2020 marks 100 years of women’s suffrage in America, and 20 years of strategic grantmaking by the Women’s Foundation of Montana!
Happy New Year! As we enter the New Year and the new decade, let’s celebrate the past achievements of women, and look forward to the progress to come. In the last decade, we made huge steps forward for women around the world. From women’s rights to representation, women are making sure their voices are heard!
10 highlights from the last 10 years:
- July 2, 2010 — the UN formed UN Women, an entity dedicated to achieving global gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.
- January 24, 2013 — the Pentagon lifted the Combat Ban for women in 2013, giving military women more opportunities for career advancement.
- October 10, 2014 — Malala Yousafzai became the youngest person ever to be awarded a Nobel Peace Prize.
- July 26, 2016 — Hillary Clinton is officially the first woman nominated to run for the President of the United States.
- January 21, 2017 — the Women’s March was a series of demonstrations to advocate for legislation and policies regarding human rights, including women’s rights, among many others. U.S. participation was estimated between 3 and 5 million people, with worldwide participation estimated at over 7 million.
- October 2017 — the #MeToo movement sends ripples through the United States, shining a bright light on the common experiences of sexual harassment and assault shared by so many women.
- June 21, 2018 — Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand gave birth while in office (And a few months later she was the first female head of state to bring her baby to the UN General Assembly!)
- June 24, 2018 — Women in Saudi Arabia gained the right to drive.
- January 2019 — a record of 127 women in Congress in the United States, made up of many firsts: first Native American women (Sharice Davids and Deb Haaland), Muslim women (Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib), and youngest woman (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez).
- December 10, 2019 — Finland has sworn in the world’s youngest head of state, Sanna Marin, who will be leading the coalition government with five women in the top spots.
Even in our home of Montana, we’re moving forward towards progress. In 2009, Denise Juneau was the first Native American woman elected to any statewide executive office in the U.S. serving as Montana’s Superintendent of Public Instruction from 2009 to 2017. Governor Bullock established the Equal Pay for Equal Work Task Force in 2013 as an effort to eliminate the wage gap in Montana. And in these last six years, the wage gap has narrowed by 5.3 percentage points—slow progress, but progress nonetheless.
What do all of these successes have in common?
They were all made possible by the bravery of women: women who dared to believe in their own dreams, strength and capacity. Women who spoke their truth, though their voices were shaking. Women who blazed trails for us.
None of these successes were accomplished alone. Every one of them was possible because of a whole team of supporters, who were willing to do the work to move us all forward.
My hope for all of us as we move into this new decade is that we each find ways to be brave and true to ourselves, and that we build our circle of supporters who will be there to cheer us on and prop us up as we step out into uncharted territory.
I like to call that the PowerHouse effect.
Leave a Reply