Women all across America are finding their own. More and more women are courageously speaking their truths and stepping boldly and unapologetically into leadership positions in every aspect of society. This new found awareness of our own self worth is long overdue. To be honest, women have for centuries been at the forefront of change in America and Black women, whose contributions are historically underappreciated, are taking ownership of the notion that our history must be written by our own hands.
In this edition of IMARA Woman Magazine, we focus on women in South Carolina and how we are creating new opportunities for ourselves and our daughters and granddaughters. On January 20, thousands of women (and supportive men) rallied in communities across the state for electoral justice, empowered voting and to say in one loud voice that 2018 will be the year of the women (page 10). National women’s organizations like Emerge are taking root in South Carolina to encourage and help train women to run for political office and win (page 15). Women are collectively saying that gone are the days of sitting quietly while being sexually harassed on the job, denied promotions because of their gender and being paid less than their male counterparts while doing the same work. Women are finally accepting the fact that if we want the rules to be fair, we have to make sure we help craft the rules.
The #MeToo movement is empowering women who have been silent for decades to speak out about being sexually harassed. Their voices are no longer silenced by fear of retaliation. But we must exercise caution in judging yesterday’s behavior by today’s standards and acknowledge the difference between the crime of sexual assault and an insult (page 22). It is a delicate balancing act that will require women to be vigilant and prompt in reporting sexual assault claims (page 22). Silence only benefits the perpetrator and the harasser.
These are challenging times but I feel certain that women are up to the challenge and we will honor ourselves and the next generation by requiring and giving respect.