The importance of Women’s History Month

The month of March is reaching its midpoint, which means we’re almost halfway done with Women’s History Month.

Starting as a one-day celebration to now being a month-long celebration, we as students see it is clear that highlighting the achievements of women in both the past and present is more than important; it’s necessary. 

March 8, 1911 was the first occurrence of International Women’s Day. However, it was not widely celebrated in the United States until the United Nations began sponsoring it in 1975.

Over the next few years, the celebration gained popularity across the country. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter took it upon himself to declare that March 8 was to be the official start of Women’s History Week. When 1987 rolled around, it was decided that one week wasn’t enough, so Congress dedicated the entire month of March to honor women.

Why is it necessary? Women have had to fight for basic human rights for centuries and continue to do so today. With a whole month dedicated to women, it gives us the chance to reflect on the trailblazers who have paved the way for change.

Some may argue that Women’s History Month is unfair because there is no such thing as Men’s History Month. However, while men have contributed a great deal to our society, it is important to recognize the obstacles women have had to go through to get to where they are today. 

Some key moments of women’s history include: earning the right to vote, the Equal Pay Act and Title IX of the Education Amendments.

The 19th Amendment was passed by Congress in 1919 and ratified in 1920. This amendment granted women the right to vote, a fight that lasted decades and was a part of the women’s suffrage movement.

The Equal Pay Act was passed in 1963 during John F. Kennedy’s presidency. It is a labor law that prohibits gender-based wage discrimination, as women were still earning less than two-thirds of what males were for the very same position.

In 1972, Title IX of the Education Amendments was passed. It prohibits federal education institutions from sex-based discrimination for both students and employees.

For hundreds of years, men have had significantly more power than women. While women have the same rights now, it is crucial to remember that they once did not, as they are often taken advantage of by today’s generation. 

Furthermore, the women who worked their entire lives to give other women these opportunities deserve the utmost respect and recognition. Without them, women would not have nearly as much freedom as they have today.

Although the fight is not quite over to be seen as equals, women have in fact come a long way and that should not be overlooked.

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