Two events were held last week on Fort Huachuca in recognition of Women’s Equality Day 2012 which actually falls on Aug. 26, but was celebrated here early.
On Aug. 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution became law, and women could legally vote in the fall elections, including in the presidential election.
One event held here on Aug. 21 for the Women’s Equality Day observance was “The Quest for Equality,” sponsored by the U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence and the Fort Huachuca Military Equal Opportunity team.
During the celebration, a presentation of “Who Am I?” was performed. It was a display of four women in America who were pioneers of their time and of the women’s rights movement: Lucy Stone, Susan B. Anthony, Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
Guest speaker Dr. Ronda Frueauff, superintendent, Fort Huachuca Accommodation Schools, shared personal knowledge. “To me, women’s right to vote granted us the right to influence equally as much as our male counterparts. When we were growing up in the 1950s and 1960s my mother encouraged my sisters and me to get an education and to pursue our own careers. For some of you in the audience you remember the 50s and 60s; it was not necessarily a time of equal opportunity,” she said.
Frueauff teared up while recounting her mother’s personal struggles and the obstacles of education. “In today’s presidential election, in all the campaigns and reports, they indicate that the greatest influence in the decision on who will become president belongs to the female vote. The struggle to get this right took 72 years and did not occur until 14 years after Susan B. Anthony’s death. Today the power of that right is monumental,” she added.
“Women and Culture: A Global Perspective,” a cross-cultural event, was held Aug. 23 at the Thunder Mountain Activity Centre. It included two key speakers and brought together Soldiers from all over the world to share their perspective on women in their cultures and to provide them an opportunity to hear what women in America have overcome.
Those sitting at each table were asked to discuss what it meant to be a woman in their culture.
“To be a woman in my country [Columbia] means to be the same as a man. They have the same opportunities; they have the same rights. They can work in whatever they want to,” said 1st Lt. Alejandro Ospina, Columbian Army.
Two videos were aired. They displayed what life is like for a working woman, a dentist in Syria, and showed the dangers of trying to help women and girls in other countries to become more educated.
“In my culture we have the same equality for males and females. We always respect them, and they respect us. For me as a women and being part of an Army, I am proud of myself,” said 2nd Lt. Undrakh Elbeg, Mongolian Army.
“I actually enjoyed it. It is something different here on this military installation because usually you just talk about military stuff, and this is way beyond military activities. I think it is important to bring in all the international guys it kind of opens up perspectives to other countries as well. It was good,” said Hptm. Chris Wieser, German Army.
“I think it is wonderful to celebrate the whole culture of women and especially when we brought in our perspective to look at women from an international perspective. I think that we all have been through similar struggles,” said attendee Tanya Biami.