By Erica Blanton, Staff Writer, U.S. Space Force
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — This year marks the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment, prohibiting that U.S. citizens be denied the right to vote on the basis of gender. To celebrate Women’s History Month, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado held a leadership panel on March 11, 2020 with local military and civilian women leaders to talk progress, values, and the future.
Keynote speaker Jill Tietjen, electrical engineer, women’s advocate and Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame inductee, highlighted important women throughout history and barriers in the fight to obtain equal rights.
“When English colonists arrived in North America in 1620, they brought the concept of common law with them,” said Tietjen. “Property laws dictated that a woman was a man’s property, particularly a married woman. They had no rights and lived in a condition called ‘civil death’.”
Since that time, the women’s suffrage movement has brought about many changes in the United States. These changes include women entering the military as well as acknowledging their ability to rise to numerous levels of leadership.
Speaking on the joys and challenges of being leaders, the four-woman panel answered questions submitted by the audience that ranged from what values are most important to them, to how they make their vote heard in their military and civilian career fields.
“It’s so important that we have events like this,” said Col. Debra Lovette, U.S. Space Command director of human capital. “We need these conversations so we can learn from one another and work toward the same goal: bringing out the best talent to complete the mission. No matter where that comes from.”
Look for more Women’s History Month, and other special observance coverage, at https://www.peterson.af.mil/.