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Theresa Van Dam, contract dental assistant at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island Dental Clinic, speaks about her struggles while serving in the Marine Corps at the Women's Equality Day special event aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, Aug. 22.

Photo by Sgt. Marcy Sanchez

Progress toward progression

29 Aug 2013 | Sgt. Marcy Sanchez

Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort held a special event to recognize women’s rights and celebrate Women’s Equality Day at the MCAS Beaufort Officers’ Club, Aug. 22.
 The event featured musical selections and speakers sharing life experiences, career choices and those who inspired them. 
In school, we are taught about brave women in history whose bold actions blazed the trails in making every American citizen equal. 
From Abigail Adams, wife of President John Adams and mother to President John Quincy Adams, to Susan B. Anthony, a supporter of women’s rights who spent more than 50 years fighting for suffrage, we gain a respect for our mothers and sisters at an early age. What most don’t know are the efforts and actions of thousands of participants of rallies and marches aimed at closing the gap between men and women. 
From the world’s first major women’s rights conference at Seneca Falls, N.Y., to marches in 1970 (49 years after the 19th amendment was ratified) on the streets of New York City, promoting equal opportunities for women in employment and education, women have continued to struggle for equality over the span of our democracy.
Women’s Equality Day was created in 1971 to symbolize women’s continued fight for equal rights and that the United States commends and supports them.
Since first established, a presidential proclamation has been signed every year celebrating the progress that has been made, and renewing our commitment to securing equal rights, freedoms, and opportunities for women everywhere.
Despite decades of progress toward gender equality, women are still treated unfairly in some work environment.
“We have more work to do,” said President Barrack Obama. “While women graduate college at higher rates than men, they still make less money after graduation and often have fewer opportunities to enter well-paid occupations or receive promotions.”
According to the proclamation, today, women make up the majority of the electorate, and last year a record number of women were elected to the United States Congress. 
As Americans are reminded of the progress that has been made, they must also resolve to make progress today.
“We owe that legacy of progress to our mothers and aunts, grandmothers and great-grandmothers,” said Obama. “Women who proved not only that opportunity and equality do not come without a fight, but also that they are possible.”