A Few Good Women
As the cliché goes, it’s still a man’s world but women continue to tear down the walls and break through the barriers of gender inequality and sexism in pursuit of access and opportunity. As we celebrate the lives and stories of women during National Women’s History Month, there are still so many “firsts” to be recognized and acknowledged. Although we live in a nation that touts freedom and liberty for “all”, women still do not make equal pay for equal work. The percentage of female CEOs within Fortune 500 office suites is still only 4%. We have a long way to go to achieve equality and equity between the sexes. It is the month of March where we acknowledge the contributions women have made in moving that mark in the struggle for equal rights. So many women have pioneered and promoted equality and women’s rights by the lives that they lived and the barriers they have broken down.
Here are just a few good women for you to consider:
Betty Mae Pat-Tuth-Kee Tiger Jumper was a Seminole woman who worked her entire life to better the livelihood and preserve the traditions of her tribe. She was the first woman to be elected Chief of a federally recognized tribe. Betty Miccosukee, at age14, entered the Indian boarding school in Cherokee, North Carolina speaking only Creek and Miccosukee, but was the first Florida Seminole to learn to read and write English and graduate from high school. She trained as a nurse and traveled between various reservations, bringing her knowledge of modern medicine with her.
Daisy Gatson Bates was a journalist and Civil Rights activist who facilitated the 1957 integration of the public schools in Little Rock, Arkansas. As a child, Bates experienced firsthand the poor conditions and discrimination of a segregated school system. She stood up throughout her lifetime to all forms of intimidation and physical violence to champion causes for racial equality. As the editor of a local paper, The Arkansas State Press, Bates refused to censor issues pertaining to the police brutality affecting the Black community causing the newspaper to be boycotted by many white businesses. As president of the Arkansas branch of the NAACP, she led the protest against the Little Rock School Board’s plan for “gradual integration”. In 1957, Bates worked with the chosen nine African American students, guiding and advising them as they made their attempts to enter Central High School. On September 25, President Dwight Eisenhower sent 1,000 U.S. Army paratroopers to enforce the integration of the school, and Bates and the students were finally able to safely enter.
And finally, Michelle Obama, born Michelle LaVaughn Robinson on January 17, 1964, in Chicago, Illinois. She later became a lawyer, Chicago city administrator, community-outreach worker and the wife of the first Black President of the United States, Barack Obama. She is the 44th First Lady of the United States, but more importantly, she is the FIRST African American woman to live in the White House as the First Lady of the land. The First Lady’s initiatives have remained community-oriented while in the White House. She worked with 23 fifth graders from a local school in Washington D.C. to plant a 1,100-square-foot garden of fresh vegetables and install beehives on the South Lawn of the White House. Mrs. Obama has led efforts to fight childhood obesity and remains committed to her health-and-wellness causes. In 2012, she announced a new fitness program for kids, as part of her Let’s Move! initiative. Along with her dedication to our Veterans and their families the FLOTUS is a fashion icon and has effectively elevated the role of first ladies moving forward.
These are but a few GREAT Women to be celebrated during Women’s History Month.
Up Next Week: The FEAR of things to Come