Women’s Equality Day celebrates accomplishments

Army Readiness Division Headquarters, Department of the Army

“As Army leaders, we need to proactively build self-awareness and strengthen relationships with our Soldiers, and foster a culture where individuals are motivated to seek help when needed, without the fear of stigma.”

— Lt. Gen. Thomas C. Seamands, U.S. Army Deputy Chief of Staff, G-1

The national observance of Women’s Equality Day on Saturday commemorates the addition of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which guaranteed women the right to vote.

(Fort Meade held its official observance on Wednesday.)

Since the passage of the 19th Amendment on Aug. 18, 1920, women have made great strides for equality across society.

The U.S. Army is dedicated to ensuring equality for all its members.

Multiple actions were spurred by the women’s suffrage movement that began in 1848, when the first women’s rights convention was held in Seneca Falls, N.Y., led by Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

World War I hastened the call for women’s voting rights. During the war, women served in the armed forces and stepped into jobs at home that men had left when they were called to military service.

At the height of World War I, President Woodrow Wilson urged Congress to act on suffrage, saying that in a democracy women should play their part on equal footing with men.

Women, who have served the United States Army since 1775 and remain an invaluable and essential part of the Army today, make up 16.4 percent of our Army. Female Soldiers now serve in every battalion in the Army, in all military occupational specialties open to anyone who qualifies and meets the specific standards of the job.

Fully integrating women into all military positions makes the U.S. Armed Forces better and stronger, according to information from the Army G-1 Office.

“Female Soldiers help to make the Army the finest fighting force in the world, and Army leadership will continue to shape policy that ensures the force of the future remains so.”

Though our military has made many strides to eliminate barriers to service, we must remain dedicated to the idea that our nation is not complete until every American receives equal treatment and opportunity under the law,” according to the Army personnel office.

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