Women’s History Month Celebrates

Womens History Month Celebrates

Maia Garcia , Staff Reporter

The contributions of women through the years have often gone unappreciated and forgotten but each year, in March, Women’s History Month is a time for reflection, appreciation, and celebration. Women’s History Month is an important time to recognize contributions both large and small that have changed our lives for the better.

What is Women’s History Month?

In the beginning: The fight was not for all women
The Women’s Suffrage Movement set in motion the fight for women’s rights, or more specifically, for the voting rights of white women. In 1908, thousands of white women marched arm in arm seeking improved labor laws and working conditions as well as the right to vote. In 1920, the 19th Amendment gave white women the right to vote. The suffrage movement, however, left out Black women, Native Americans, and Asian Americans. These marginalized groups would not be allowed to vote until years later. At the International Conference of Women in Copenhagen, Germany in 1910, 100 women across 17 countries founded International Women’s Day on March 8, 1911.

What is the International women’s day?

Every year, March 8 is celebrated as International Women’s Day across the globe. The day commemorates the cultural, political, and socioeconomic achievements made by women in various fields. It is a significant occasion for all involved in the fight for gender equity and equality.

When is Women’s History Month?

In 1975, the United Nations became the official sponsor of International Woman’s Day. International Woman’s Day progressed to Women’s History Week. In 1980 Jimmy Carter proclaimed it a National Women’s History Week, and then six years later, Women’s History Month was declared across 14 states.

Why is Women’s History Month in March?

The International Women’s Day website says it was in 1908 when thousands of women got together and made their way through the streets of New York City in a march. They were fighting for women’s rights, including women’s voting rights.

5 Women’s History Month Facts

  1. Wyoming Territory was the first place to grant women the right to vote.
  2. The 19th amendment did not give all women the right to vote.
  3.  About 20 years later, Sally Ride was the first woman in space — and the first gay astronaut.
  4. More women are earning college degrees than men.
  5. Kamala Harris is the first woman and woman of color Vice President.

The 5 most influential women in history:

1. Marie Curie, 1867-1934

Marie Sklodowska Curie changed the world not once but twice.
This woman founded the new science of radioactivity – even the name was invented by her – and her discoveries produced effective cures for cancer.
Born in Warsaw, Curie studied physics at the University in Paris, where she met her future research collaborator and husband, Pierre. Together they identified two new elements: radium and polonium, named after her native Poland. When he died, Marie amassed a small fortune in the United States and Europe to found laboratories and to develop cancer treatments.

Marie Curie was a woman of action as well as having an enormous intellect. During World War I she helped equip ambulances with X-ray equipment and often drove them herself to the front lines. Despite becoming ill from the radioactive materials she constantly handled, Curie never lost her determination to excel in the scientific career she loved. Her memory is preserved in the cancer charity that bears her name and continues to help terminally ill patients around the world.

2. Rosa Parks, 1913-2005

On December 1, 1955, Rosa Louise Parks, a 42-year-old seamstress working at a department store in Montgomery, Alabama, boarded her bus to head home, as she did daily after work.

On that day, however, the African-American woman challenged the racial segregation that existed in parts of the United States by refusing to give up her seat for a white person to sit down. Her protest was supported by many other black people and sparked the civil rights movement that, in the 1960s, eventually won equal rights.

Four years after her death in 2005, Barack Obama became the first black president of the United States.

3. Emmeline Pankhurst, 1858-1928

In 1903, social reformer Emmeline Pankhurst founded the Women’s Social and Political Union to campaign for parliamentary suffrage for women in Edwardian-era Britain.

“Deeds, not words,” was her slogan. A charismatic leader and powerful speaker, Pankhurst incited thousands of women to demand-and not politely ask for-their democratic right in a mass movement that has had no parallel in British history.

Pankhurst was always in the midst of the struggle and endured 13 imprisonments. Her name and cause became known around the world.

4. Ada Lovelace, 1815-52

Born in the early 19th century, Ada Lovelace had a fascination with science and mathematics that defied the expectations of her class and gender at the time. Despite being one of many figures in the history of science whose work has only been appreciated posthumously, today Ada Lovelace, a gifted mathematician, is considered the first computer programmer in an industry that has since transformed businesses, our lives and the world.

Lovelace is particularly intriguing because, not only was she a woman working during an era when men dominated the fields of science and mathematics, but she also demonstrated a unique and visionary insight into the potential of computers.

In an industry still dominated by men, it is particularly striking that the first female programmer was a woman.

5. Rosalind Franklin, 1920-58

When the double helix structure of DNA was discovered, scientists argued that they had unlocked the secret of life itself. The crucial proof was presented by the English chemist and crystallographer Rosalind Franklin: the famous photograph 51. This was an X-ray image showing a dark dotted cross, which suggested the helical structure of the molecule and allowed key details of DNA to be inferred. Franklin had taken the images of DNA by X-ray diffraction during his time at King’s College London.

And although her research on carbon and viruses was appreciated during her lifetime, her contribution to the discovery of the structure of DNA was only recognized posthumously. The innovations that followed, which had an enormous impact on human life – the mapping of the human genome, test-tube babies, genetic engineering – depended on understanding the chemical basis of heredity.

This information and more on this international event can be found on the website,  History.