The Crusader Newspaper Group

Women’s prowess in American society will determine fate of a nation

By Vernon A. Williams

The only hypocrisy and farce greater than America pretending to observe Black History Month is the feigned tribute to women that comes a month later. It is crystal clear the U.S. citizens of the African Diaspora command little to no consideration in the nation they helped to build. Already traditionally marginalized, the blatant systemic racism of recent years has exacerbated societal discrepancies.

It’s not enough that the presumptive presidential candidate for one of the two major political parties is overtly racist. Legislation in the majority of states, and a hostile Congress, showcase growing contempt at every opportunity demonizing inclusion and equity.

The refuge Black citizens once enjoyed periodically from the U.S. Supreme Court has dissipated in a fog of judicial antagonism that threatens to set racial progress back more than 50 years, blurring the focus of affirmative action and compromising voting rights.

No ceremonial or perfunctory acknowledgment of Black accomplishments matter if there is an intentional and aggressive campaign to erase us from the pages of history books and to dismiss legitimate efforts to put Black citizenship in context by decrying it as “wokeness.”

Similarly, it is cruel bombast and hollow rhetoric to salute women’s distinct and indelible historical significance while attacking their fundamental freedoms and rights at every level, most importantly when it comes to their health and welfare.

The gender gap in pay has remained relatively stable in the United States over the past 20 years or so. In 2022, women earned an average of 82 percent of what men earned, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of median hourly earnings of both full- and part-time workers. These results are similar to where the pay gap stood in 2002, when women earned 80 percent as much as men.

And the glass ceilings at an overwhelming number of major corporations in this nation are far from being shattered in the foreseeable future. While women comprise a majority of the workforce, only 10.4 percent of Chief Executive Officers at Fortune 500 enterprises in the U.S. are female.

Supreme Court demolition of the constitutional option protection in Roe v. Wade has opened the floodgates of contempt rights of self-determination when it comes to their bodies. Instead, old white men are restricting their path.

Women are still disproportionately responsible for balancing issues like childcare, healthcare and major issues that impact the family. It is time to seriously and consistently address women’s concerns and specific needs.

This is an election year. We must demand a woman-driven agenda be part of the platform for any candidate for any office at any level of government. Then we need to enforce methods of accountability. Finally, we need a forceful presence of men pursuing these goals.

Women have always been and remain the backbone of American society. Our capacity to excel as a nation is in direct correlation with the manner in which they are able to participate and flourish. We’re all in this together.

CIRCLE CITY CONNECTION by Vernon A. Williams is a series of essays on myriad topics that include social issues, human interest, entertainment and profiles of difference-makers who are forging change in a constantly evolving society. Williams is a 40-year veteran journalist based in Indianapolis, IN – commonly referred to as The Circle City. Send comments or questions to: [email protected].

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