Women’s History Month: Reflect, celebrate, inspire

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Alysa Calvarese
  • 1st Special Operations Wing

 On March 8, 1857, female textile workers marched the streets of New York City in the first organized strike to protest unfair working conditions and unequal rights for women.

53 years later, in 1910, March 8 became International Women's Day.

In 1987, the National Women's History Project successfully petitioned Congress to include all of March as a celebration of the diverse and impactful roles women have played in shaping our society, culture and progress.

Women’s History Month is celebrated throughout the world, shining a light on the countless moments women have made noteworthy changes in history.

“During Women’s History Month, we honor those who paved the way, inspiring my daughter and others to believe in limitless possibilities,” said Staff Sgt. Vanessa Murdock, a 15th Special Operations Squadron aviation resource manager. “Together we empower and uplift, embodying the spirit of service and equality.”

Since the beginning of the women’s equality movement, there have been significant changes in women’s rights, especially in the U.S. military.

In the decades since, women have fought for the right to serve while pregnant, hold pilot roles, lead majority-male units, fight in combat and various other opportunities that were not previously available to women.

Women across all military branches have been paving the way for future female members since the first women joined the military in 1917. Women are now a crucial part of the nation’s Armed Forces and a core part of the military community.

“As a woman serving in the Air Force, I bring diversity and unique perspectives, shaping a legacy for future generations,” said Murdock. “I am thankful and honored to serve this country.”

Data from a 2022 report by Military One Source stated that there are approximately 17.5% of female active-duty members and 82.5% of male active-duty members. While male active-duty members still outnumber their female counterparts, the rate of women has increased over the years.

"The over 3 million women who have served in or with the armed forces since the American Revolution have contributed immensely to the strength and resilience of our armed forces," said Patricia Montes Barron, Military Community and Family Policy deputy assistant secretary of defense.

Women's History Month provides an opportunity to reflect on the past, celebrate the present, and inspire a future where women can continue to work toward a more inclusive and equitable future for all.