HONOLULU (KHON2) — The road to equality and freedoms for women has been a hard one.
Women gained the right to vote in 1921, 145 years after their male counterparts. Before this valuable right was won by suffragettes, women were not allowed to vote, hold office, participate in politics, be represented or be judged by a jury of their peers. Women, quite simply, were not full citizens of the U.S.
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In the 1960s, women gained the right to open their own bank account for the first time in the U.S., although many stipulations came with this that were not dealt with until a decade later.
In 1963, women gained the right to keep their own paychecks. Before the Equal Pay Act of 1963, women were not allowed to legally keep the monies they earned. They were given to a caretaker or guardian.
Women gained equality in credit in 1974. Prior to Equal Credit Opportunity Act, women were required to bring a man along with them in order to cosign any credit application, regardless of their income. Banks also lowered the value of women’s wages and monies in order to prevent them from applying for loans.
Women could be fired from their jobs if they were pregnant prior to the passage of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act in 1978.
This list can go on for pages. For the most part, women did not secure freedoms and equality until the 20th century. The lack of female equality is a holdover social and political vestige of the Roman Empire.
President Joe Biden celebrated International Women’s Day in an effort to highlight the need for securing the freedoms and equality of all women of all ages.
“Promoting opportunities for women and girls strengthens security, stability and prosperity for everyone. And, we know that we cannot solve any of the great global challenges of our time if half the population is left behind,” said President Biden.
Pres. Biden celebrated the day by acknowledging the accomplishments and contributions of women and girls around the world.
“Despite decades of progress, in far too many places around the world, the rights of women and girls are still under attack, holding back entire communities,” explained Pres. Biden.
He pointed out the attack on women in Afghanistan, Iran and Russia and the need to promote the welfare and equality of a segment of our society that undergirds the entire system. In particular, he discussed Russia’s use of rape as a weapon in their invasion of Ukraine.
“The United States stands with women and girls around the world in the critical work of protecting and advancing human rights,” noted Pres. Biden.
He took this opportunity to explain that his administration believes that it is necessary for all people to ensure and expand economic security of women and girls.
Through initiatives like the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment, we are supporting the infrastructure of the care economy in low- and middle-income countries,” said Pres. Biden
This includes access to health care, political participation and human rights and full participation in all facets of society.
“We have also redoubled our commitment to eliminating gender-based violence wherever it occurs, promoting accountability for conflict-related sexual violence, and expanding protection services for women and girls in humanitarian emergences,” explained Pres. Biden.
Earlier this year, Pope Francis declared that women are the key to the success of any and all endeavors. He noted that peace and prosperity cannot occur without the participating of women and the respect that follows.
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These remarks were in the backdrop of copious amounts of gang rapes and mass exploitation of women and girls as war rages on in Sudan.