LOS ANGELES – "Celebrating Women of Character, Courage and Commitment," which honors the extraordinary and sometimes unrecognized determination and tenacity of women, was the theme of the Women’s History Month Celebration held March 27 at the Corps’ Los Angeles District downtown headquarters.
The opportunities for women in our nation’s workforce and for their increasing participation in all facets of American life are hard fought victories, the result of the character, courage and commitment of those who risked much, including their lives for some, to realize those gains.
Throughout history, women have fought through social convention and legal restraints to create a legacy that expands the frontiers of possibilities for generations to come.
From Harriet Tubman, who led more than a dozen trips on the Underground Railroad to rescue slaves and later fought for women’s suffrage, to Malala Yousafzai, the young Pakistani schoolgirl who was shot in the head because of her fight to secure the right to education for that nation’s young girls, history is replete with women who risked everything to advance the cause of equal rights.
The celebration included discussion among the attendees about the traits these women demonstrated and how their actions can be applied in the personal and professional lives of today’s women.
Among the topics discussed by attendees were the right to vote (which women did not receive until passage of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1920), equal access to jobs and equal pay for equal work (earned with passage of the Equal Pay Act in 1963), and how in some cases even today woman can lose their employment simply by becoming pregnant.
Frances Jones, the district’s Equal Employment Opportunity officer, summarized the risks and contributions that women have made and their impact on the future.
“Their lives and their work inspire girls and women to achieve their full potential,” Jones said, “and encourage boys and men to respect the diversity and depth of women's experiences.”