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Paving the Way for Women’s Opportunity

“I think the girl who is able to earn her own living and pay her own way should be as happy as anybody on earth. The sense of independence and security is very sweet.” – Susan B. Anthony

Susan B. Anthony fought hard for women’s suffrage. She died 14 years before women were ultimately granted the right to vote, but she was a pioneer in the progress that was made. What seemed like such an unavoidable convention at the time, to inhibit women from having the same rights as men, is now seen as a historical misfortune by most. Granted there are numerous areas in today’s world where women still fall silent to the systematic inequality that has been deeply seeded in so many.

As a woman, reflecting on this quote of Anthony’s is humbling. To know that women today have been given the right and freedom to be who they want to be, which was once only a dream for countless others. To be considered complete and sufficient on one’s own, without the guidance, support or security of a man, is indeed a privilege.

But that’s not every woman’s goal in life, some women are deeply passionate about raising their children and making a home (as are some men). That’s great; there is value in their efforts. The issue becomes present when those very women forget that their right to have a say, and their liberty to choose between life’s opportunities was also fought for by many. Just because they’ve chosen a life path with less resistance and more broadly accepted convention, doesn’t mean they aren’t benefiting from what has been fought for on their behalf.

Unfortunately, these days it seems that women are pitted against one another. The stay-at-home moms of the world feel threatened by those who are balancing their careers and their families; those who spend their time in a board room feel judged by the women who stay busy caring for their children. And all of this contention for what? Neither of these lifestyles are better than the other. They’re both noble. The issue arises when people are so defensive that they’re unable to respect the preferences and sacrifices of another.

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