As of 2021, there were 331.89 million women in the United States, making up approximately 50.5% of our country’s population.
Why is that important? It matters because more women are small business owners, educating themselves for corporate America, involving themselves in the political world, and raising families.
The concerns of women are truly what makes the world revolve day to day.
Research shows that women tend to be more concerned about education, healthcare and reproductive rights than men. Women support financing for social services and childcare at higher rates. They write the checks for these items in their households while making decisions on meals, insurance, daycare, school activities, clothing, and many other day-to-day needs.
And today, we see more women taking leadership roles in the business world, politics and the military. In 2021, women made up 17.3 percent of the active-duty armed forces (totaling 231,741 members), and 21.4 percent of the National Guard and reserves at 171,000 members.
In 2023, women account for 28 percent of U.S. Congress and 31 percent of statewide elective offices. We also have more women offering to serve for school boards, municipal and county offices in each state. They have something to say and are speaking up to be heard. They realize they can have a family, a career and still serve their country, states, and local communities.
Great female leaders maintain a positive vision and keep others focused on the big picture and end goals. They listen to the needs and seek solutions for the whole.
We are finding more sisterhoods today with women. They join clubs to encourage each other and to serve alongside each other for their communities and states.
And even if they choose not to seek elected office themselves, they know how important it can be to support strong female candidates.
They write letters, make calls and text those who pass legislation and make our laws. And they volunteer in their communities, schools, and churches.
An advocate is defined as someone who defends or pleads the cause of another. In a nutshell, that means an advocate is anyone who stands up or speaks up for someone who is unable to speak up for themselves or whose voice alone is not being heard.
Women have found their voice. All over our country women are taking a role beside their male counterparts to lead our communities, states, and nation to a better tomorrow.
Women need to continue to support women in service at all levels – elected, business, military, healthcare, law enforcement, education, and those who choose to work daily in our homes.
The status of women in our country is so very important in the workforce, in the home and in the military.
As women leaders and women who strive to be leaders in all fields, we must plan to win, we must have a winning attitude, we must keep improving and make the people around us more successful. As Charlie Brower says, “Few people are successful unless a lot of other people want them to be.”
We all must use all of the tools in our toolbox!
Rita Allison is a former member of the South Carolina House of Representatives. She currently serves on the South Carolina State Board of Education.