Turning Passion Into Action
March 16, 2017
Although Women’s History Month has been celebrated for more than 30 years, this year feels a little different, in a good way.
A surprising comment I have heard repeatedly from women who participated in marches across the country in January was that they met some fellow marchers who said “I wish I had voted.”
Just last week on International Women’s Day, the Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership – which is the home of Vision 2020 – presented the Sex and Gender Research Forum. One panelist, Dr. Kristy Kelly, reflected on feeling a shift toward more awareness and action; never before had she heard so many people wishing each other a happy International Women’s Day.
Fellow panelist Dr. Ana Núñez pointed out, now is the time to organize and act. We must “do the do,” she said, because no one else will do it for us. If not you or me, then who?
These anecdotes point to an awakened passion for equality that can be tapped and turned into action to bring about real progress for women.
For those who didn’t vote in the last election, it’s promising to hear that many now realize their voice and vote matter. For those who did vote, Women’s History Month is a reminder that there is much more to do than just show up at election time. We can work together to get more women on the ballot and in the boardroom. We can expect equal pay. We can require a more balanced historical education for our children that teaches the achievements of both women and men.
Now that we have woken up, where can we channel all this energy for activism? The first step is to get involved around one or several components of women’s equality: 1) shared leadership among women and men, 2) economic security and pay equity, 3) increased voter turnout and representation in elected office, and 4) increased exposure to women’s history within youth education curriculum. If you’d like to become involved in any of Vision 2020’s committees focused on these goals, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let’s use this Women’s History Month to reflect on what progress still needs to be made for gender equality and how we can all make it a reality through collective impact.