LAURINBURG — If anyone is going to change and improve the lives of women, it should be women themselves, according to the guest speaker at this year’s local Women’s History Week celebration.
Former County Commissioner Joyce McDow told a roomful of women on Thursday to look beyond their personal lives.
“See where you can make a difference …. can you make life better for the girls who are coming behind us?” McDow said. “Progress requires more backbone than wishbone.
“We know that we can not wish something to be done. We have to get up and get it done. We would all like a magic wand to make problems disappear, but guess what ladies? We are the magic wand. Whether it takes a few minutes or 20 years, lasting change takes work and time.”
McDow’s talk came as part of the annual Scotland County remembrance of Women’s History Month.
About 80 women from local government and public service and churches attended the event at the Storytelling and Arts Center. Attendees were asked to stand and given certificates of appreciation. The theme for the 2016 celebration is “Working to Form a More Perfect Union: Honoring Women in Public Service and Government.”
“I know we have a month for this and a month for that,” said McDow, a retired educator. “But this is a multicultural celebration of the lives and accomplishment of women throughout the ages. It does not rewrite history, instead Women’s History Month presents an expanded version of history.”
McDow, who herself served on the county Board of Commissioners for seven years and continues to sit on numerous civic boards and organizations, listed the names of local women leaders in government and public service past and present.
“As women we are darn good at what we do,” she said. “We are great decision makers and problem solvers. Let’s give ourselves credit — we are effective managers.”
President Jimmy Carter proclaimed the first national Women’s History Week for March 2-8, 1980. The Women’s National History Project lobbied for a longer observation, and Congress passed a proclamation in 1987 establishing Women’s History Month.
Pastor Linda Nelson of Lutheran Church of the Living Word, who was also part of the program, recited quotes from famous women throughout history. Nelson said Thursday’s celebration was an apt reminder that women need to come together.
“We as woman may have individual things to say, but we are part of a perfect union that needs to come together in a united voice — a voice that says we must be heard.”
Reach Scott Witten at 910-506-3023