“Too often the women were unsung and sometimes their contributions went unnoticed,” President Carter addressed to the nation in 1980. With his speech and Congress’ support, March 2-8, 1980 was designated as National Women’s History Week. Although it is a national effort to admire and readmire the numerous achievements that women have accomplished, there are countless reasons, sizing from broad to deeply personal, why you should pay respect to women’s history.
1. The official recognition started with an Education Task Force in California.
Most importantly, hats off to all women who persevered through hardships to reach their dreams.
But also, thank you, Sonoma County of California for taking the initiative and declaring the first period of time to celebrate women’s history in 1978. After realizing that public educational materials lacked sufficient recognition for women’s history, they lit the first match, inspiring states throughout the nation to set their torches aflame. Within eight years, thirteen other states had declared March as Women’s History Month. The movement gained momentum and by March of the following year, Congress officially deemed the month a national tradition.
2. Women and girls are being empowered by one another to pursue professional goals in traditionally male-dominated fields.
Studies have pointed out the negative health impacts that these fields have on women because of the stress they experience. Communities noting this issue have come up with a solution: establish platforms to empower oppressed identities. Groups that come to mind include She Should Run and Anita Borg Institute. The mission statements of She Should Run encourage more women to consider serving in positions of public leadership through government and office. Similarly, Anita Borg Institute realizes that when women help each other out, amazing things happen, especially in technology.
3. Women sure can mobilize.
At least 3.3 million people participated in the Women’s March on Saturday January 21st, the day following President Trump’s inauguration. It mobilized groups concerned with climate change, immigrants’ rights, LGBTQ+ rights, and so many more. Each group obviously had their own issues and goals, but if there’s one thing we can all rally behind, it’s women. The ability for the message and values of the Women’s March to reach so many corners, as its impressive global attendance demonstrates, made it one of the most successful protests in history. As no arrests were made that day, the Women’s March was able to stay true to its commitment to nonviolence.
Join us and many others on campus (shout out to the WGC, AWIS, and the Women’s Club) in promoting the world’s most hidden talents: creative and influential women. Some are young and at the beginning of their journey; others are already commanding the world’s attention. Either way, especially in this day and age, we need to remind women that it is not a man’s world; it is theirs.