Women supported and sustained the U.S. wartime economy during the world’s largest, most lethal, and most destructive conflict in history. In fact, the 50% growth in women’s paid labor force participation between 1940 and 1945 proved so instrumental that one of the greatest economic legacies of World War II is that of women’s economic enfranchisement. That boded well not only for women but for an entire nation in turmoil.
Fast-forward six decades and the U.S. is navigating yet another harrowing juncture—this time at the intersection of health, economy, and race. At this crossroads, at this moment in history, as we celebrate the centennial of the 19th Amendment, America has a choice to make.
Will we enshrine gender equality in our Constitution, paving the way for women’s unrestrained economic participation and leading us toward a Brave New Normal? Or will we continue to be among the 24% of countries worldwide without a constitutional provision for gender equity?