We are in the midst of a celebration of strong women this week, both here in Frederick County and across the nation.

Today is Women’s Equality Day, celebrated since 1972 in the United States. It commemorates Aug. 26, 1920, as the date on which the 19th Amendment was formally added to the Constitution, prohibiting states from preventing voting on the basis of gender.

The Suffragette Movement — led by visionary American women and indeed by many others from all around the globe — had been working since at least the 1860s to win the right to vote.

It has been a long, arduous journey for women since that day 100 years ago to turn their votes into political power. Women elected officials remained a rarity for decades after the vote was won. But times are changing.

Their rise often started with local school boards, but has broadened to include city, county, state and federal government roles, and just last week a woman was nominated for vice president on a major party ticket, just the third woman so named and the first woman of color.

Soon, we expect, it will be commonplace that a woman will hold any political office. And that is the way it should be. Women are more than half of the country’s population and more than half of its registered voters. Why shouldn’t they be more than half of our elected leaders?

The same changes are true in the business world, and the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce is celebrating with “S.H.E. Week.”

“It stands for strength, heart and equality,” Jennifer Gerlock, vice president of marketing and communication for the chamber, told News-Post reporter Hannah Himes. “Last year we were focusing on equality, so Women’s Equality Day and then we … had all of these great ideas that came around it and so it became a week of events.”

Because of the pandemic, S.H.E. Week 2020 is all virtual and runs from Aug. 24 to Aug. 28. It features eight sessions, five live and three prerecorded. More than 200 people are participating, but you still have time to register for individual sessions. It is the second year the chamber is hosting the event, which sold out last year.

“We had to expand our capacity with a lot of the different programming, so we decided to replicate that again this year,” Gerlock said. “Of course, now this is a historic year for women with voting and the 100th anniversary [of the 19th amendment] so we thought, ‘we can’t just skip the year because we all can’t meet in person.’”

Here at The News-Post, we are doing our part to recognize and honor the achievements of women in our community by creating a series of stories on Women of Influence.

Throughout its history, Frederick County has been home to many women who were influential and inspirational, characteristics that gave them the power to change our world.

We are telling the stories of women who work in business, politics, government and serve our community. They are the trailblazers showing the way forward to the women leaders of tomorrow.

Join us in celebrating women this week, recognizing past accomplishments, and anticipating the bright future.

(8) comments

sevenstones1000

Suffragists, not suffragettes.

Suffragettes was a mocking title bestowed on these brave patriots by unfriendly newspapers of the time.

TomWheatley

I was curious as I had seen both terms used. My reading online is that suffragists were more into using peaceful protests and suffragettes less so.

"Suffragists

Those involved in the first wave of the campaign for women’s votes are known as suffragists. Suffragists believed in peaceful, constitutional campaign methods. In the early 20th century, after the suffragists failed to make significant progress, a new generation of activists emerged. These women became known as the suffragettes, and they were willing to take direct, militant action for the cause.

Suffragettes

Suffragettes were members of women's organisations in the late-19th and early-20th centuries who, under the banner "Votes for Women," fought for women's suffrage, the right to vote in public elections.The term suffragette refers in particular to members of the British Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU), a women-only movement founded in 1903 by Emmeline Pankhurst, which engaged in direct action and civil disobedience."

https://officeforwomen.sa.gov.au/womens-policy/125th-anniversary-of-suffrage/suffragistsuffragette-whats-the-difference

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_suffragists_and_suffragettes

sevenstones1000

Suffragettes was a mocking term dreamed up by the media and pols who opposed women’s suffrage.

TomWheatley

Possibly correct back in the day, just saying the FNP used the term in their article and appears to be in more common use now. A google on the term Suffragette Movement yielded this article on the first page of results. Not clear if one term referred to the individual and the other to the movement.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jul/07/us-suffragette-movement-black-women-19th-amendment

DickD

My wife never wanted equality. Why ruin a good thing.

bosco

Funny you would say that DickD. I've noticed over the years that while women want equality, they still expect to get off an elevator first, have a seat on the Metro, or have the door opened for them just to name a few. I extend those courtesies to Mrs Bosco, and to the elderly and infirm (still an old Boy Scout) Able bodied female on the way to work can stand on the Metro just like anyone else.

[ninja]

sevenstones1000

Able bodied women are just fine standing on the Metro and have been for decades. I’m one of them. Nor do I know any woman waiting to have the door opened for them or rushing to get off the elevator first. How old are you, anyway?

bosco

Those have been my observations - especially elevators.

[ninja]

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