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This is women’s history month, and it is important to recognize their contributions.
With just slightly more than 50% of Americans being women, it’s not hard to imagine how much of an impact they have on our country.
Women are mothers, educators, caretakers, medical professionals, executive administrators, managers, factory workers, farmers, and entrepreneurs. The list of contributions by women in America is endless.
We set March aside to honor and reflect on the courage, bravery, and perseverance of women through history. The vital role women have played in the development of America is undeniable, and women’s role in the development of Arkansas was just as important.
Arkansas Children’s Hospital is the only pediatric hospital in the state, and among the ten largest children’s hospitals in the United States. In 1934, Ruth Olive Beall became superintendent of the hospital and was an integral part of change and growth that garnered the support of President Franklin Roosevelt when he visited Little Rock in 1936. In that same year, the American College of Surgeons accredited the hospital which became an important milestone in the development of what the hospital is today.
In 1917, women won the right to vote in primary elections, thanks to the efforts of valiant women who did not waiver when the legislature rejected their initiatives. In 1919, Arkansas became just the second state in the south to pass the Nineteenth Amendment, giving women the right to vote in all elections.
In 1932, Arkansan Hattie Caraway became the first-ever woman elected to serve in the United States Senate.
One of the most notable movements of the 20th century included the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s. Here in Arkansas, Daisy Gatson Bates, president of the Arkansas NAACP and mentor to the Little Rock Nine, led the way for the desegregation of Arkansas schools.
Today, women are an essential part of my leadership team, and I have relied upon women in several positions to bring success to my administration.
The impression that women have left on the state can not be overstated, yet even today new developments and issues arise daily. For that reason, I created the 2022 Arkansas Women’s Commission to address new issues, and there is no better perspective on an issue than that of those who are affected by it.
The Arkansas Women’s Commission is an opportunity for women from across Arkansas to be heard. The first regional meeting was held in Fayetteville with other meetings planned for Pine Bluff, Mountain Home, and locations to be chosen. These meetings are open to the public and materials can be found at Women.Arkansas.Gov.
I urge you to take the opportunity to share your experience because your perspective could be one that makes a difference for our future.