It’s Women’s History Month, a significant time of year which holds even more importance in 2020, amidst a pandemic of historic proportions. As the first Women’s History Month of a new decade and the anniversary of several significant achievements for women, it’s an ideal opportunity to reflect on our rich history. The Junior League recognizes the great sacrifices of the women who have come before us, and the important work still left to be done. As women, we know sacrifice. We recognize the power of our actions, the necessity of hard work, and the importance of standing up for what we believe. We understand that one woman’s work can pave the way for future generations of women to make lasting and significant social change.
During Women’s History Month, we look back on the powerful work of Junior League women like Sandra Day O’Connor, Dee Dickinson, and Toni Freeman, who have helped us get to where we are today, while also looking to the future and considering what we can do to make the world a better place for the women of tomorrow.
Women are used to working hard and making significant societal contributions with minimal recognition. While we deserve credit, we also understand that it is far less important than the ripple effect of our efforts; we don’t need anyone’s approval to take action. We’re not motivated by clout or accreditation; we’re driven by impact, change, and progress. With or without proper acknowledgement, our momentum will continue building.
We’re unstoppable. Our work will continue as we stand up for the needs and rights of women and children in the US, Canada, and Mexico, while promoting all other facets of women’s human rights.
We now live in a time when social media has given us the power to tell our own stories, inspire action through our leadership, and empower women around the world to do the same. Using the reach of these platforms, we also have the opportunity to remind the world of the brave women who have come before us; women who could have never imagined the freedom of sharing their bold, unfiltered, unapologetic selves with the world. Never again will we wait for someone else to tell our story. We own the narrative, and we won’t be silenced.
Organizations like UnLadyLike2020 and platforms like Instagram are giving us the power to tell our stories in more ways than ever before, and we have a responsibility to share our truths so that future generations of girls and women can continue our progress.
2020 is the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment
That’s 100 years of voting for what we believe, making our voices heard, and taking action on the issues that matter most to us. As we commemorate this significant milestone, we must explore its relevance today, taking a look at what modern women’s groups are doing to celebrate.
Women’s Groups Are Leading Change!
2020 marks the 25 year anniversary of the Beijing platform for action, an international landmark agreement to end gender inequality. The Beijing platform for action was adopted by 189 governments at the 1995 UN World Conference on Women, and is still considered the most progressive plan for the international advancement of women’s rights. After 25 years of work, it is clear that much more action is still needed, and The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is working to perpetuate the commitments of this historic agreement with its Generation Equality Campaign. This campaign’s mission centers around the acceleration of women’s rights and empowerment around the world through worldwide action. You can get involved here.
The Global Fund for Women is working to educate all women about their rights, while raising awareness about the injustice of gender discrimination that is still rampant around the world. The Global Fund for Women’s work is grounded in the mission to win rights for women while changing laws and policies by supporting the efforts of women’s groups. You can get involved here.
The Junior League is constantly working to empower women to lead while fighting for women’s rights, girl’s rights, and a better future for all people. We know that the relationships we build with other women’s organizations and activists helping us make history. By providing a platform for influential women to speak at our annual conferences, we give women a way to share their stories and lead the narrative. We have had the privilege of hosting speakers like Noor Tagouri, Muniba Mazari, Cheryl Strayed, Aimee Mullins, Carlotta Walls Lanier, and so many more.
If one single truth can be highlighted in 2020, it is simply that women’s issues are everyone’s issues. Women’s rights are human rights and nothing will be more impactful in our efforts than empowering women to take action, tell their stories, and fight for their rights.
As we acknowledge the monumental significance of 2020 and Women’s History Month, The Junior League will continue to work steadfastly to promote women’s civic leadership and teen self esteem throughout the US, Canada, the UK, and Mexico. Will you make your mark on women’s history by joining us?