Rise up to celebrate and honor our legacy, NAWBO members! This moment in time is where the past meets the future and WE – stronger together – determine the course of history and the legacy of generations to come.
2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment that guarantees and protects women's constitutional right to vote. This historic centennial offers an opportunity to commemorate a milestone of democracy and explore its relevance to the issues of equal rights today.
As we look back at the history and compare it to the current challenges we are facing, I remain optimistic like the women who courageously led the suffrage movement. We are dealing with an unstable political climate, an upcoming election, a pandemic that doesn’t seem to want to go away, and a movement for more diversity and equality across America, and still there is hope and inspiration in all of this. We cannot allow our current situation to take away our ability to have a voice in matters that are important to us. Remaining hopeful – as did Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who organized the first gathering devoted to women’s rights in 1848 – gives us a positive state of mind that something good will happen. I am hopeful that women will continue to raise the bar, hold positions on boards, become CEO’s of large corporations, continue to build their own businesses, and encourage and nurture our next generation. I am inspired by the fact that although times are not what we expect it to be, I believe that each and every one of us will innovate and thrive in our businesses for years to come.
It is also amazing and exciting to see that women-owned businesses make up 42% of all businesses and employ more than 9.4 million workers. I do not believe that this could have happened without the passage of suffrage that provides all women the equal rights we deserve. Let’s not forget that our work isn’t finished: we must continue to fight to have our voices heard so that we can be the game-changers of the present and for the future generations that follow.
I leave you with a quote from Alice Paul who once said, "I never doubted that equal rights was the right direction. Most reforms, most problems are complicated. But to me there is nothing complicated about ordinary equality."
Together and Stronger – Elizabeth
NAWBO Board President
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