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Female: Not Just Any Month

Photo by: Jessica Mouton

Photo by: Jessica Mouton

Photo by: Jessica Mouton

Female: Not Just Any Month

March 6, 2018

National Women’s History Month, a month dedicated to the accomplishments of women throughout history, is important for women everywhere.

Originally, the month of March was not dedicated to women. Instead, women in Sonoma County, Calif. were given the week of March 8, 1978, to celebrate their accomplishments. This week became known as “Women’s History Week,” and involved special presentations and activities throughout the week, with a parade at the end of the week.

The following year, members of Sarah Lawrence College held a similar celebration, known as “National Women’s History Week,” when they were inspired by Sonoma County.

Beginning in 1980, President Carter proclaimed the week of March 8 as National Women’s History Week. Although new lobbying efforts were needed annually, women across the nation had a week in March dedicated to their accomplishments. It wasn’t until 1987 that Congress declared March as National Women’s History Month (National Women’s History Project).

You may ask yourself, what’s so important about a month being dedicated to a group of people? You see, the United States and many other countries are known for historically mistreating minority groups.

Women, although they are not the most mistreated, have fought long and hard to obtain rights that are rightfully theirs. It may seem unimportant that a month is dedicated to women and their accomplishments, but it’s unbelievable how society and their attitudes towards women have progressed since the start of this country.

For those who are ready to roll their eyes and close this article, Women’s History Month does not depend on feminism, but feminism contributes greatly to the accomplishments of women. Feminists are not a group of women hating on the men around them. Feminists work for the equality of women; this does not mean they feed off of the misery and suffering of men.

Feminists include people of all shapes, sizes and colors.

The National Women’s History Project (NWHP), similar to Women’s History Month, documents and showcases historical achievements accomplished by women. Every year, the NWHP select a theme to honor women in that category.

This year, the theme for Women’s History Month is “Nevertheless, She Persisted: Honoring Women Who Fight All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.” The women honored have shown initiative and achieved accomplishments against discrimination towards women. Some of this year’s honorees include Pauli Murray and Cristina Jimenez.

Murray fought for civil and women’s rights during her lifetime. Despite facing discrimination based on her sex and race, Murray was awarded a doctorate from Yale, and was a co-founder of the National Organization for Women (NOW).

Jimenez played a key role in creating the DACA program. She is a co-founder of the Dream Mentorship Program, United We Dream, and was recently named a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship “Genius Grant” recipient (NWHP).

We always hear about the constant fight women have for equality in a male-dominated world, but we need to take a step back and celebrate the accomplishments we’ve made in gender equality, as well as our progress. I’m one to always point out the bad in society, but I really am appreciative of growing up a millennial. I’m grateful for the opportunities I have to earn an education and work for a living. Honor men and women for their accomplishments, and don’t wait for a month to tell you to do otherwise.

To read about more about the 2018 NWHP honorees head to: http://www.nwhp.org/2018-theme-honorees/.

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