Women’s History Month (Conclusion)

March 22, 2018

“Where there is no struggle, there is no strength.” – Oprah Winfrey

March is Women’s History Month. This month this column has been recognizing the achievements of women throughout history. When one remembers the many accomplishments of women, one is inspired by Amelia Earhart.

Amelia Earhart

Earhart was an American aviator who set many flying records and championed the advancement of women in aviation. She became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean and the first person to ever fly solo from Hawaii to the U.S. mainland. However, during the flight to circumnavigate the globe, Earhart disappeared somewhere over the Pacific in 1937. Her plane wreckage was never found. Earhart’s disappearance remains one of the greatest mysteries of the 20th century.1 Earhart was legally declared dead in 1939.


Contemporary History Maker:
Oprah Winfrey
(1954 – ).

Oprah Winfrey is a television talk show host, film actress, philanthropist and producer. Born in Kosciusko, Mississippi on January 29, 1954, she moved to Baltimore in 1976 to host a chat show, People Are Talking. Thereafter she was recruited to Chicago to host her own talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, which aired for 25 seasons. Her successes came after a dreadful childhood which included assault by a cousin, uncle and a family friend. But her tragic past didn’t stop her from excelling as an honors student and winning an oratory contest which secured her a full scholarship to college. Now she is one of the most successful women in the world today.

Beloved, over the last 100 years, significant progress has been made regarding the rights of women, but there are still obstacles to overcome. An obstacle yet to be overcome is work place equality. Research by Bareto, The Glass Ceiling in the 21st Century: Understanding Barriers to Gender Equality, noted since the coining of the phrase “glass ceiling,” women are still underrepresented in the upper echelons of organizations. In fact, today, an obstacle associated with encountering or breaking through the glass ceiling includes more nuanced forms of gender stereotyping, tokenism, and sexual harassment.2 The gender wage gap also continues to be an area of concern. It is reported by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) that women working full time in the U.S. in 2016 were typically paid just 80 percent of what men were paid. Even though this gap has narrowed since the 70s, due mainly to progress and education, it is still an equality issue that needs ongoing attention. At the rate of change between 1960 and 2016, the AAUW reports that women are expected to reach pay equity with men in 2059.3 While it is still debated whether women have indeed broken the clichéd “glass ceiling,” what we do know is that in the last 100 years, women have made considerable progress and are a critical and driving force in our society today.

1 History.com.
2 Barreto, M., Ryan, M. K., & Schmitt, M. T. (Eds.). (2009). Psychology of women book series. The glass ceiling in the 21st century: Understanding barriers to gender equality.
3 The Simple Truth About the Gender Wage Gap, AAUW.

The writer does not assume responsibility in any way for readers’ efforts to apply or utilize information or recommendations made in this article, as they may not be necessarily appropriate for every situation to which they may refer. This information is for educational purposes only. If you would like to contact Rev. Lester, write to her c/o P.O. Box 121, Brookfield, WI. 53008.