March was women’s history month. The several events I was involved in throughout the month highlighted the history of women’s accomplishments. A century ago this August, women won the right to vote. In 1970, a U.S. Court of Appeals gave women the right to be compensated the same as men for jobs that were “substantially equal” if not identical. This ruling prevented employers from giving women different titles than men in order to pay them less. Yes, employers actually did this 50 years ago.
In 1973, Roe v. Wade legalized abortion, giving women control of their own bodies. In 1974, a woman could finally get a credit card in her own name. Before that, you had to be married and have your husband sign for you. If you were single, you were out of luck. In 1986 came legislation prohibiting discrimination in the workplace on the basis of sex. In 2013, women could fight alongside men in combat. Those are just some of the strides women have made in the last 100 years.
But rolling into April reminds us that no matter how much ground we have gained over the last century, we still have a long way to go. April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. It is about awareness and prevention of sexual assault. The awareness part, for women, is redundant.