Women’s empowerment has made great strides in recent decades, but the work is far from over.
It seems inconceivable today, but Susan B. Anthony was arrested and tried for voting in the U.S. presidential election of 1872. In advance of her trial date, she traveled to some 50 towns to offer public speeches in her own defense.
She quoted the preamble to the U.S. Constitution:
“We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution for the United States of America.”
She then zeroed in on that keyword “we”:
“It was we, the people, not we, the white male citizens, nor yet we, the male citizens; but we, the whole people, who formed this Union. And we formed it, not to give the blessings of liberty, but to secure them; not to the half of ourselves and the half of our posterity, but to the whole people — women as well as men.”
Addressing much more than just voting rights, women’s empowerment refers to the process of enabling women to take control of their own lives, both personally and professionally.