By: Beth Morrison, HAVEN CEO
Today was a sad day for me. Even I am surprised at how sad as I mourn the death of Geraldine Ferraro. Her death sparked a melancholy moment for me. I remember when I first learned of this remarkable woman and her impact on my life. No, I didn’t know Congresswoman Ferraro personally but her life did positively impact mine.
In 1984, Geraldine Ferraro was nominated as the vice presidential candidate. I was a 24-year-old young woman, who, for the first time, saw a politician that may just possibly, truly represent me. A woman! Sure there had been other female political leaders before Ms. Ferraro, but she struck a chord with me. She was a fighter, she had such strength and poise, and she gave young women like me hope. Hope that I mattered, hope that my needs would be heard, and hope that I would be represented in the highest office of the land by someone that looked like me.
I, like many others, have had moments in my life that were clearly defining ones. The kind where you can remember exactly where you were, what you were doing and who you were with. One of those defining moments was when Geraldine Ferraro stood at the podium of the Democratic Convention and declared, “My name is Geraldine Ferraro. I stand before you to proclaim tonight: America is the land where dreams can come true for all of us.” This was preceded by eight minutes of clapping and cheering. Regardless of one’s political views, I’m sure that on that summer day in 1984, woman of all ages, stood and applauded with the hope that maybe, just maybe, for women, our dreams could come true.
But isn’t it telling, that Ms. Ferraro’s one wish, to live long enough to see a woman elected as President, still has not happened, nearly 27 years later. So my melancholy for the day is that still after all these years, there are still so few women leaders. Still so few that truly represent me.