No weaknessWomen have shown strengthdespite perceptions, obstacles

March is Women’s History Month, a cause for both celebration and dismay. Celebration because the achievements of women throughout history are many and deserve recognition, dismay because a special month to remind people of those achievements is necessary.

The month winds down even as our Senate Judiciary Committee conducts hearings on U.S. Judge Katanji Brown Jackson, who has been nominated to become the first Black woman on the U.S. Supreme Court. Much of the debate regarding her fitness for the position have little to do with her qualifications for the position, which many people consider indisputable, but on personal and political positions she might have.

Her historic nomination belies our country’s claim to be the most free and politically advanced nation on earth. Of the nearly 120 people who have sat on the court, Jackson would be the sixth woman. The United States is one of the last of the world’s developed nations to have a female head of state, and comprise just 27% of Congress; it’s the first time women have made up more than one-fourth of our legislative bodies, even though they comprise more than half of the population.

Sadly, women continue to fight unfounded perceptions that they might be less qualified to hold such important positions, even though some of histories strongest and most influential leaders have been women, such as Margaret Thatcher and Golda Meier. Even countries that are seen to have greater political or religious restrictions on women, such as India and Pakistan, have been led by women such as Indira Gandhi and Benazir Bhutto.

Even the macho state of Texas boasts Miriam “Ma” Ferguson and Ann Richards among the most powerful governors in its history.

Women certainly have made their mark in the Rio Grande Valley, serving with distinction on local school boards and commissions and as judges at all levels, from justices of the peace and courts at law to state and federal district courts.

Unfortunately, one or two also have shown the same willingness to defy the law as some of their male peers, although with less frequency.

Women no longer should have to fight the nagging assumption that they are best suited for raising babies and domestic chores. Perhaps that perception might be changing, albeit slowly, as chances increase that our primary care doctor is a woman.

That trend likely will continue, well beyond the medical field. In this millennium women have comprised nearly 60% of all college students, and graduates.

However, women only make up 14% of corporate executives, most of them chief financial officers, and 28% of all board members, according to research site

We trust that those numbers — and they biases they expose — will change as the years progress.

In a perfect world, we wouldn’t see the need for a special month to remind us of women’s achievements and equality. The day those facts are generally accepted, and women’s achievements and opportunities equal those of their male counterparts, will be a real cause for celebration.