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March Means Female Appreciation

Antonia Le, Editor-in-Chief

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   From fighting in the Revolutionary War (Deborah Sampson) to developing technology that would later help us create Wi-Fi (Hedy Lamarr), women aren’t strangers to making history. Yet, their achievements and contributions are often left out of our history books. In America, March is National Women’s History Month, a time when we are all encouraged to learn more about the amazing and inspirational women that came before us.

   Women’s History Month wasn’t always a “thing.” In fact, it started with a single day. According to the United Nations’ official website, in 1909, the first National Women’s Day was celebrated in the United States to pay respect to the 1908 garment workers’ strike. During that time, the garment workers were predominantly women, and they protested unfair working conditions. Nations in Europe held similar Women’s Days in the years afterward, most occurring within the February-March time frame. More than 60 years after the first National Women’s Day, the UN declared that March 8 would be “International Women’s Day” (un.org).

   Though still celebrated as a holiday around the world, in the US, International Women’s Day provided a foundation for the creation of Women’s History Month. According to an article by Time Magazine, in 1978, a group of Sonoma County California educators were disappointed that women’s history wasn’t addressed in the K-12 curriculum. So, they decided to create a “Women’s History Week” celebration that coincided with the March 8 International Women’s Day. As part of the celebrations, special programs and presentations were given in schools around the county (time.com).

   The event only grew from there. According to the official website of the National Women’s History Project, in 1980, President Jimmy Carter “…issued the first Presidential Proclamation declaring the week of March 8, 1980 as National Women’s History Week.” Schools provided new educational materials for their students, and organizations set up essay contests and other programs to help spread the word about amazing women (nwhp.org).

   Six years later, fourteen states had declared March to be Women’s History Month. Seeing the passion Americans had about women’s history, in 1987, Congress announced that March would forever be known as National Women’s History Month (nwhp.org).

   Ever since the first official National Women’s History Month, every March has had a certain theme and focus. This year, the theme is “Nevertheless, She Persisted.” Also according to another Time Magazine article, this year “the National Women’s History Project will honor 15 women who have persevered in spite of discrimination in their fight for criminal justice reform, immigrant rights, educational equality, racial justice, and other issues” (time.com). But celebrations aren’t restricted to just that; National Women’s History Month is a time to celebrate all women!

   “Women play a strong role in the making of history, and [education] shouldn’t be concentrated in just the history of men because, well, men and women both exist and they work together [to create history],” said Senior Jade Glawe.

   Whether you are a woman or simply respect women, National Women’s History Month offers something valuable for you. It’s always great to learn more about the history makers who still affect our lives today. This month, a world of women’s history is never more than a few keystrokes away. Now, who’s your favorite female history maker and how does she inspire you?

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March Means Female Appreciation