AFDW Airmen observe Women’s Equality Day

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Joe Yanik
  • Air Force District of Washington Public Affairs

Air Force District of Washington and other Joint Base Andrews organizations will join the country August 26, to celebrate Women’s Equality Day.


This date in August was set aside by Congress in 1971 to commemorate the certification of the 19th Amendment. Ratified in 1920, the 19th Amendment prohibits the states and the federal government from denying the right to vote to U.S. citizens on the basis of sex. This historic milestone marked a significant victory for the suffrage movement in America and it represents progress for women seeking equal rights and treatment in all facets of American society.


“The women’s suffrage movement provided an equal opportunity for women to vote, ultimately breaking barriers in many other areas including women joining the U.S. Air Force,” said Janice Jackson, AFDW Equal Opportunity director. “Diversifying and including women into the fabric of the USAF and society has strengthened our ability to fly, fight and win.” 


In the last few years, gender equality has become one of the U.S. military’s strategic priorities for enhancing our country’s national security. A significant milestone occurred in 2015 when the Department of Defense decided to open all combat jobs to women.


“I think it’s important to bring attention to the issue of gender equality in the military,” said Staff Sgt. Malaka Tate, 744th Communications Squadron knowledge operations management technician. “We need to increase the awareness of others who have no knowledge of how equality works in the military.”


Tate said she noticed the Air Force has made great improvements in recent years with regards to gender equality, mentioning the DoD’s 2015 decision.


“Since joining the Air Force, my life has only gotten better thanks to mentors who have opened doors for me and my career,” Tate said.


Last September, the Air Force’s senior civilian and military leaders launched more than a dozen Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives aimed to promote building a “Total Force” that comprises Airmen of diverse backgrounds, experiences, demographics and perspectives.


In 2016, then-Secretary of the Air Force, Deborah Lee James, and the current Chief of Staff of the Air Force and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force, Gen. David L. Goldfein and Chief MSgt. James. A. Cody, released a Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives memorandum. The memo outlines initiatives that put forth a holistic approach to capitalizing on the unique contributions of all Airmen. View the published story about the memo's release here.


These efforts, the memo continues, recognize that approaching problems from different perspectives and with varied insights most often results in innovation. View the published memorandum here.


The Women’s Equality Day observance at JBA will occur Aug. 25 and will feature activities on base including a 5K Race in the morning, and a free afternoon movie screening of the film titled, Megan Leavy, whose plot centers around a female Marine protagonist. The screening will be preceded by a question and answer discussion with civic leader, Angela Alsobrooks, who serves as state attorney in Prince George’s County.