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U.S. women have come a long way


Last month, women in Saudi Arabia took to the streets when the country ended its ban on women drivers. In the era of #MeToo, it’s easy to forget how far women have come in the United States, and how many freedoms all Americans have.

We take for granted that we get to live in a country where women have the right to vote, drive, own businesses and property, and live independently. Saudi Arabia is just now giving women the right to drive. But in some countries, women are still forced into arranged marriages, have limited access to education, and subjected to repeated violence without justice.

The 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote in the United States was passed by Congress almost a century ago. Women and minorities have been fighting for equitable wages since the Equal Pay Act was passed in 1963.

According to a study by AAUW this spring, the national average shows that women make 80 percent of what men earn. In Montana, the pay gap is larger, with women earning 73 percent of men’s earning.

There is still room for improvement for minorities, including women, in the United States. Reading about the struggles of women such as those in Saudi Arabia who are getting driver’s licenses for the first time makes us thankful we live in the United States. Thankful for the freedoms we have, and that we had the opportunity to learn to drive on dirt roads and tractors.


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