ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. - Brig. Gen. Jill K. Faris, Deputy Surgeon General of the Army National Guard, spoke on Women's Equality Day as part of an observance held here at Heritage Hall, Aug 23.

The Rock Island Arsenal workforce gained knowledge about the transformation of women's suffrage from past to present. Her presentation was titled, "Women's Equality Day Then and Now."

In 1971, U.S, Rep. Bella Abzug, designated August 26 as "Women's Equality Day". This date was chosen to celebrate the women's suffrage movement's greatest victory: The ratification of the 19th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution in 1920, which gave women full voting rights.

Carmen Ausborn, AC Equal Opportunity Employment Specialist, provided opening remarks.

"Not only are we celebrating the 98th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment, but we are also recognizing women and their continued effort toward full equality," Ausborn said. "The significance of the women's suffrage campaign and its enormous political and social impact has been largely ignored. It is a story that needs to be told; it is a story of women creating one of the most remarkable and successful non-violent civil rights efforts the world has ever seen."

Her remarks included the history of the petitions and political efforts that women made, despite being harassed, jailed, and treated brutally. Still, they persevered and won equality.

Faris is a member of the Ohio Army National Guard and assumed duties as the Deputy Surgeon General on Aug. 1, 2017.

"Today women's equality means much more than just sharing the right to vote. It calls to attention the continuing efforts that we need to do to ensure women share equality in the work place and in service to our country, she said."

She highlighted in her presentation the courageous military nurses and laborers over the past century, who paved the way for women's rights today. These women not only created history for the military, but for the United States.

Faris received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Broadcast Journalism from South Dakota State University and a Master of Business Administration from Trident University.

As Deputy Surgeon General, she assists in providing consultative services and strategic planning in all aspects of medical readiness, health care, medical personnel, and medical operational and training issues that compromise critical medical readiness. She has served in all medical operations positions from company through division and Joint Force Headquarters.

Col. Steven L. Allen, Chief of Staff, ASC, provided closing remarks for the observance.
"Gen. Faris, what you said today reminds us of the importance of perseverance and the best way to achieve your goals and dreams is by serving others" he said. "It doesn't matter if you're a man or a woman, or what your race or religion is, we are all rolling along as one."