Women in the spotlight at Mildenhall luncheon
RAF MILDENHALL — “If you want anything said, ask a man. If you want anything done, ask a woman,” British Squadron Leader Jo Daniels, RAF Lakenheath commander, recited to the crowd at a Women’s History Month luncheon last month.
The quote from former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher sparked laughter from the crowd inside the Sterling Room at Middleton Hall.
More than 50 people gathered for the luncheon. Daniels asked the women in the audience to reflect on the accomplishments of women who strived for equal opportunity. From an Air Force standpoint, she told the women, “The sky is the limit.”
“Being who we want to be, and doing what we want to do. With that mind, I hope you all contribute positively to [your] communities,” she said.
Daniels also added a local perspective to her remarks, using Thatcher — who was the first, and for two decades the only, woman to lead a major Western democracy, according to the Margaret Thatcher Foundation Web site — as a role model.
Thatcher played a key role in the collapse of the Soviet Union and attracted worldwide attention with the war against Argentina over the Falkland Islands in 1982, Daniels said.
Daniels recited a few more famous quotes from Thatcher.
“It may be the cock that crows, but it is the hen that lays the egg,” she said.
For the luncheon’s closing remarks, Brig. Gen. Robert P. Steel, 48th Fighter Wing commander, said it’s really about the women today who shape society, not just women from the past.
“Each one of you is making a difference, and you do that day in and day out,” he said.
Although some women may think their work goes unnoticed and unappreciated, Steel said it doesn’t.
“For all the women here in this room and for those who couldn’t join us today, [you’re] doing tremendous things. You don’t have to be Thatcher to be appreciated,” he said.
By the numbers
Women outnumbered men by almost 5 million in the U.S. in 2004.
There were 212,000 active-duty women in the military in 2004: 35,100 officers and 177,000 enlisted.
31 percent of women age 25-29 had a bachelor’s degree or higher in 2004, compared with 26 percent of men in this age group.
65 percent of female citizens age 25-29 voted in the 2004 presidential election, higher than the 62 percent of their male counterparts.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau