Elaine Mackey discusses what Women’s History Month means to her.
Women’s History Month is celebrated during the month of March and commemorates the achievements that women have made throughout American history. This year’s theme celebrates women’s education and empowerment. Although women now outnumber men in American colleges nationwide, the reversal of the gender gap is a very recent phenomenon, according to womenshistorymonth.gov.
Elaine Mackey, 28, who was raised in West Philadelphia, said she admires women who are politically active. In her community she said she admires the efforts of State Sen. Shirley M. Kitchen.
“She helps women and men with job employment,” Mackey said. “She helps people get ahead in life.”
Since 1996, Kitchen has represented the 3rd District of Philadelphia, winning four-year subsequent terms. Kitchen represents the small minority of African-American women who have served as state senate in Pennsylvania. She is the second African-American women to be elected.
Mackey said she acknowledges Women’s History Month as a time to commemorate the history and fight for women rights.
“A long time ago we couldn’t vote,” she said. “Now we can.”
Mackey mentions that women didn’t have a fair chance at employment and housing, but now notes that these situations have improved through the strides of women have made in history, like Kitchen.
Yet, Mackey said she would like to see more women enter into avenues usually dominated by men, including politics.
“I would love to see women more politically active,” Mackey said. “It all starts at home. You have to be raised around strong and confident people to feel like you can do that.”
Most importantly, Mackey calls for support among all women in her community in order to continue to have a presence in history.
“Here in North Philadelphia we are all close together, but we don’t work together,” Mackey said. “We need to break that habit. We always need to support one another.”
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