Women’s Equality Day observed at Historic Hickam Officers’ Club

Col. Kara Gormont, right, assigned to 15th Medical Group, speaks with Sailors during the Women’s Equality Day event at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Aug. 21.

Story and photo by MC1 Randi Brown

Navy Public Affairs Support Element Detachment Hawaii

The Joint Force Diversity Committee hosted an event in observance of Women’s Equality Day at the Historic Hickam Officers’ Club on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Aug. 21.

Women’s Equality Day falls Aug. 26 every year as a commemoration of the passing of the 19th Amendment in 1920 when women were granted the right to vote.

“The Women’s Equality Day observance not only commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment but also represents women’s continuous efforts towards full equality,” said Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam Command Master Chief, Allen Keller.

In 1948 the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act enabled women to serve as permanent, regular members of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and the then-recently-formed Air Force.

The law limited the number of women who could serve in the military to two percent of the total forces in each branch. Today women represent approximately 16 percent of the U.S. military.

“We currently have two female executive officers that are executive officers of operationally deployed aircraft carriers, one of which will go on to be the very first female commanding officer of an aircraft carrier,” Keller said.

“Eventually there will come a day that you can look across the horizon and everything that one gender does the other will have the same, equal opportunity to do so.”

“As a woman in the military I have been invited into conversations that help me shed light on what obstacles professional females face to serve with equality in the military,” said Col. Kara Gormont, the commander of 15th Medical Group.

“In one meeting I realized that out of 55 people there were only three females making decisions for our Airmen. These failures of equality are not a woman’s problem; we are all in this together and we are better when we solve the issues together.

On this holiday we should keep in mind all of the strong women and women’s organizations all over the country that continue to work hard to provide women with equal opportunities in all fields.

“In the military we have done a great job of improving equality. During this time when tensions in our nations are running high, I do not doubt that we will continue to do a good job of meeting these challenges to improve equality,” Gormont said.

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Category: News