top of page

Celebrating Women's History Month

Updated: Mar 31, 2021


Looking Into the Past


It is officially March, which means it's Women's Appreciation Month. Let's take a moment to reflect and appreciate women and their numerous contributions throughout history. In 1978, the Education Task Force in Sonoma, California, came up with the idea of creating a week-long celebration of women and highlighting their contributions towards culture, history, and society. It was a success and what initially started as a week celebration grew into a month-long celebration. Seven days is not enough time to truly appreciate woman's contributions. Of course, we were going to need all thirty days! In February 1980, President Jimmy Carter created a Presidential Proclamation that made the holiday official every year in March.

"From the first settlers who came to our shores, from the first American Indian families who befriended them, men and women have worked together to build this nation. Too often the woman were unsung and sometimes their contributions went unnoticed. But the achievements, leadership, courage, strength, and love of the women who built America was as vital as that of the men whose names we know so well."

President Jimmy Carter's message designating

March 2-8, 1980, as National Women's History Week


Throughout history, the women's role remained limited to such titles as housewives, cooking, cleaning, and taking care of the family. Since this was considered the norm, it would contribute to women having a more challenging time being considered something else outside of these titles. Women are perceived to be nurtures, educators, or caretakers. Therefore, anything outside of that gets lost in translation or ignored altogether. The role of women in society has created stability, progress, and long-term development globally. Mothers would place their careers on the back burner because they so often were their children and elders' caretakers. They played a significant role in the decision-making process when it came to the family dynamic.

It took time for women to become more recognized and become the focal point of conversation. Women did not have many of the rights they do today. Women were not allowed to vote nor have a voice in who would ultimately shape our country and laws. The simplicity of just wearing pants wasn't allowed, nor having the option of birth control. Not only were they not allowed to purchase birth control, but you also couldn't even inquire knowledge to educate yourself upon the topic. 'Til death do us part' was often the only option for women to divorce their husbands. Each state applied its own rules on the subject of divorce, but some even went as far as creating rules on how many times a man could physically abuse his spouse before she was allowed to divorce him. According to Lemon (1996), "In England, the law is changed to allow a wife who had been habitually beaten by her husband to the point of "endangering her life" to separate from him, but cannot divorce him" (p. 3). It sounds unrealistic and unfair, but these were different aspects of women's hurdles that would fuel future changes.


Looking Into the Present


The role of women in today's society has changed dramatically, and for the better. The 21st century has opened new doors and opportunities for hope and empowerment positively. Women are now breaking barriers and stigmas and becoming self-sufficient, educated, and more knowledgeable about becoming financially independent. Gone are the days where women walked in the shadow of men but now marching side by side with them. Walking their own path has allowed them to go from housewives to CEO. They are taking on new roles and responsibilities outside their home and entering the workforce.




Today, empowering women has become more evident because they are well informed in current trends and topics, but they are well educated. They can enjoy having full equality under the law. Today women are multi-tasking in economics, politics, and social environments. As they look forward to human rights, freedoms, and social progress, they are using their platform to lead this country. According to Chu & Posner (2013). "a record number of women ran for public office in 2012, and a record-high percentage of women are serving in Congress (p. 1). We are all aware of how representation matters, and seeing more women take on new roles and titles helps bring them further into the focal point of what's obtainable.

In the past, women were not allowed to participate in sports, and when they were allowed to participate in the Olympics, there were very few selections of games for them. Now women are dominating sports and science. The 21st century has more inclusion and less exclusion. Girls worldwide will be able to see someone who looks like them in a field of their interest. They will know there are no longer limits to the endless open possibilities for their future. Understanding and recognizing how amazing they are and the contributions they can and will make is genuinely awe-inspiring.





Looking Into the Future

As we reflect on women's past, present, and future endeavors, the options are now limitless. Lets, not repeat history and overlook women's contributions, but remind ourselves of how important they are instead. Let's really see them and honestly acknowledge them to learn from our past mistakes for a more compelling future. When we reflect on words like strength, love, and courage, women are the epitome of that and more. As times are changing, so are the roles of women. There is more hope for growth and opportunities. As more women step out of their husbands' shadow, they create and build upon their own identity and independence. It can be a powerful breakthrough to the beginning of their new chapters and endeavors.




Looking into the future will show us no longer are we to put words like weak and unfit in the same context as women. Women can help society grow and develop and redesign the world as we know it. The liberation journey has not been an easy road for women, but they have managed through perseverance and patience to cross many milestones to reach success. Women's achievements and the many sacrifices they have made to build our country do not go unnoticed. You are leaders, mothers, caretakers, entrepreneurs, and most of all, vital. Thank you for being you!






References


Arresting dress: A timeline of anti-cross-dressing laws in the United States. (2015, May 31). PBS NewsHour. https://www.pbs.org/newshour/nation/arresting-dress-timeline-anti-cross-dressing-laws-u-s

Chu, A., & Posner, C. (2013, September 25). The state of women in America. Center for American Progress. https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/women/reports/2013/09/25/74836/the-state-of-women-in-america/

Lemon, Nancy (1996). Domestic violence law: A comprehensive overview of cases and sources.San Francisco, CA: Austin and Winfield.

Why March is national women's history month. (2019, February 11). National Women's History Alliance. https://nationalwomenshistoryalliance.org/womens-history-month/womens-history-month-history/

45 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page