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August 26, 2012

Still Working on Equality


August 26 = Women's Equality Day, the day that the 19th Amendment gave U.S. women full voting rights in 1920. Few who started the suffrage movement lived to see their work come to fruition. So this seems like a good time to call attention to equal rights and gender balance. The photo is the cover of a brochure I wrote this summer for Friends of the Iowa Commission on the Status of Women (ICSW).

As of this year, Iowa's local governing boards—cities, counties, municipalities—are now required to make a good faith effort to have an equal balance of men and women on their commissions and boards. Friends of the ICSW will soon be compiling a database to connect local governments with women in their area who are willing/qualified to serve. Friends of the ICSW is asking women throughout the state to spread the word to others in their network and contact Friends about their willingness to be included in the databse. I'm working with the Central Iowa Chapter of NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners) to get women who are already leading companies to help lead as community decision makers. So female friends, contact me for a copy of the brochure.

Yesterday I attended the 38th Annual Iowa Women's Hall of Fame Ceremony and luncheon. I am always in awe of the accomplishments of the inductees who are forever humbled by the ICWS's recognition of their focused pursuits on behalf of women. In many ways they remind me of the Suffragettes. They're relentless in their passion for their goal. Their actions are not about them, but what they can do for others. 

Congratulations to Dr. Judy Conlin, Teri Hernandez, Dr. Dorothy Schwieder and Mary Stier (inductees) and Elizabeth Barnhill, recipient of the Christine Wilson Medal for Equality and Justice.  In your lifetimes your work is already coming to fruition. You do Iowa—and women—proud.


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