In honor of Women’s History Month, state Rep. Chuck Jefferson (D-Rockford) recently hosted a commemoration event.
“Women have always played a vital role in our country, but their achievements and contributions have often gone unacknowledged. This month provides us with a unique privilege to reflect on the lives, sacrifices, and monumental contributions of women,” Jefferson said. “It must also serve as a reminder that we must honor all women every day of the year.”
Jefferson’s event will featured guest speakers, and called special attention to this year’s 100 anniversary of suffragists marching on Washington. Invited guests include the Alpha Kappa Sorority, American Association of University Women, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, League of Women Voters, National Council of Negro Women, YWCA Rockford, elected officials and area dignitaries.
“On March 3, 1913, over 5,000 women marched in Washington demanding the right to vote,” Jefferson explained. “After decades of exclusion, mistreatment, and even imprisonment for the cause, suffragettes finally achieved success on August 26, 1920, when the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution went into effect, giving female citizens the right to vote. Today, women’s votes outnumber men in each election.”
At the state level, Jefferson has been an advocate for women by fighting for improved health care services for all, including ensuring that women have access to preventative measures and critical treatment for diseases like ovarian and breast cancer. He has also helped pass legislation to combat domestic violence, protect women’s rights in the work place, guarantee equal pay for equal work, and improve child care options for working families.
Congress officially declared March as national Women’s History Month in 1987.