Still waiting for the ‘Year of the Woman’

Photo-Illustration by Neil Jamieson for TIME

Historically, the term “Year Of the Woman” was formulated in the late 1960s. However, the term wasn’t popularized in the media until 1992 when a wave of women complained that Anita Hill, who testified that Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas had been sexually inappropriate with her, was mistreated by an all-male Senate Judiciary Committee [led by Rhode Island Sen. Joe Biden].

The term was used for political references, especially during voting for state officials.

Women have created space in all areas, regardless of adversity, and have engineered change in a white male-dominated world. The music industry, politics, the medical field and many others have slowly begun to see more female representation.

Historic women such as Condoleeza Rice, who was appointed national security adviser by President George W. Bush in 2001, was the first Black woman (and the second woman ever) to hold the position. Another historic woman is the Speaker of the House, Representative Nancy Pelosi, who is the first woman to ever hold the position.

These women and others have paved the way for others to make their own legacies.

Amanda Gorman, 24, made history last year as the youngest known inaugural poet. Gorman was 22 at the time of President Biden and Vice-President Harris’ inauguration when she beautifully stole the show with her poem, “The Hill We Climb.

Although more women are breaking many barriers, there are people who do believe women have not been getting as many rights as we should.

Bethune-Cookman University graduate student and small business owner, Haedan Patterson, mentions even though women have more rights than before, they are still mistreated no matter how hard people try to be inclusive and make the country fair.

“… Not much has changed. Women are still getting paid less than their male counterparts, not to mention women of color are getting paid even less,” Patterson said. “Women are still underrepresented in government, entertainment, business, etc. It discourages other young women who look to seek their career in politics or throughout government.”

According to The National Partnership for Women and Families, women working full and part-time jobs make 79% of what their male counterparts earn. Also, women worldwide make 77% of the amount paid to men, according to the United Nations International Labor Organization.

Jamie Rickards, a private chef in Houston, mentions how women now are taking over different industries in today’s society.

“Women have been the epitome and backbone for society throughout the world and throughout time. We were created to be that helping hand for our partners and family and realize that we are powerful beings that cannot be tamed,” Rickards said. “Even though women have been treated less than, they have risen to the occasion throughout time, especially since the women’s suffrage movement and the plight of feminism and womanism,” Rickards said.

Women have stepped into those roles from politics to entertainment to culinary arts. They are going beyond the limit to display different abilities in a community where women are labeled as nothing but those who care for the home, the family and their partner.

The “Year of the Woman” is still playing out today. By the different historic moments that have been achieved, women have made it so there can never be just one appointed year to celebrate us and our extraordinary accomplishments. Women have worked hard in order to prove that every day is a good day to celebrate them.