Since 1987, Congress and the President of the United States have issued proclamations to designate March as Women’s History Month, which began as a week of recognition in 1981.
With urging from the National Women’s History Project, this week turned into an entire month when we commemorate the contributions and accomplishments women have made to American history.
In honor of Women’s History Month, I recently sat down with a mentor of mine, Ohio House Speaker Jo Ann Davidson, who served as Speaker from 1995 to 2000. She was the first and only woman to hold the position of Speaker, blazing a trail for women to come.
I admire her greatly for her perseverance and determination, accomplishing her goals regardless of what obstacles came her way.
She has done much in the way of women’s history, especially in Ohio, and continues to advocate for women through the Jo Ann Davidson Ohio Leadership Institute. The program strives to inspire and train women to become leaders in business and civic affairs and take on roles in public service to make a difference in the lives of all Ohioans.
In our conversation about Women’s History Month, she gave some advice about the unique role women play in our society. Speaker Davidson did not shy away from the characteristics and perspectives women can bring to the table when considering policy, and encouraged women to use those strengths and understand what they have to offer.
She urged young women — and men alike — to be confident and get involved in government and current events early, as policy changes can have such an impact on our day-to-day lives.
This Women’s History Month, I’ll be sure to reflect on the wise advice Speaker Jo Ann Davidson imparted upon me during our conversation, advice that can serve men and women well in today’s world.
As she said, being a part of a group that makes decisions for the general public that does not include women is unacceptable today, and women are here to stay in elected public office.
And so, this month, I encourage you to think about the female pioneers that have done so much for America’s success and who will continue to do so for its future.
Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger (R-Clarksville) represents the 91st District, which includes Clinton County.