Susan B. Anthony is a celebrated activist of women’s rights. During her lifetime, women were expected to follow rules but had no voice in deciding rules that governed them. In 1872, Anthony cast her vote which challenged the 14th Amendment – the right to vote. Only to be arrested, tried and convicted of unlawful voting. It took nearly 100 years and great courage from many female leaders to gain the right to vote and other liberties. March is Women’s History Month, a month where we take time to celebrate and honor women like Susan B. Anthony for their journey and historical impact on women’s rights.
Even though women’s rights have progressed over the years; there are still many opportunities for improvement. Although some rights have been given to women, we still see the struggle and bias of gender equality on a daily basis. For example, the accomplishments of women are often overseen and overshadowed when taught in schools today. Typically when a woman is mentioned in a history book, it is often brief and in relation to her husband’s achievements. There is also still a gap in the number of women in leadership roles compared to men often due to a social norm that women should be primary caretakers of any children.
As a community, if we can identify where women’s rights are restricted and a lack of equality exists, then we can find ways to break down those barriers and implement change. By taking common perceptions of females and finding ways to shift mindsets, we can create positive environments for females to thrive in. Such environments would provide opportunities for girls at a young age to grow and become confident in their leadership abilities.
Imagine if we informed and encouraged all girls to participate in programs such as STEM programs (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) at a young age to broaden their perspective for the future. By effectively communicating to girls that they can do any job, it helps reduce the stigma that women must take care of their homes. Women can be solely focused on caring for their families, but girls need to grow up knowing it is their choice to work, be a stay at home caretaker, or something in between.
The women of history were able to establish equal rights for future generations. As women of today, it is important that we stand together and collectively bring awareness to inequalities we still see – and fight to lessen them. Only then will we be able to improve the lives of the future generations like the women before us.
To learn more about important dates in the history of the Women’s Rights Movement, please take a look at our timeline graphic below.