As we recognize Heroes Week in Johnson County, we also celebrate International Women’s Day. Women have broken new ground not only throughout history, but also in the country’s current fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
We take a moment to recognize women and their achievements and offer support and encouragement to women in their pursuit of equality.
Women have shown leadership in all parts of society, especially over the past year. They have excelled in health care, science and technology, business, government and education. In particular, women have been leaders on the front lines of the battle against the virus.
"In a year that has posed endless challenges for individuals, communities, countries, and the globe, women have stepped up in innumerable ways – from rallying together to ensure community members have food to eat through food drives, to sewing cloth masks for long-term care facilities and emergency responders, to stepping back from careers to help their children navigate virtual-learning, Many of these women have been champions behind the scenes," said Johnson County Director of Epidemiology Elizabeth Holzschuh.
"However, in what could be called one of the greatest scientific advancements in decades – from the identification of a novel virus to the development of a highly effective vaccine in less than a year – women have been at the forefront, a place they would have been excluded from not that long ago. As an epidemiologist, a scientist, I have watched in admiration as a diverse group of women have played a critical role in nearly every aspect of vaccine development, including being involved in the initial development of the mRNA vaccine technology, heading vaccine companies, leading vaccine trials, as well as public health workers, who tend to be overwhelmingly female, throughout this country being responsible for administering the vaccine in the largest public health vaccination campaign to date. I am humbled and in awe of women every year, but particularly this year."
President Jimmy Carter proclaimed National Women’s History Week in 1980. Then, in 1987 Congress passed Public Law 100-9, designating March as Women’s History Month.