Women help build a great nation

A woman’s place is in the home.

And in the House, the Senate, the State Department, on the judicial bench, on the battlefield, in the boardroom, at the news anchor desk and anywhere else you care to mention.

Thus, a PBS special to be shown Tuesday beginning at 7 p.m. on KACV-TV well might open the eyes to many folks about the role that women have played in building the greatest nation on the planet. “Makers: Women Who Make America” will be shown over three hours and is hosted by none other than Meryl Streep, the famed actress who recently won an Oscar for her portrayal of another strong individual known to many Americans: the Iron Lady, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Walk back to the nation’s founding. The Declaration of Independence said that “all Men are created equal.” Sadly, that declaration at that very moment was quite literally true. All men were “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.” As for the women of the time, they didn’t have as many rights, such as the right to vote. That would come much later … in 1920.

But the women of this nation have contributed greatly to its greatness. “Women Who Make America” will highlight the contributions of many of those women during the three-hour special. It will look at Condoleezza Rice, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Madeleine Albright, Sandra Day O’Connor, Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, Katie Couric, Phyllis Schlafly, Oprah Winfrey and Gloria Steinem, just to name a few.

There has been talk of the “glass ceiling” that inhibits women’s progress up corporate or political ladders. That the ceiling exists really isn’t in dispute. Many women have broken through portions of that ceiling along specific career tracks, such as in the law and international diplomacy. Indeed, three of the four individuals who were secretary of state immediately preceding John Kerry were women, serving three presidents.

Women have more miles to travel before they crash through the entire ceiling. But as the PBS special illustrates, American women already have left a tremendous imprint on the nation they helped build.

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