Women’s HERstory Month Reflection: Let Us Keep Making Brave Women, Together
During the month of March, we honor the women who have fought for centuries for equity. We also celebrate the women who continue to pave a new path forward toward justice and the future HERstory makers who will carry on our legacy and ensure we all are treated with dignity. It hasn’t been long since this commemoration began — despite the gifts and contributions women have made since the dawn of time.
In fact, it wasn’t until 1987 when Congress declared March Women’s History Month. Before then it was a day and then a week. There are many reasons why March is Women’s History Month — from the passage of Title IX to International Women’s Day to the first suffragist march on DC. We must not forget, we have still not passed the Equal Rights Amendment. But not ALL people who identify as women have been included throughout history, specifically women of color, immigrant, queer, trans, gender-non conforming women, and the intersections between have been historically excluded – a legacy we continue to grapple with today.
I had the honor of attending the White House’s Women’s History Month celebration on Equal Pay Day: a day to remember that pay equity does not exist in the United States.
Despite our progress, women still only get paid 83 cents to every dollar our male counterparts make, and if you are Black, Asian, Indigenous, or Latinx, you make even less. Gaps that have worsened during the pandemic. It was wonderful to be surrounded by sisters in the movement who I love and respect — women who have taught me so much and who I will continue to rabble rouse with because our work is far from over.
During the celebration, I was struck by several parts of First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden’s remarks. She shared: “We are all here today because someone believed in us. Someone taught us to be brave, and we are here to be those women for someone else. Today, we honor the women who made us and the women we make.”
As the daughter of Lexie Inmaculada Fields Figueredo, a former domestic worker and immigrant and the mother of Olivia Eleanor Jones Fields, a brilliant, brave Black girl, part of my life’s purpose is to make them proud, to honor them, and to share the gifts both of them have given me. We don’t need a month to celebrate them, because every day should be a celebration of their excellence.
I am also honored to lead the women of BISC. Our executive team is all women led. Almost the entire BISC team is made up of phenomenal women, and the majority are women of color. AND both BISC INC and BISC Foundation boards are majority women.
This is important and necessary, because women are and should be leaders of ballot measures. Women are one of the biggest drivers of civic engagement. We consistently show up for our communities, making it critical that we lead the efforts to protect the will of the People through direct democracy. We have made progress, but much work remains to dismantle the racists, bigoted, and patriarchal systems that were designed to oppress us.
But all the work does not only lie on the shoulders of the amazing women in your lives. In her speech, Dr. Biden also said that we are “helping our daughters believe in a world that we haven’t won, showing our sons that it’s their work too.” Every single one of us has a role to play in the redesign of our democracy and in the fight for the right to exist.
Although we have not yet won a free and liberated world, there is no path forward without all of us putting in the collective work to get there. So celebrate the women who made you, and let us keep making brave women, together.