August 26 as Women's Equality Day.
As we acknowledge women's struggles and celebrate their contributions to secure the right to vote, we also take time to recognize and give tribute to women for their contributions to the U.S. Army, stated a Department of the Army proclamation. Our Nation and Army have benefited tremendously from providing an opportunity for women to serve. Throughout our Army's 236-year history, women have served this nation valiantly and with distinction in times of peace and war.
"The Women's Rights movement began on July 13, 1848 with a small group of people questioning why human lives were being unfairly constricted," said Appleby.
She added, "This year we celebrate the 163rd Anniversary of the Women's Rights Movement and the massive changes these women set in motion when they daringly agreed to convene the world's first Women's Rights Convention on July 19, 1848 in Seneca Falls, New York."
"Women's Rights Conventions continued to be held annually until the start of the Civil War," said Appleby. "In the late 19th century, the movement continued to address the wide range of issues spelled out at the Seneca Falls Convention. Elizabeth Cady Stanton and women like Susan B. Anthony, Lucy Stone, and Sojourner Truth traveled the country lecturing and organizing for the next Forty years. Eventually winning the right to vote emerged as the central issue, since the vote would provide the means to achieve the other reforms. There was so much opposition to the movement that it took 72 years for the women and their male supporters to be successful."