North and the #BossLadies of Boss Talk are excited to continue celebrating Women’s History Month as we recognize those who have helped pave the way for us and future Boss Ladies to come. Because of their accomplishments, we can encourage our daughters, sisters, mothers, and friends to dream big and reach for the stars fearlessly. Here are a few amazing women who have led the charge in fighting for gender equality in the United States.
Susan B. Anthony (1820 – 1906)
Susan B. Anthony was a life-long women’s rights activist who helped form the National Woman Suffrage Association in 1868. Alongside Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan helped found the association that pushed for a constitutional amendment that would give women the right to vote. In 1872, Susan and a small group of women cast their ballots for president in Rochester, New York, where they were then arrested and found guilty for the crime of voting.
Alice Paul (1885 – 1977 )
On March 3, 1913, Alice Paul organized the Women’s Suffrage Parade in downtown Washington, DC, effectively stealing the spotlight from President Woodrow Wilson’s inauguration. Alice was pivotal in securing the passage of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which granted women the right to vote. Originally a member of the National American Women Suffrage Association (NAWSA), Alice split from the NAWSA to form the National Woman’s Party.
Betty Freidan (1921 – 2006)
In 1963, Betty Freidan published The Feminine Mystique, a non-fiction book that shed light on the dissatisfaction among women in mainstream American society, sparking another wave of feminism during the 20th century. Betty was one of the co-founders of the National Women’s Political Caucus, the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws, and the National Organization for Women. On Aug. 26, 1970, the fiftieth anniversary of women’s suffrage, Betty organized the Women’s Strike for Equality.
Wilma L. Vaught (1930 – )
General Wilma Vaught is one of the most highly decorated women in United States military history, accomplishing many “firsts” for women, such as being the first female to deploy with a Strategic Air Command bombardment wing on an operational deployment. General Vaught is responsible for establishing the Women in Military Service for America Memorial Foundation Inc., which raised funds to build the first major memorial honoring the nearly three million women who have served in our nation’s armed forces. Dedicated in 1997, The Women In Military Service For America Memorial is the only major national memorial that pays tribute to past, present and future U.S. Armed Forces servicewomen.
Tarana Burke (1973 – )
In 2006, Tarana Burke founded the “Me Too” movement as a way of supporting survivors of sexual violence to promote healing and create a community of advocates. In 2017, the “Me Too” movement became a well-known campaign raising awareness about sexual harassment, abuse, and assault in society, and in particular the entertainment industry after actress Alyssa Milano tweeted using the hashtag “#MeToo.” The same year, Time Magazine named Tarana as a Person of the Year for her role in breaking the silence on this issue as a leading social activist. Since then, “Me Too” has become a global campaign to fight for women’s rights and continues to make history across the world.