Our History is Our Strength

Brownie Troop 3263

As March comes to a close, so too does Women’s History Month. This year’s theme is “Our History is Our Strength.” It’s hard to imagine a time when women did not have the right to vote. When Millicent Fenwick was born in 1910, women did not have that fundamental right. But by the time Fenwick was old enough to vote she could thanks to trailblazers like Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Alice Paul.

In 1974, when Fenwick was first elected to Congress, she was 1 of just 18 women in the House of Representatives. There were no women in the Senate. Yet despite this, 1974 was dubbed “The Year of the Breakthrough for Women” by the chair of the National Women’s Political Caucus because more women ran for office that year than ever before.

By contrast, there are now 88 women in Congress – 71 in the House of Representatives and 17 in the Senate. While this represents great strides in the years since Fenwick was in Congress, the 112th Congress represents a slight decrease – two less seats held by women. In that same span of time we’ve seen a woman become Speaker of the House, become the vice presidential candidate on both tickets (the Democrats had Geraldine Ferraro and the Republicans had Sarah Palin), and, of course, there was Hillary Clinton’s recent bid for the presidency. All of these women have helped pave the path for future generations and it’s knowing this history that is our strength.

As we celebrate Women’s History Month, may the girls of today look towards public service tomorrow. Go Brownie Troop 3263!

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