FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas – “We use this day to appreciate where we’ve come from and re-dedicate ourselves to continuing our commitment to ensuring all women are able to live freely and enjoy the same liberties as anyone else.”
These were the words Command Sgt. Maj. Deitra Alam, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, U.S. Army South Command Sgt. Maj., used to explain what Women’s Equality Day means to her.
“It is a day to reflect and celebrate the progress women have made in the United States toward equality,” Alam explains.
Today, Aug. 26, 2023, marks the 52nd commemoration of Women’s Equality Day and the 103rd anniversary of the women’s suffrage movement’s greatest victory in the fight for gender equality—granting women the right to vote following the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Women’s Equality Day has grown to mean much more than just sharing the right to vote. It has expanded to reflect upon and honor the progress that has been made towards gender equality. It also celebrates the voices and accomplishments of all women – past, present, and future.
“I’ve made a difference in the Army by displaying to my peers, seniors and subordinates that we are not limited by our gender or our backgrounds,” said Lt. Col. Michelle Martinez, the commander of HHBN, U.S. Army South. “I have been committed to demonstrating that women are equal contributors to our Army teams and showing that the perspective women provide enables us to be force multipliers.”
It is fair to say that a stride towards equality more than a 100 years ago serves as a catalyst for diversity and inclusion agendas across wide-ranging segments of the Army today. Martinez and Alam, alongside Maj. Elizabeth Gomez, make up the all-female command team for HHBN, U.S. Army South.
“My goal is to continue to try to make it easier for younger women to know they are free to be themselves, work hard, and to let their voices be heard,” said Martinez.