Women’s History Month: Celebrating Women Globally
“Because you are women, people will force their thinking on you, their boundaries on you. They will tell you how to dress, how to behave, who you can meet and where you can go. Don’t live in the shadows of people’s judgement. Make your own choices in the light of your own wisdom.” Amitabh Bachchan
When you look in the mirror, what do you see? Do you see a woman who is smart, sophisticated, strong, powerful, daring, challenging, loving, funny? I see all of those and more in me, the women around me and the women before me.
The month of March is about celebrating all women globally. Women have paved the way tremendously, by standing up for women’s right, full equality to vote, to work, equal pay, to serve in the military, respect, and to be a Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The CEO titles was all attached to men decades ago, but now there are many women who are the CEO for great and successful companies. Checkout Forbes article on the list of the top 20 fierce CEO women of 2017.
National Women’s History Month started in 1970 when it was brought to the forefront of knowing that the history of women was not introduced into the classrooms as the history of men. To highlight women’s contribution to history the “Education Task Force of the Sonoma County (California) Commission on the Status of Women initiated a “Women’s History Week” celebration for 1978.”
This action propelled the beginning for other institutes to implement and educate their communities on the contribution women made to change history. In 1979, Molly Murphy MacGregor a representative of Sonoma County (California) was invited to participate in The Women’s History Institute at Sarah Lawrence College, which was chaired by noted historian, Gerda Lerner and attended by the national leaders of organizations for women and girls. The information shared during the meetup led to actions, which expanded the knowledge of Women’s History and commitment to secure “National Women’s History Week.”
If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman. Margaret Thatcher
To see change, you got to take actions and with actions comes result. You must be persistence in anything that you set out to do. To highlight the history of women, schools and communities were consistent with promoting and educating the masses on women’s contributions to the world. According to npwh “In February 1980, President Carter issued the first Presidential Proclamation declaring the Week of March 8th 1980 as National Women’s History Week. In the same year, Representative Barbara Mikulski, who at the time was in the House of Representatives, and Senator Orrin Hatch co-sponsored a Congressional Resolution for National Women’s History Week 1981”
As time passed, the impacts women made throughout history was known in various states throughout the United States. Finally, the actions of everyone who was persistence to ensure that women’s history was communication and discussed in school, at the conference, government lobbies contributed to Congress declaring March as National Women’s History Month in 1987.
We should celebrate all women daily, March is just a bonus to show the magnitude of the past, and present women who have trailblazed and left their marks for the new generation of women to inspire and create more women history.
If you need inspiration from women in history, here is a list of fifteen women who have made significant impacts globally. All of these great list of women and more can be found on biographyonline.net.
Malala Yousafzai– Pakistani schoolgirl who defied threats of the Taliban to campaign for the right to education. She survived being shot in the head by the Taliban and has become a global advocate for women’s rights, especially the right to education.
Michelle Obama- Lawyer and writer, Michelle was the First Lady of the US during her husband’s presidency 2009-17.
Shirley Chisholm– The first black Congresswoman, she was elected to the House of Representatives for NY in 1968. She used her time in Congress to campaign for women and civil rights. She served from ’68 to ’83 and was the first black women to run for the Democratic Presidential nomination.
Hilary Clinton- US politician who became the first women to run for the office of US president for a major political party (Democrats). Also served as Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013.
Oprah Winfrey- American talk show host and businesswoman. Oprah Winfrey was the first woman to own her own talk show.
Benazir Bhutto– The first female prime minister of a Muslim country. She helped to move Pakistan from a dictatorship to democracy, becoming Prime Minister in 1988. She sought to implement social reforms, in particular helping women and the poor. She was assassinated in 2007.
Margaret Thatcher– The first female Prime minister of Great Britain, she governed for over 10 years, putting emphasis on individual responsibility and a belief in free markets.
Billie Holiday- American jazz singer. Given the title “First Lady of the Blues” Billie Holiday was widely considered to be the greatest and most expressive jazz singer of all time. Her voice was moving in its emotional intensity and poignancy.
Indira Gandhi– First female prime minister of India. She was in power from between 1966–77 and 1980–84. Accused of authoritarian tendencies she only narrowly avoided a military coup by agreeing to hold an election at the end of the “emergency period” of 1977. She was assassinated in 1984 by her Sikh bodyguards, in response to her storming of the Golden Temple.
Rosa Parks– American civil rights activist. Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her bus seat in Montgomery, Alabama, indirectly led to some of the most significant civil rights legislation of American history.
Dorothy Hodgkin- British chemist. Hodgkin was awarded the Nobel prize for her work on critical discoveries of the structure of both penicillin and later insulin. These discoveries led to significant improvements in health care.
Eleanor Roosevelt- Wife and political aide of American president F.D.Roosevelt. In her own right Eleanor made a significant contribution to the field of human rights, a topic she campaigned upon throughout her life. As head of UN human rights commission she helped to draft the 1948 UN declaration of human rights
Helena Rubinstein– American businesswoman. Rubinstein formed one of the world’s first cosmetic companies. Her business enterprise proved immensely successful and, later in life, she used her enormous wealth to support charitable enterprises in the field of education, art and health
Elizabeth Blackwell– Born in Britain, Blackwell was the first woman to receive a medical degree in America and the first woman to be on the UK medical register. Blackwell helped to break down social barriers, enabling women to be accepted as doctors.
Susan B. Anthony– American Campaigner against slavery and for the promotion of women’s and workers rights. She began campaigning within the temperance movement and this convinced her of the necessity for women to have the vote.
Think like a queen. A queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness. Oprah Winfrey
As a woman, you have the power to make changes in anything that you desire. The list of women above shows that there will be challenges and even the price of death to alter history that benefits all people.
A woman is like a tea bag – you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water. Eleanor Roosevelt
Action: Leave a name of a woman who contributed to the history of women.
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