This last year has been a roller coaster of an experience all around. When I reflect over 2021 regarding progress for women the roller coaster ride analogy stands true. And I don’t anticipate that ride slowing down going into 2022. There’s a lot of work to be done…and we need to be loud…we need to leverage the power of our voice, votes, and spending…and we need not settle for good enough.
Over 2021 I saw highs like Kamala Harris being sworn in as Vice President of the U.S.A. marking multiple firsts for the position; first woman, first person of color, and first person of Southeast Asian descent. Along with Kamala’s achievement, the U.S. made many other firsts as the new administration was announced and confirmed. I watched as Amanda Gorman blew me away speaking at the U.S. presidential inauguration and seeing millions reacquaint themselves on social media with what a “poet laureate” is and the power they hold to move and inspire us. And as a lifelong soccer player and fan, I was elated and shouted out “Nevertheless she persisted” when in September, the U.S. Soccer Federation announced that it is finally offering its men’s and women’s teams identical contracts this year after a long-fought battle by women’s soccer players across the U.S.
With these amazing highs there were lows that knock the wind out of me still such as the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and its overwhelming impact on women and girls. (Please watch Shabana Basij-Rasikh’s TEDWomen 2021 talk, listen to our podcast “Did You Just Say the F-word”with Dr. Lina AbiRafeh’s insight on Afghanistan, and check back on our Organization Spotlight for VOICE on how you can help.) And the ongoing attack on women’s health rights in the U.S., specifically the right to an abortion.
What I can say about 2021 is that it has me FIRED UP and ready to do what I can with the power and platforms I have. I was recently re-inspired at TEDWomen 2021 watching Kathryn Kolbert, a champion of women’s rights who spoke on the same day that the Supreme Court was reviewing the Mississippi case seeking to turn over Roe vs. Wade. Her call to all of us? Think bigger, elect champions of choice at all levels of government, get politically active, and run for office.
We want to hear from YOU. What were the moments, movements, events, milestones, heart aches, and celebrations that impacted women (positively or negatively) over this last year? We’ve posted this article @The Corner and would love for you to also share other moments that have happened this past year and your hopes and rallying cry for 2022.
For some other reflections on the year and looking forward, check out:
Photo by Monica Melton for Unsplash