As Women’s History Month 2019 comes to a close this weekend, I am reminded again of my problem with the math.
One month is only 1/12 of a year. Trying to cram a couple centuries of achievement by American women into a 31-day window that bridges the end of a volatile winter and the beginning of an uncertain spring is asking a lot for the human mind to absorb.
There’s hardly time to share with my granddaughters, Mae and Chloe, as they get ready to vote in their first presidential election in 2020, why a century ago women couldn’t vote, and what they did about it.
To extend the short time that is Women’s History Month, Vision 2020 is about to do some calendar-stretching next year.
Vision 2020 is an initiative of Drexel University College of Medicine’s Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership. Our agenda is the unfinished business of women’s equality, with special emphasis on “shared leadership” among women and men in business, government and beyond.
In 2020, Vision 2020 will present Women 100: A Celebration of American Women, focused on three kinds of history – what’s already happened, what’s happening now, and what will result from decisions yet to be made. Timing of the year-long schedule of events is tied to the centennial of the 1920 passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, granting women the right to vote.
The 31 days will become 366 next year as Women 100 welcomes visitors from all 50 states. When they come to Philadelphia in 2020, they’ll find the results of 10 years of planning by Vision 2020, including:
Throughout the year, Vision 2020 will conduct a non-partisan voter mobilization campaign urging women to say thank you to the suffragists of a century ago by exercising their right to vote in the national election.
So next year, there will be time for my granddaughters Mae and Chloe to enter that 2020 voting booth with full awareness and appreciation of the importance of their right to vote.
History is a long-running show. Women deserve more than an annual guest appearance. Vision 2020’s Women 100 will provide a full year of overdue education and commemoration that we hope inspires others to do the same.