Transit Center Airmen honor women's equality movement



by Tech. Sgt. Tammie Moore
376th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs


8/18/2011 - TRANSIT CENTER AT MANAS, Kyrgyzstan -- In 1971 to commemorate the 1920 passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution granting women the right to vote the United States Congress designated Aug. 26 as Women's Equality Day.

"This is a special day that not too many people were aware of," said Staff Sgt. Angela Difeo, Women Equality Day committee co-chair. "Our committee members feel very excited to bring awareness to people about women's rights."

For Difeo the decision to become a Woman's Equality Day committee chairperson was an easy one.

"It is exciting to be part of something that creates awareness about equality and celebrating a key part of United States history especially with such a great group of people at the Transit Center who are willing to go above and beyond to make Aug. 26 so entertaining and educational," said Difeo, 376th Expeditionary Force Support Squadron lodging quality assurance evaluator.

Tech. Sgt. Rebecca Stadler decided to join the planning committee because she feels it's important to spread awareness of events like this.

"These types of events are important to celebrate, especially while deployed because it is a reminder of the rights and freedoms we have in our country," said Stadler, 376th EFSS noncommissioned officer in charge of the fitness center. "We need to remember to be thankful not only for the rights we possess, but also learn about what is happening in other places and cultures."

The committee members hope to educate those at the Transit Center about the history behind women's suffrage in the United States and about women's equality in the Kyrgyz Republic.

"As military personnel, we work with a variety of cultures on a regular basis," Stadler said. "It is important that we educate ourselves about the people of Kyrgyzstan, not only as guests in their country but also coworkers to the many host nationals on the Transit Center and partners to the individuals in our humanitarian assistance programs. It is a matter of respect for their country and culture that we include and acknowledge them in our celebration."

Both of the committee chairs who are deployed here from the Air National Guard's 179th Airlift Wing in Mansfield, Ohio, encourage the Transit Center community to attend the luncheon.

"We have invited a very important person in the Kyrgyz Republic's struggle for women's rights, the head of the Sezim Crisis Center Bubusara Ryskulova," Difeo said. "She is basically the Susan B. Anthony of today and she is more than willing to answer questions people may have for her."

The free luncheon is Aug. 26 from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the Community Activities Center. Those who wish to attend must RSVP by Aug. 24 to ensure there will be enough food. To make a reservation, e-mail rebecca.stadler@maab.afcent.af.mil or angela.difeo@maas.afcent.af.mil. The committee will also host a 10k race Aug. 27.