Celebrating Women: A new narrative that means change is on the horizon
March represents more than just a gateway to spring. In this nation, we are seeing a swell of female leadership take positions in a staggering sea of male-dominated careers. And it’s about time. But our climb hastened with the incoming of COVID-19. The pandemic (and 2016-2020) included the most challenging years for many, but especially so for working mothers. Women in the workforce have had to leave their jobs during the pandemic because of a lack of daycare and school closures. During this past year, the female workforce has dropped to 57 percent, which is lower than it’s been in over three decades.
So as we re-evaluate how to thrust ourselves back into the workforce and continue to fight for wage equality and end gender discrimination, we want to look at some women leading the charge.
Women’s History Month is about celebrating women who have paved the way for so many of us, but it is also about honoring the work it takes to reach a place of true gender equality, especially when it comes to the wage gaps. The workforce is more than just the standard jobs, it extends into corporations, athletics, entertainment and every form of income-generating workplace. So while we have a long road ahead of us, there have been some truly exceptional advances.
Below is a look at some of the progress that’s been made in spite of the mounting obstacles women have had to face as of late. And some straight-up amazing women shattering glass ceilings.
Tennis Pro, Naomi Osaka Speaks Out Against Racial In Justice
Osaka, 23, defeated Serena Williams in the Australian Open semifinal and Jennifer Brady in the final to become a four-time Grand Slam winner on Feb. 20. US Open tennis player, Osaka, has been honoring Black lives lost to recent events through summer protests and taking an active stand against racial injustice. This year when she arrived to play the US Open she wore seven different face masks. Each one honoring the lives that had been taken in 2020 by police brutality and she changed masks throughout her second career victory at Flushing Meadows. “The point is to make people start talking,” she said after the final match.
Welcome the National Women’s Soccer League
It is female-owned and power-operated by Natalie Portman, Eva Longoria, Jessica Chastain, America Ferrera, Uzo Aduba, and athletes include Serena Williams, Mia Hamm, Abby Wambach, and Olympia Ohanian, who is the youngest pro-team owner in history.
Kamala Harris As Vice President
After 231 years of male vice presidents, one California politician said, “Now it’s our turn.” Not only has Harris made history as the first female vice president, she has made history as the first Black woman holding high office in the White House. Representing every mother, stepmother, blended family, Black woman, every woman and any young girl that ever dreamt of being a leader of a nation, what Harris represents is not only hope, but the likelihood that the ceiling is officially broken through.
From gender inequality to same-sex legislation, this week we take a hard look at stories that represent us all. From celebrating the first indigenous woman to hold office as the Secretary of the Interior Department to honoring those that fought for our freedom to thrive, this month is an opportunity to not only honor those who have done so much to ensure the gender inequities are righted, but those that have risked so much to encourage more women to stand up, speak out and take charge.
May we honor those that have gone before us, support those taking the reigns now, and always celebrate the climb towards true equality.
cover photo by @StyledPortland via Twenty20.com
Women’s History Month March 2021
In March we honor those women throughout history that have paved the way for so many of us today. From those that fought for our right to vote to those still fighting for our reproductive rights, equal pay, and putting an end to gender disparity. Women’s History Month is a celebration of women’s contributions to history, culture and society and has been observed annually in the month of March in the United States since 1987. Women’s History Month 2021 will take place from Monday, March 1-Wednesday, March 31, 2021 …
Indian Country gripped by Haaland hearing for top US post
The first Indigenous Woman to be Elected into Office
By FELICIA FONSECA in AP News
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — For Native Americans, Deb Haaland is more than an elected official on track to become the first Indigenous secretary of the Interior Department. She is a sister, an auntie and a fierce pueblo woman whose political stances have been molded by her upbringing.
News of her historic nomination electrified Indian Country. Tribal leaders and organizations for weeks have urged people to write and call U.S. senators who will decide if she’ll lead the agency that has broad oversight over Native American affairs and energy development …
On Election Day
A Performance Remembers a Woman Who Fled Enslavement
Hyperallergic, by Valentina Di Liscia
Starting at Seneca Village and ending at the Manhattan Trump Hotel, artist Dragonfly honored the legacy of Ona Maria Judge Staines, who escaped from George and Martha Washington’s enslavement.
