Are We There Yet?

Aug 26 2010 Published by under Feminist Musings

The Great Bambino

1920 began with Babe Ruth moving to New York, but this proved a small event in the course of the year (unless you talk to my husband or other rabid baseball fans). The world powers continued to deal with the aftermath of “The Great War.” The League of Nations formed without the US. Adolf Hitler presented his National Socialist Program in Munich.

On August 26, the 19th Amendment to the US constitution guaranteeing women’s suffrage was certified.

Suffragist Parade 1912

Now, 90 years after gaining the right to vote, women have achieved much; however, there are still gaps in our status in this country. Men still earn more for comparable work. Men dominate board rooms. Men dominate politics. Men dominate academic medicine and science, my own field. Just last week, a blogger at the US Chamber of Commerce suggested that women should quit whining for equal wages and make better choices of significant others. How Mad Men: all us girls just go to the office to find our dream guy.

Finishing what the suffragists began

Vision 2020 calls for a decade of discussion and action about these ongoing inequalities:

Surprisingly, securing voting rights was not their primary goal. It was a means to an end. At the heart of what suffragists believed is that participation in democracy is essential to social, economic, educational and political equality.

Vision 2020 takes on the unfinished business of the suffragists by inspiring new generations of women to shape what we value as a nation. Fundamental to the work of Vision 2020 is dramatically increasing women’s participation in leadership roles throughout society by the year 2020, the centennial celebration of the 19th Amendment.

Vision 2020 will kick-off in October when 102 women (2 from each state and the District of Columbia) will gather in Philadelphia to discuss these issues and develop action plans to help close the gaps between men and women in our society.  More about the delegates can be found, by state, here. We represent every field of human (not just feminine) endeavor, with a wide range of backgrounds and goals.

Vision 2020 asks, "What is Equality?" in a lovely video that I cannot embed here; follow the link and enjoy.

We cannot afford to ignore the (potential) contributions of any segment of our population. Men and women, young and old, and those of all races and ethnicities must be valued if our democracy is to flourish.

Yes, I am a delegate to this event. I already have homework. And it is a pleasure, an honor, and a privilege to be involved in this undertaking. But I will need help- what can we do to improve equality in science and healthcare? I would love to hear your thoughts. So don't just read this post; become part of the process.

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