My grandmother turns 98 years old today, the same day that Hillary Clinton accepts her nomination as the first female presidential candidate in the United States. As I reflect on this election season, I can’t help but think about her life. One of six children, my grandmother was born in 1918 to a Jewish family living in Boston. The war was just ending and at age 2, she was probably too you to note the passage of the suffrage act that granted women the right to vote.
Like many women growing up during this era, my grandmother did not have the opportunity to attend to college or even think in her wildest dreams about becoming president of the United States. However, in her long life, she has seen how things can change dramatically. She has had pleasure of watching her daughter (my mother) receive her PhD, her two granddaughters graduate college and begin to build careers, and now she watches as my cousin, her 2 year old great granddaughter, grows up in a world where a woman can strive to to become anything, including president of the United States.
Although change often feels like it is occurring at snail’s pace, I think about how much progress my grandmother has witnessed in her own lifetime. It’s easy to become disheartened when we hear stories about how sex and gender discrimination still play such a prominent role in our society. We should be angry about this and fight for better. However, at the same time, this is a collective moment where we should also celebrate. To me, Hillary Clinton’s nomination represents change, hope and progress for all women in this country. She has risen to place that at one time not too long ago seemed unimaginable.
There is still a lot of work that needs to be done regarding gender equality, however I am hopeful that this moment will lead to an eventual reality where discrimination does not have a place in our world. Hillary Clinton’s nomination empowers me to go forward with my own aspirations, and also makes me excited about what will be possible for my future children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.