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12 x October 19 - November 1, 2017 x www.SouthwestOrlandoBulletin.com CONTINUED FROM PAGE 11 employed as secretaries, nurses or teachers. Change came about slowly, but steady progress was made as more and more women joined the workforce, giving rise to new challenges, as well. One of the more glaring grievances became an inequality of pay. Female workers were paid less than men doing the same type of work. In an effort to combat this disparity, Congress passed the Equal Pay Act of 1963. It promised equitable wages regardless of the sex of the worker. Although the EPA was an unequivocal victory in women’s rights, equal pay is a battle still being waged in many places today. The ’80s were a time of more leaps in females taking leadership career roles and asserting themselves as not only capable of keeping up with their male coworkers, but oftentimes surpassing them and rising to the tops of their fields. From what was previously a minor number of women in the workforce and landing governmental roles, became a surge of women who chose to pursue careers. A couple of notable pioneers were Sandra Day O’Connor, who became the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court in 1981, and Sally K. Ride, Ph.D., the first American woman sent into space in 1983. Known as The Year of the Woman, 1992 saw a record number of women elected to Congress, four winning Senate elections and two dozen elected to first terms in the House. One of these women, Sen. Barbara Mikulski, regarded the phrase with contempt. “Calling 1992 the Year of the Woman makes it sound like the Year of the Caribou or the Year of the Asparagus,” she said. “We’re not a fad, a fancy or year.” Modern Feminism Mikulski was certainly correct in her statement; “women in power”

Today, women are more involved than ever in politics, claiming 104 House seats and 21 Senate seats. was not a fad. In fact, women’s roles only grew throughout the end of the 20th century, giving rise to the modern feminism we have today. A few key legislations have aided the cause, such as the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act in 2009, which allows victims — usually women — of pay discrimination to file a complaint against their employer within 180 days of their last paycheck. In 2013, the ban against women in military combat positions was lifted. This year, a Marine lieutenant became the first female to earn the infantry officer military occupational www.SouthwestOrlandoBulletin.com x October 19 - November 1, 2017 x 13 specialty, graduating Sept. 25. She has chosen to remain unnamed. Thirty-two other female officers had previously attempted to complete the 13-week course since it first opened to women in 2012. Currently, Congress boasts a record number of women, with 104 female House members and 21 female Senators, including the chamber’s first Latina, Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto. Today women are stronger than they ever have been. American culture does not silence female voices, and there are more avenues than ever from which they can be heard. More women are forgoing marriage and motherhood to pursue careers, while others are simply waiting until later in life to settle down in domesticity. Their leadership roles in society have become as important as men’s roles. Not that the war against inequality is won — there are yet many battles to wage. Pay gap is still a critical point of contention, as is women’s education and sexual harassment, among others. However, thanks to the women of the past, who achieved the unthinkable in their times, the girls of today will grow up with the knowledge that they are as worthy as boys to possess the attributes of strength, leadership and power. ª Michael J. Tortorella, MD Obstetrics & Gynecology Board Certified Pregnancy Family Planning Menstrual Disorders Menopause Second Opinion for Surgery In-Office Ultrasounds In-Office Surgery Minimally Invasive Surgery Sterilization (407) 363-1003 Michaeljtortorellamd.com 7300 Sandlake Commons Blvd. Suite 320, Medplex A next to Dr. P. Phillips Hospital Listed in Best Doctors in Orlando Magazine Introducing Dr Emilia Godoy-Rapport DMD up to age 14 10/31/17 10/31/17