In recent months, the national conversation has focused largely on taking historical figures off the pedestal, as Confederate monuments come down and institutions drop names that index oppressive power. Just as important, however, is the dialogue around who should be remembered. On a momentous Election Day yesterday, a roving street performance in New York City commemorated someone who too many Americans may not be familiar with: Ona Maria Judge Staines, a formerly enslaved woman who courageously fled from George and Martha Washington in 1796.
Artist Robin Laverne Wilson, known as Dragonfly, conceived of her performance “Absconded” to honor Judge’s legacy by creating a living monument. Dressed in the garb of Judge, Dragonfly walked the streets of upper Manhattan, activating and engaging with historical landmarks and elements of the urban landscape that signal America’s history of chattel slavery and its insistent echoes in the present …
Federal and State Courts Make Important Recent Rulings
Reinstate DACA and Provide Equal Protection for Same-Sex Domestic Violence Survivors
Two different December rulings by federal and state courts are resulting in life-changing protection — both to DACA “Dreamers” and also to same-sex domestic violence victims. Nonprofit Pisgah Legal Services (PLS) provides free, civil legal aid in Western North Carolina, and is working with clients affected by these recent changes in the law.
On December 4, a federal judge ruled that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must fully reinstate the Deferred Action for Childhood Renewals (DACA) program. Not only will current DACA recipients still be allowed to renew their participation in the program, but new applications will now be accepted for the first time in three years.
Pisgah Legal Services Attorney Shoshana Fried leads the team of staff and volunteers who assist immigrants in our mountain region. Fried says, “We see this ruling as a major victory for this group of young immigrants who were brought to the country as children. Many of our DACA clients have been working on the front lines during the COVID-19 pandemic, with jobs at assisted living facilities, grocery stores, and hospitals. We have already heard from clients who are relieved that they do not have to worry about deportation, at least not right now.”
Fried continues, “We still don’t know what the future holds for DACA, so we are encouraging our clients to renew their protections and work authorizations as soon as possible.”
To be eligible, DACA applicants must have entered the United States before age 16, lived in the U.S. since at least 2007, and have been born after June 15, 1981. They must also have earned a high school diploma or GED, or currently be in high school or enrolled in a GED program. Immigrants with serious criminal records are ineligible for DACA.
Paid Family Leave Has Never Been On A State Ballot—Until This Year
By Soo Youn in The Lily
‘The rest of the country will be watching’
This election season, paid leave is on the ballot in Colorado.
As voters cast ballots for national, state and local candidates, they will also be asked to vote on Proposition 118, to create a paid family and medical leave program. If passed, it would be the ninth state, plus D.C., to do so.
This is the first time it has been directly on a state ballot. In the past, it has always originated from a state legislature or, in the case of D.C., the city council.
If passed, workers in Colorado could expect up to 12 weeks of paid leave, with an additional four weeks for qualifying childbirth or pregnancy complications. (Voters in Colorado will also decide whether to ban abortions after 22 weeks of pregnancy, with exceptions only if the person’s life is in immediate danger.) …
Her women-focused investment startup expands to debit cards and a membership model
in Ellevest – ellevesting Financial Services
The last financial crisis helped transform former top Wall Street executive Sallie Krawcheck into an entrepreneur. The current one seems to be turning her back into a banker—though of a less traditional type.
Ellevest, the women-focused wealth-management startup that Krawcheck cofounded in 2014, is expanding its financial products and launching a new membership model that will provide customers with debit cards and bank accounts for a monthly fee starting at $1. The shift is part of a new effort by the New York company, which has historically competed against the robo-advisers and wealth managers used by higher-income investors, to attract a larger, and broader, customer base.
“We want to be absolutely as approachable as possible,” Krawcheck, Ellevest’s CEO, tells Fortune in an interview. “Our reason for being is to get more money in the hands of women—and part of that mission is, Who needs us? It’s people who in many cases aren’t ready to invest.” …