Over the last century, women have made great strides in gaining equality, being acknowledged for their contributions in the areas of human and women’s rights, political and economic developments as well as civic endeavors such as the prevention of domestic violence against women, child health initiatives all while transforming their respective communities. Women have been at the forefront of change, pioneering efforts to further access to advanced learning and education for all.
In March 2011, The White House released its first report highlighting the status and victories of American women within the past 50 years and many of the findings from the report are noteworthy and support the importance of women in today’s society. Positive highlights of the report showed that women’s gains in educational attainment have outpaced their male counterparts over the last 40 years. Higher percentages of women between the ages of 25-34 have earned a college degree when compared to men in the same age category. Women were also shown to further their educational endeavors through graduate education and on-going adult education as opposed to men.
Nonetheless, there are still areas concerning the advancement of women that need further attention and improvement if we want to keep this momentum going and secure an environment where our daughters and other women (young and old) can continue to mature and flourish. The dual responsibility of maintaining a “traditional” role in the home while working outside of the home has led to increased levels of stress which has had a more negative effect on women over the past five decades.
While women are making great strides towards greater equality and achievement, we also need to pursue all-encompassing changes in the areas of physical, emotional, and mental health with the intention of properly caring for ourselves and the other women in our lives while continuing to raise the standard of the status of women in America and the world. According to a study conducted by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP),
prolonged levels of stress have resulted in higher cases of serious medical conditions such as hypertension, strokes, ulcers and mental disorders in women when contrasted against men.
The World Health Organization (WHO), quotes that
women are two times more likely to develop certain mental health conditions than men.
In the area of mental health, a red flag is being raised and the issues of depression, panic disorders and anxiety disorders must be addressed. The cloak of shame, guilt and condemnation surrounding mental illnesses among women must be dispelled with this generation.
The Time is Now.
If you or someone you love is suffering through the pain of a mental illness, don’t wait to seek treatment. The time is now. It is only when we [women] come together and support, motivate, help and encourage each other that profound revolution will take place and a sense of belonging, pride, and dignity will catapult the women’s movement of this century to another level.
Let’s raise the bar and challenge all women to a higher standard as we seek to improve the world through a more humane and unbiased society, challenging every woman in our life to get the support and health needed to survive and succeed.
Let’s raise the bar for the younger generation by strengthening our educational base and systems through consistent mentoring at younger ages, affording the following generations of girls and women with the confidence and fortitude to continue to advance the social and economic well-being of women and subsequently the advancement of all people.
In centuries past, King Solomon penned a wise saying that still rings true to this day, “As iron sharpens iron; so a man [woman] sharpens the countenance of his [her] friend (Proverbs 27:17). It is when we truly come together through friendship and open dialogue with other women that healthy relationships can be formed and fostered and that is when we can experience a refreshed, renewed and revived spirit that will provoke us toward greater achievement.
It is my hope and desire that women everywhere will sharpen each other, recognizing their gifts and talents and exercise them through love and good works that will improve our society as a whole.
Seanicaa E. Edwards
Seanicaa Edwards works as an economist for U.S. government. She is a Christian woman that seeks to support and motivate women to achieve their dreams. She is also an avid reader, writer, and motivational speaker. If you are interested in learning more about the author please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.