TLR celebrates Women’s Equality Day

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Mariam K. Springs
  • 19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Women’s Equality Day is commemorated every year in the U.S. on August 26, honoring the anniversary of the 19th Amendment permitting women the right to vote.

Team Little Rock hosted an event at Walters Community Center featuring guest speaker, Judy Carter, accompanied with a video of the first women test pilots.

Carter went through a timeline of women’s history and allowed Airmen to openly discuss women’s equality in the military.

“We’ve come a long way but we’ve got a ways to go,” Carter said.  “We are just as smart and we absolutely have the same potential. Whether it’s a male or female shouldn’t make any difference.”

“Women’s Equality Day celebrates the day women got the right to vote,” said U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Crystal Przybylski, Women’s Equality Day event coordinator. “However, it’s progressed from there and now encompasses all the milestones women have overcome since then.”

Although the 19th Amendment was certified on August 26th, 1920, it took over 60 years for 12 of the 50 states to approve it.

Since the day’s designation by Congress in 1973, it’s celebrated to remember women’s rights issues, the suffragists, as well as their efforts.

“Any little thing that breaks down those barriers and makes us equal counterparts is important,” Przybylski said. “If women can meet the same standards then let them do it alongside the men who can meet them too.”

The Women’s Armed Services Integration Act was signed into law in 1948, allowing women to serve as full, permanent members of all military branches.

Still, women were restricted from combat roles until 2016.

“It’s one of those things that should be talked about, especially for people coming in now,” Przybylski said. “I think it’s important for them to know how far we’ve come.”

Currently, one out of every five Active Duty Airmen are women according to the Department of Defense Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. There are about 65,000 Active Duty women, along with 150,000 Guard and Reserve, and 44,000 civilian women in the U.S. Air Force.

Additionally, since 2016, the amount of women in physical sciences occupations has increased by 7.5 percent.

Although the fight for women’s equality has come a long way, Przybylski said there are still barriers to break.

“When you support equality for people - no matter what race, sex or gender - it only stands to benefit the team as a whole,” Przybylski said. “When you prevent people from doing something based on those categories, you could potentially be stopping another great member from not only benefiting the military, but all work forces.”